NHL: If There’s Trouble at Sochi, Our Players Are Coming Home

Deputy commissioner says that a security breach will cause the NHL to pull its athletes

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© Alexander Demianchuk / Reuters / REUTERS

Members of the Russian military patrol with sniffer dogs inside the Olympic Park in the Adler district of Sochi, January 26, 2014.

The National Hockey League hinted on Monday that the league would not be willing to send its players to the Winter Olympics in Sochi if a ”significant” security breach occurs before Feb. 9.

During an interview with AP, the NHL’s deputy commissioner Bily Daly agreed that Olympic officials had taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety of athletes competing at the Games.  But Daly also noted that the league was prepared to revaluate its decision allowing their players to compete in Sochi if the security situation were to change unexpectedly.

“Obviously, if something significant were to transpire between now and February 9 that causes us to question that conclusion, we will re-evaluate,” the NHL’s deputy commissioner Bily Daly told AP.

Sochi’s close proximity to active conflict zones in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region, along with steady threats from terrorist outfits, has spooked organizers and participants alike ahead of the Games. Last month, bomb attacks in Volgograd, 400 miles from Sochi, killed 34 people.

Russia has sent approximately 50,000 law enforcement and security officials to help police the area.