2022 NHL Global Series Challenge™ fixtures


NHL Global Series Challenge Germany 2022 Image: NHL

The National Hockey League’s (US) San Jose Sharks are headed to Germany for the 2022 NHL Global Series Challenge™. This international preseason matchup between the San Jose Sharks and the Deutsche Eishockey Liga team Eisbären Berlin takes place on October 4th, 2022 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany.

The ‘NHL’ stated that the NHL teams Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, and the Columbus Blue Jackets will play in the 2022 NHL Global Series.

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 32 teams – 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

The NHL Challenge series allows select NHL teams to travel outside North America to conduct training camp and participate in exhibition games. Although the games are played on the larger European ice surface, they are officiated by NHL referees and linesmen using NHL rules.

The Eisbären Berlin is a professional ice hockey team based in Berlin, Germany. The team competes in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the highest level of play in professional German ice hockey, and is also one of the league’s founding members.

The 17,000-capacity Mercedes-Benz Arena is a multipurpose indoor arena in the Friedrichshain neighborhood of Berlin, Germany, which opened in 2008.

The ‘NHL’ further stated that there will be two exhibition games and four regular-season games played in four Cities outside of North America next season, the first time the NHL has played international games since 2019.

The NHL played 32 preseason games and 28 regular-season games in Europe from 2007-2011 (NHL Premiere Series) and 2017-2019 (NHL Global Series).

The Predators and Sharks will open the 2022-2023 seasons with two games at the 18,000-capacity O2 Arena in Prague (Czech Republic) on October 7th and October 8th.

The O2 Arena has hosted five NHL regular-season games since 2008, most recently on October 4th, 2019, when the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3.

Exulted Sharks forward Tomas Hertl, a native of Prague, “I can’t wait for the experience. We will play in the building that I started to play pro hockey in. I used to go to watch hockey [there]. And now I’ll be [there] playing an NHL game.”

The Predators will play a preseason game against SC Bern of the Swiss National League (the top tier of the Swiss hockey league system) at the 17,031-capacity PostFinance-Arena in Bern, Switzerland, on October 3rd.

Put in Predators defenseman Roman Josi, “It’s cool, especially for me, obviously, growing up in Bern, playing my whole junior career there and played some pros there, too. My whole family is there, all of my best friends I grew up with are there. So, it’s going to be really exciting, really emotional for me for sure. But just excited to go, yeah, to show the guys Bern a little bit. And a lot of people haven’t seen me play in a long time. My two grandmas haven’t seen me play in a long time. So, it will be awesome.”

Nashville will be playing in Europe for the first time. Its lone international game was a 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 37,000-capacity Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on October 6th, 2000.

San Jose played two games against the Blue Jackets at the 16,000-capacity Ericsson Globe (now Avicii Arena) in Stockholm (Sweden) in the 2010 NHL Premiere Series.

The Sharks also played two games against the Calgary Flames (Canada) at the 13,291-capacity Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo (Japan) in 1998.

The Blue Jackets and Avalanche play in Tampere, Finland, for two games at the 13,455-capacity Nokia Arena on November 4th and November 5th.

Colorado previously played two games in the 2017 NHL Global Series against the Ottawa Senators (Canada) in Stockholm (Sweden) on November 10th and November 11th.

Reminisced Avalanche coach Jared Bednar, “We had a really great experience going to Sweden a couple of years ago. I think the League puts on an awesome event over there. We have a couple of Finnish guys in Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen and our goalie coach (Jussi Parkkila). … It’s a good trip, you get to see another part of the world so we’re looking forward to it.”

The games in Tampere will be the first two NHL regular-season games played in the City, which is the hometown of Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine and General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

Observed Laine, “What’s different here for North American guys, they get to play in their hometowns but for Europeans it’s pretty rare that we get that opportunity, so it’s pretty sweet.”

Tampere hosted NHL preseason games in 2009 and 2010.

Tappara Tampere (Finnish professional ice hockey) team defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on September 28th, 2009, and the Minnesota Wild won 5-1 against Ilves Tampere (Finnish professional ice hockey) team on October 4th, 2010.

Said Kekalainen, “I’m looking forward to showing what we can do on the ice but also looking forward to showing the players and the staff what it’s about in Tampere, and we’ll spend a few days in Helsinki (capital of Finland) as well, so it should be fun.”

The Eisbären Berlin was the home team in preseason games against the Tampa Bay Lightning on September 28th, 2008 (4-1 Lightning win) and against the Blackhawks on September 29th, 2019 (3-1 Blackhawks win).

Berlin also hosted a regular-season game between the Buffalo Sabres and Los Angeles Kings on October 8th, 2011 (4-2 Sabres win). It hosted three exhibition games between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins in 1959 (May 19th to May 21st).

Wrapped up Hertl, “For guys [who have] never played in Europe, it’s a great experience. I love playing in Europe. You score a goal, the whole arena will yell your name. It’s a pretty cool experience, especially when you’re starting pro hockey.”

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