The NHL is currently expanding it’s market by playing pre-season games in other countries around the world in the next few years. This year is the first year the NHL will play a game in China. On September 21st and September 23rd the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings will play games in Beijing and Shanghai.
Not only is the NHL playing pre-season games in China but they are also looking to establish hockey development camps there so that younger generations in China can learn to play the sport and enjoy hockey. China is attempting to become more involved in winter sports and they reached an agreement to have the NHL assist them in developing hockey player, facilities and training coaches to assist in the process.
This is one of the NHL’s first attempts at growing the game globally and in addition to playing games in China this season the NHL will hold the Global Series which sends the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche over to Sweden to play two games against each other. The NHL will look to continue overseas play in future years.
This is a sound strategy by the NHL who has had a hard time getting a North American audience involved (U.S.) by showcasing themselves to other countries they can grow their value by having worldwide customers watch games and purchase merchandise or even just grow love for the game of hockey.
The NHL’s involvement in China isn’t going to be a one year stint as they are planning to have a long lasting relationship and even help China develop their own league for future hockey stars. However you may feel about Bettman it is always good to be growing the game of hockey and improving the future of the sport.
Written By Tyler Smith (@TyerSmith4386)