NHL Global Series to make a comeback

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NHL coming to Europe Image: NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL) (US) Global Series will return next season with preseason and regular-season games in four countries in Europe.

The ‘NHL’ stated that the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement during his Press conference at the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend held on February 5th at the 18,000-capacity T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada (US).

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’ further stated that Commissioner Bettman said the NHL will hold preseason games in Switzerland and Germany, and regular-season games in Finland and the Czech Republic.

The teams, dates and Cities for the games have not been announced.

Said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, “Internationally for us is a no-brainer. We had established momentum in terms of having a greater and more regular presence of games in Europe. With the pandemic waning and hopefully a return to normalcy, it only makes sense to restart those efforts and to further them.”

The NHL has not played a game outside of North America since November 9th, 2019, when the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 at the 16,000-capacity Ericsson Globe in Stockholm (Sweden) as part of the 2019 NHL Global Series.

The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators were scheduled to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series, with preseason games in Mannheim, Germany and Bern, Switzerland, and regular-season games in Prague, Czech Republic, but it was canceled because the start to the 2020-2021 seasons was delayed, a result of the coronavirus pandemic – which still continues to claw the world – that forced the pause to the 2019-2020 seasons.

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

Regular-season games were played in Stockholm (12), Helsinki (Finland) (seven), Prague (Czechia) (four), London (UK) (two), Berlin (Germany) (one), and Gothenburg, Sweden (one).

There also were six regular-season games played in Japan, four in Tokyo and two in Saitama (Japan), from 1997-2000.

Twenty-five of the 32 NHL teams have played a regular-season game outside North America since 1997, led by the Anaheim Ducks (six). The Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, and Pittsburgh Penguins have played four each.

The New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights, and Seattle Kraken have not played an international game since 1997.

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