Three and a half years of uncertainty came to an end today as the NHL announced it will allow players to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The Olympics begin Feb. 7. The men's hockey tournament will not begin until Feb. 12. The NHL will go on break from Feb. 9 until Feb. 26 to accommodate the games. The men's schedule can be viewed here. The women's schedule can be viewed here.
The groups for the men are:
Group A - Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, United States
Group B - Austria, Canada, Finland, Norway
Group C - Czech Republic, Latvia, Switzerland, Sweden
Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma will coach the United States. A number of Penguins players could be selected for their countries including:
Canada - Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, James Neal
Finland - Jussi Jokinen
Russia - Evgeni Malkin
United States - Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Rob Scuderi
With today's Olympic announcement, the NHL is expected to announce it's 2013-14 schedule as well as names for its new division as a result of realignment.
(Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)