Before the last lockout (from 2007-08 to 2011-12), the NHL would kick off its seasons with a “Premiere” series of games in Europe. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun presents an interesting report that indicates the league and NHLPA present differing views on whether it’s wise to bring those games back in 2014-15.
LeBrun reports that league sources fear that they’d merely “shoehorn” the games it for the sake of playing them in Europe. Instead, they’d reportedly rather wait to do it “in a more meaningful fashion” and “make it part of a bigger plan.”
On the other hand, the players union wants to keep exploring options, arguing that it’s an “important tool” to generate exposure.
One can see the argument from both sides, so we’ll see how it goes. There can be special moments – especially when the league can line things up so a local hero plays in front of his hometown fans in his NHL uniform – but it’s also important to do it the right way.