International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) President René Fasel has told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that there are four options "on the table" for men's ice hockey at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
TSN and NBC commentator Gord Miller claimed this on Twitter having hosted a panel discussion featuring Fasel at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton.
The first option, according to Miller, is to have National Hockey League (NHL) players participate in the men’s Olympic ice hockey tournament as they did from Nagano 1998 through to Sochi 2014.
The second is to not have NHL players participate, like at Pyeongchang 2018, while the third is to use under-23 players and the fourth is to have no men’s ice hockey at all in China's capital.
In December of last year, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said it was premature to discuss future involvement in the Olympic Games, following their decision to prevent their players from competing at Pyeongchang 2018.
The world's leading league announced in April 2017 that players would not travel to South Korea for the Games, with efforts to change the decision proving fruitless in the months that followed.
This meant they would miss out on competing at the event for the first time since their debut appearance at Nagano 1998.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman claimed in November that restrictions on Olympic promotion and supposedly mixed interest among NHL clubs were part of the reasoning for their decision.
He also suggested the NHL would be unlikely to return to the programme for any Winter Olympic Games held outside North America.
It had been thought, however, that they were keener to return for Beijing 2022 due to the commercial opportunities offered in the Chinese market.
The IOC's refusal to continue covering travel and insurance costs of NHL players was blamed for the failure to reach a deal for Pyeongchang.
The IIHF did subsequently offer to cover these fees, but, after a deal was not reached, IOC President Thomas Bach said this was "off the table" for both Pyeongchang 2018 and Beijing 2022.