NHL International

NHL International, a division of NHL Enterprises, is responsible for the development of international competition, corporate sponsorship, marketing, broadcasting, new media, licensing and other NHL business activities conducted outside North America. Some of the international business activities managed by NHL International include:

The NHL Challenge Series
The NHL Challenge allows select NHL teams to travel outside of North America to conduct training camp and participate in exhibition games. While the NHL Challenge Series was first established in 1993, most recently the NHL Challenge Series in 2000 saw the Vancouver Canucks venture to Stockholm, Sweden for training camp and games against teams from the Swedish national league. In 2001 the then Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche held their training camp in Stockholm for that year's Challenge series. The NHL Challenge will resume in 2003. In addition to training camp and international exhibition games, the NHL also stages interactive hockey displays and fan festivals in conjunction with the Challenge.

Olympic Games
NHL players have represented their national teams at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Olympic Winter Games. The Czech Republic took home the 1998 gold in Nagano, Japan. Canada capped off the 2002 tournament in Salt Lake City with a gold-medal victory over the United States in the single most watched television program in Canadian broadcast history. Sweden won the 2006 gold in Torino, Italy, and NHL players will again take part in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

World Cup of Hockey
The NHL, in conjunction with the NHLPA, staged the second World Cup of Hockey in 2004, with Canada emerging victorious. Originally held in 1996, the second World Cup of Hockey featured eight world hockey powers competing in a two week round-robin tournament with games taking place in both European and North American venues.


Quick Facts about the NHL's international profile:
  • More than 33 percent of NHL players hail from outside North America from 14 nations
  • Last season there were 71 NHL players from the Czech Republic, 64 players from Russia, 50 from Sweden, 38 from Finland, 25 from Slovakia, six from Germany, five from Latvia, four from Ukraine, three from the United Kingdom, two from Poland, two from Lithuania, and one each from Belarus, Norway, and Switzerland.
  • NHL television programming, including NHL regular season games, the NHL All Star Game, the Stanley Cup Finals and NHL Power Week, is available in more than 160 countries around the world
  • More than $1 billion dollars are generated from NHL licensed products sales worldwide
  • The NHL has more than 50 international licensees and corporate marketing partners
  • The first regular-season games played outside of North America (Vancouver vs. Anaheim) was during Game ONe in Japan marking the start of the 1997-98 season. Subsequent series included games in 1998 between Calgary and San Jose, as well as in 2000 with Pittsburgh facing off against Nashville.

For more information, or if you have questions about NHL International or broadcasting outside of North America, please contact us here.





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