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French hockey official Luc Tardif elected IIHF president

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — French official Luc Tardif was elected president of the International Ice Hockey Federation on Saturday ahead of the return of NHL players to the Olympics in February.

Tardif, who was born and raised in Canada, beat German candidate Franz Reindl by 67 votes to 39 in the fourth round of the election. Tardif has been president of the French hockey federation since 2006.

“I have only my determination, my crazy passion for this sport, my sense of teamwork, my respect for the people and my honesty to offer,” Tardif said. “Believe me, I will do everything to be at the level of your expectation.”

The new president’s first priority is overseeing the hockey tournaments for next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. It will be the first Olympics with NHL players since 2014 after the league did not release players for the last edition of the Winter Games in South Korea in 2018.

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Tardif replaces Rene Fasel, who did not run for re-election after 27 years in office. Fasel, of Switzerland, is a dentist and former amateur player and referee who worked to bring NHL players to the Olympics for the first time in Nagano, Japan, in 1998.

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