This week the NHL will continue to build its reach in Europe with their third annual European media tour. As a result, 23 players from teams across the league are dropping into the market to help further the cause.
On Thursday, August 15, the NHL and the NHLPA will hold events in Stockholm, Sweden at the headquarters of Viasat, which holds the NHL’s international media rights in Finland, Norway and Sweden.
According to Front Office Sport, taking part in the event will be some of the league’s biggest European-born stars, such as Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog, Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov and Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom.
“The fact that we’re back here for a third consecutive year says that this is something that we’re trying to build and leverage,” said Daly, who traveled to Stockholm for the event alongside several executives from the league and the player’s association, including NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr.
This season, the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers will open the season against each other in Prague, Czech Republic on October 4, with the teams holding training camps and exhibition games in Germany and Switzerland, respectively. The Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning will play a pair of games in Stockholm in November.
Daly said that tickets for those three games, as well as the exhibition games versus local teams, all “sold out instantly.” The teams and the NHL will also hold a variety of events for fans alongside the games, including hockey clinics and player appearances.
Last season, the NHL purposely tweaked the start times of nearly 50 of its Saturday and Sunday games. While that meant games would start in the afternoon in their respective cities, they would fall in prime time windows for 24 countries and territories across Europe, which allowed the league’s European broadcast partners to market a “European Game of the Week.”
Backstrom is also scheduled to participate in the annual Brynas IF Black-White game at Galverinken in his hometown of Gavle, Sweden. The game will feature female hockey players for the first time. (More here).