BOSTON - Baseball seasons have found a worthwhile tradition by playing early games in Japan to continue the popularity of the sport in the Pacific. Likewise, the NFL is committed to engaging the United Kingdom with the sport of football by playing multiple games in London every year.
The NHL is no stranger to international play either and they have selected the Boston Bruins and the Nashville Predators to open the 2020-21 NHL season in Prague, as confirmed by 98.5 Sports Hub.
The Czech Republic’s O2 Arena has seen professional hockey games played here in the past and the 2020 season opener is expected to be the most high-profile one yet. Before traveling to Prague, the Bruins will spend their training camp sessions in Europe and will also play an exhibition game in Mannheim, Germany.
The Bruins are no strangers to playing overseas to open their seasons. Back in 2010, they played many pre-season games in Northern Ireland before kicking off the official 2010-11 campaign with a trip to Prague in the Czech Republic.
Just last year, the Bruins spent time in the pre-season by playing games in China. Now, 2020-21 will continue Boston’s tradition as an ambassador of the sport on an international level as hockey continues to grow on the global stage.
In addition to it being a cool and unique opportunity to open the season, the Bruins’ game in the Czech Republic will also serve as a festival for cultural heritage as David Krejci and David Pastrnak, two of the biggest stars of the Bruins, are from that nation. It will be quite a lovely homecoming for that duo. Pastrnak said that he went to see the Bruins play when Krejci and the team came to Prague back in 2010. It makes for a lovely full-circle moment.
In a statement, Bruins president Cam Neely said, “We have kicked off our season with international games twice in the past decade and both times the trips have proved valuable for our team building, so we feel that this trip to Germany and the Czech Republic will be beneficial for our team.”
He is definitely right about that because the last two times the Bruins opened the season overseas, they made the Stanley Cup Finals.
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