United States assistant coach Chris Chelios has criticised the "politics" that prevented NHL players from representing their country at the Winter Olympics.
A pay dispute between the IOC and NHL over who would cover the cost of travel, accommodation and insurance meant the league would not release players for the Games in Pyeongchang, dealing a blow to the pool of athletes available for the United States in South Korea.
Chelios is one of the more recognised faces in the team's ice hockey contingent having featured at four Olympics, captaining the team on three occasions in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
The 56-year-old is disappointed that no agreement was made to allow NHL players to feature, but welcomed the opportunity for those that have travelled to South Korea.
Speaking to Omnisport, the 2002 silver medallist said: "We talk about growing the game and unfortunately it comes down to the politics, which I hate.
"Regular politics, and of course it's creeped into sports, and it came down to a negotiation between the owners and the players.
"On the other side I couldn't be happier for these guys, a year ago they had no idea they'd be in this position, they're going to appreciate it, I'm happy for them and their families."
Captain Brian Gionta earned the call after the Buffalo Sabres opted not to re-sign him during the 2017 offseason and, while sympathising with those in the NHL that cannot play, he is excited to lead his country.
"Yes for sure, I've been on both sides of it. For sure, as an NHL player you're disappointed because everyone wants to play at an Olympics and represent their country, much like these guys do too," he said.
"With one door that closes another one is opened, it's why I love where our team is at. It sends chills down your spine to represent your country and to lead them is pretty special."
Team USA start their quest for gold with a Group B encounter against Slovenia on Wednesday.
|Ovechkin joins rare NHL club with second straight hat-trick|
|Seattle lands NHL expansion team from 2021-22|
|Maple Leafs stayed optimistic about signing Nylander|
|Maple Leafs´ Matthews tallies goal, assist in first period after return from injury|
|Coyotes acquire Schmaltz from Blackhawks for Strome, Perlini|
|Oilers acquire defenseman Wideman from Senators|
|Edmonton Oilers name Hitchcock new head coach|
|Chicago Blackhawks fire Quenneville|
|Kings fire coach Stevens and assistant Nachbaur|
|Canadiens set NHL record in win over Capitals, score two goals in two seconds|
|Golden Knights sign RW Tuch to seven-year extension|
|Predators forward Watson´s suspension reduced to 18 games|
|2018-19 NHL preview: Three storylines to follow this season|
|Ducks veteran Perry out for five months with knee injury|
|Coyotes forward Galchenyuk expected to miss opener|
|Red Wings´ Green battling ´virus that attacked his liver´|
|Senators captain Karlsson dealt to Sharks|
|Predators forward Watson suspended for 27 games|
|Predators sign Ryan Ellis to eight-year, $50M contract|
|Ovechkin, Kim earn major honours at ESPY Awards|
|Former NHL goalie Ray Emery found dead|
|Kings, Doughty agree to eight-year extension|
|Avalanche sign Grubauer to three-year extension|
|Trotz named Islanders´ new coach|
|Trotz resigns as Capitals coach after Stanley Cup win|
|Canadiens acquire Domi from Coyotes for Galchenyuk|
|Capitals´ Orpik lost part of finger in Stanley Cup Final, kept playing|
|Capitals go crazy at Stanley Cup parade|
|Stanley Cup champion Ovechkin says ´Get some beers!´|
|Ovechkin wins Conn Smythe Trophy after Stanley Cup triumph|
|Washington Capitals claim first NHL Stanley Cup title|
|Ovechkin sets Capitals postseason record, matches Crosby total|
|Capitals thrash Golden Knights to move one win away from Stanley Cup title|
|Capitals take 2-1 lead over Knights in Stanley Cup Final|
|Capitals level Stanley Cup Final against Golden Knights|
|Golden Knights edge Capitals in game-one thriller|
|Stanley Cup Final 2018: Golden Knights-Capitals storylines to watch|
|Ovechkin leads Capitals into Stanley Cup Finals|
|Golden Knights GM on Stanley Cup Finals berth: I don´t know how we did it|
|Sweden win shoot-out to retain world title|
|Kuznetsov sets Capitals´ playoff points record|
|Sweden batter USA, Swiss roll on to gold medal match|
|Canada see off Russia as Sweden squeeze past plucky Latvia|
|Jagr to play 30th hockey season in Czech Republic|
|Finland thrash USA to top group, hosts Denmark crash out|
|McDavid OT winner sends Canada into quarters|
|Germany out despite Finland win|
|Sweden and Russia survive Group A scares|
|South Korea stun United States with early goal... end up losing 13-1|
|McDavid inspires Canada drubbing of Norway, Czechs beat Russia|
|Germany off the mark, Finland finally lose|
|Finland thrash Norway as Slovakia secure crucial win|
|Olympic champions Russia thrash Belarus|
|Golden Knights extend remarkable expansion season into conference finals|
|Champions Sweden stay perfect, Russia win big again|
|USA two from two, Finland start in style|
|Champions Sweden up and running, USA win shoot-out thriller|
|Penguins´ Guentzel joins exclusive clubs|
|Sabres get top pick for 2018 NHL Draft|
|NHL denies asking Brad Marchand to stop licking other players|
|Crosby logs 61st career multi-point playoff game|
|Flyers´ Couturier played with torn MCL|
|Golden Knights become first expansion team to sweep series|
|Flyers´ Couturier goes down at practice after ugly collision|
|Wild´s Parise week to week with fractured sternum|
|Flames clean house by firing coach Gulutzan, assistants|
|Capitals´ Burakovsky hurt, linesman suffers knee injury|
|Snowstorm hampering MLB, NHL plans in Minneapolis|
|Stars coach Ken Hitchcock retires after 22 NHL seasons|
|Golden Knights beat Kings for first postseason win in franchise history|