The NHL’s Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly met with the media in Prague on Friday, just before the Philadelphia Flyers played the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 NHL Global Series at O2 Arena. Daly spoke about several international hockey issues, including the World Cup of Hockey, the future of the Global Series and the NHL’s participation in upcoming Olympic tournaments.
When the discussion turned to the future of the Global Series, Daly was asked about the potential for games in Russia. Daly did not offer details on what countries are under consideration to serve as hosts in 2020, but admitted Russia could be considered.
“I think it’s been speculated that, and would be rightly speculated, that we would be willing to explore putting a game in Russia, with some of our Russian stars,” Deputy Commissioner Daly said. “There’s a long way between here and there. So I’m not announcing Russian games, but certainly that’s a market that we think would be interesting if we had the support of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and the [Kontinental Hockey League] in doing it. That’s something we’d consider.”
Russia is not the only new market being considered, he said.
“We talked about Bratislava and Slovakia as being one potential, whether regular-season games in Switzerland make sense, whether Austria might present an opportunity,” Deputy Commissioner Daly said. “Those are all things that we examine regularly.”
We may be biased, but Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals would seem like an obvious participant in any future games in Russia. Tampa Bay with Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy would also make sense.
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