From Yahoo! Sports
Gary Bettman was quoted as saying that the NHL may not send players to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Moscow, mostly because the length of travel from North America to Russia. The momentum of the season would be hurt as well as it would be a strain on the players participating to go over there and come back, ready to start up the remaining NHL schedule.
"Vancouver was an easy call because we're going to play the games in Canada. I think after Vancouver we'll have to take a deep breath, debrief and make sure we balance the pros and cons from going to the Olympics."
I would also tend to believe it also has something to do with the Russians still not apart of the IIHF transfers deal. Why send the best players in the world to help Russia's hockey tournament look good (and get worldwide press) when you could send junior players?
While I have enjoyed watching NHL'ers in the Olympics since 1998, I still would like to see it returned back to amateur/junior players, especially if they are going to keep the World Cup of Hockey around (which I'm wondering when it will return). After watching last year's World Junior Championship Final between the US and Canada, I think it would be even more exciting to see that game with an Olympic gold medal on the line. Having a two and a half week break in the middle of the NHL season does kill some momentum and hurts teams down the stretch by tiring players.