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According to Igor Eronko of Sports Express, the Washington Capitals are trying to get an NHL Global Series game appearance in Russia at some point in the 2020-21 season but have a week to settle it. Eronko added that the St. Louis Blues have been hinted at as a possible opponent.
The NHL announced earlier this month that the Nashville Predators and Boston Bruins will play a set of games in Prague, Czech Republic next season, while the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche will do the same in Helsinki, Finland. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that additions could still be made to the 2020-21 international schedule.
Told that #ALLCAPS have around a week to settle a regular season game in Russia for next year. Bill Daly confirmed that the nex season’s international games calendar the NHL announced still can have some additions
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) November 25, 2019
The Washington Post reported earlier on Monday that the Capitals were looking at getting a game in either Russia, home of captain Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov, and goaltender Ilya Samsonov, or Sweden, home of center Nicklas Backstrom and forward Carl Hagelin.
On the Blues’ side, forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Ivan Barbashev hail from Russia. If the game is held there, other possible opponents include the Tampa Bay Lightning, who boast Russian superstars in forward Nikita Kucherov and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Florida Panthers, who have forward Evgenii Dadonov and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, or the Pittsburgh Penguins, who feature center Evgeni Malkin. Though, the Panthers and Lightning have both been included in international games in each of the past two seasons. Both the Blues and Penguins have yet to play an NHL Global Series game.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that there was “great interest” in playing in Russia at the Global Series in Sweden earlier this month.
“We’ve talked about different things overseas and we’ve talked about some in Russia or some in Sweden,” team president Dick Patrick told the Post. “We’re not sure; it’s a league decision. They’ve talked about China, too, which would be like an exhibition game. I personally wasn’t too intrigued by that. I think it is just too hard on players during training camp.”
By Harrison Brown