As the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning gear up for the first of two games in Sweden as part of the 2019 Global Series (airing live on NBCSN at 2 p.m. ET; click here to stream) Gary Bettman announced some exciting matchups – and locations – for the 2020 version.
- Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators open their 2020-21 seasons in Prague, Czech Republic: The two teams will face each other at O2 Arena.
- Later in the fall, the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets will play a pair of regular-season games at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.
That set of games represents the 2020 Global Series, but do not cover all of the overseas action, as the Bruins and Predators will also conclude their training camps internationally as part of the 2020 Global Series Challenge.
Bruins will complete training camp in Germany, and then face Adler Mannheim in an exhibition game in Mannheim, Germany. The Predators will wrap up their training camp in Switzerland, and participate in an exhibition match with SC Bern in Bern, Switzerland.
Pretty cool, and I’d wager that plenty of hockey fans are already cooking up travel plans to kick off 2020-21.
The NHL points out some of the players who will get a chance to play in front of fans in their native countries:
The NHL is a global League, with more than 30 percent of NHL players this season having been born outside of North America. All four clubs feature a number of international stars on their rosters, including natives of the countries they are visiting. Next fall, Switzerland natives Roman Josi and Yannick Weber of the Predators, along with Czech Republic natives David Krejci and David Pastrnak of the Bruins, will be playing in their respective home countries. In addition, Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi of the Avalanche, as well as Markus Nutivaara and Joonas Korpisalo of the Blue Jackets will all being playing in their home country of Finland, which is also where Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is from.
Again, if you want a taste of NHL play overseas, Sabres – Lightning airs on NBCSN and streams here starting at 2 p.m. ET on Friday.
• Lightning hope to use Global Series to turn things around.
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.