NHL’s Flyers to meet Blackhawks in Prague

The National Hockey League is returning to O2 Arena in October

The NHL will start its season in Prague on Oct. 4, with the Philadelphia Flyers playing against the Chicago Blackhawks at Prague’s O2 Arena. Tickets go on sale March 27 at 9 am on the Ticketportal network, with VIP packages also available.

Dominik Kahun, a German national born in the Czech Republic, will join Blackhawks in the autumn. David Kampf of the Blackhawks together with Jakub Voráček and Radek Gudas from Flyers will play in front of a Czech audience in their homeland.

News that NHL would be coming back to Prague broke in February, though the teams were not announced.

“The 2019 NHL Global Series will mark the third straight year and eighth season overall that the NHL has traveled to Europe to play regular-season games. These games reward the legions of loyal and passionate fans in Europe that enjoy live NHL games available via international broadcast partners and the NHL's streaming service, NHL.TV,” the NHL said in a press release.

“The three games next fall will be the 26th, 27th and 28th NHL regular-season games played in Europe. The Oct. 4 game between Chicago and Philadelphia will mark the fifth NHL regular-season game played in the Czech Republic, all of which have been played at O2 Arena in Prague. The two games between Buffalo and Tampa Bay will mark the 12th and 13th NHL regular-season games played in Sweden, and the 11th and 12th games played at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm,” The NHL added.

Before the Blackhawks and Flyers play their season openers, they will play exhibition matches in Berlin and Lausanne at the end of September against European teams.

Semi-regular excursions to Europe started in NHL in 2007 in London, although the first European games were way back in 1938.

Games in Prague date to right after the Velvet Revolution. The Calgary Flames played the Czechoslovak national team in 1989, winning one game and losing the other.

In 2008 the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lighting met twice, with the Rangers winning both times.

The European tour skipped Prague in 2009 but returned in 2010 with the Boston Bruins meeting the Phoenix Coyotes, each winning one game. In 2011, the New York Rangers beat Czech team HC Sparta Praha in an exhibition match.

The NHL has said in the past that it is seeking to expand the brand recognition of the NHL by taking the league beyond the US and Canada more often.

O2 Arena is one of the most modern multi-purpose halls in Europe with up to 18,000 seats. It was built for the Ice Hockey World Championships and was to host the 2003 games, but that had to be postponed to 2004 due to construction delays. It was originally called Sazka Arena. From its opening until 2015, it was home to HC Slavia Praha of the Czech Extraliga.

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