BOSTON - The National Hockey League announced today, November 8, that the Boston Bruins will open the 2020-21 regular season against the Nashville Predators at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic to headline the 2020 NHL Global Series.
The Bruins and Predators will complete their training camps in Europe and will each play in an exhibition match as part of the 2020 NHL Global Series Challenge. The Bruins will report to Mannheim, Germany and play an exhibition game against Adler Mannheim at SAP Arena, while the Predators will report to Bern, Switzerland, and play an exhibition game against SC Bern at PostFinance Arena.
"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," said Bruins President Cam Neely. "We are also looking forward to working with the NHL and the Nashville Predators to continue our collective efforts to grow the game of hockey in international markets."
Current players on the Bruins roster who grew up in the Czech Republic include forwards David Krejci and David Pastrnak . Krejci was born in Sternberk and played junior hockey for HC Kladno. He has represented his home country in international play on several occasions, including the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014, and was awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic in 2013. Pastrnak was born in Havirov and played junior hockey with AZ Havirov. He has represented the Czech Republic in international play on several occasions and has been awarded the Golden Hockey Stick as the top hockey player from the Czech Republic each of the last three years in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
"Opening the season in Prague and Northern Ireland back in 2010 was a very special experience to share with my family, friends and teammates," said Krejci. "It was the start of a year I'll always remember. Growing up in Czech, it was my dream to play in the NHL so to be able to play in more NHL games in Europe means a lot to me personally. I think it's great the League continues to grow the game and bring hockey to different countries all over the world."
"I was very excited to learn that the Boston Bruins would be heading back to my home country to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series in Prague," said Pastrnak. "I remember driving to O2 Arena as a kid to go see the Bruins play the Coyotes back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere games. The passionate fans and atmosphere were something I'll never forget - I can't wait to feel that energy again from the ice in Prague and Mannheim."
The Bruins previously played in Prague in the 2010 NHL Premiere Games, splitting a pair of games against the Coyotes - losing 5-2 on October 9 and winning 3-0 on October 10. They also played an exhibition game at the Odyssey in Belfast, Northern Ireland, defeating the Belfast Giants select team 5-1 on October 2.
Boston also opened its 2018-19 regular season outside the United States, as the team participated in the O.R.G. NHL China Games against the Calgary Flames. The Bruins defeated the Flames 4-3 in a shootout at Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen on September 15 and then won 3-1 at Cadillac Arena in Beijing on September 19.
The 2020 NHL Global Series will mark the fourth straight year and ninth 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. Game dates as well as broadcast and ticketing information to the 2020 NHL Global Series and 2020 NHL Global Series Challenge will be announced when available.