Rob Manfred: WBC success will make it easier to attract more players

LOS ANGELES — Even before the United States took the field to face Puerto Rico for the World Baseball Classic championship on Wednesday night, Rob Manfred was confident that this sometimes troubled tournament had been a smashing success.

And after what Manfred calls the watershed achievement of the 2017 edition, the Major League Baseball commissioner sees a promising future for the WBC.

Kids Heath Miller Jersey As far as the players are concerned, there’s no hard and fast deadline. They’ll be ready to play, Fehr said. There may well be some from the NHL in terms of scheduling and planning and there may be some from the IOC and the IIHF in terms of alerting the federations and if so, they’ll make that plain. But from our standpoint, our job is to keep working at it, and trying, and thinking, and urging, and pleading, and cajoling, and whatever else you do, until we’re successful.

Because obviously, the players want to go.”

Kids Boyd Gordon Jersey Fasel told the Associated Press on Thursday that he he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in South Korea next year.

The bottom line, Fehr said, is the next two Olympics are a great opportunity for hockey.

We do want to grow the game internationally, and I think the NHL shares that view, Fehr said. I think they believe as we do that we have some advantages and we have an opportunity; and when you’re doing that, you have to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.

Having two Olympic Games in Asia within a span of five years is not your ordinary kettle of fish. I don’t know if it’s unique, but I can’t think of anything else which is close to it in terms of the potential exposure it would give.”

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