BOSTON - The National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and Bloomage International jointly announced today that the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames will travel to China in September as part of the 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games™.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Flames will play host to the Bruins at Shenzhen Universiade Center in Shenzhen, and on Wednesday, Sept. 19, the Bruins will play host to the Flames at Cadillac Arena in Beijing.
"The Boston Bruins are excited to be part of the 2018 NHL International Games in China," said Bruins President Cam Neely. "Over the past three years we have collaborated with Mr. Zhou Yunjie, the Chairman of ORG Packaging, on growing the game both within the Chinese community in Boston and with youth hockey players in China. We look forward to continuing these efforts by bringing Bruins hockey to China with these two preseason games."
The Boston Bruins organization has been heavily involved in growing the game of hockey in China for the past two years after partnering with O.R.G. Packaging in 2015, becoming the first NHL team and first North American professional sports organization to partner with O.R.G. Packaging which is based in Beijing, China.
In early 2016, the Bruins hosted O.R.G. Packaging Night at TD Garden where the Bruins hosted nearly 30 Chinese Youth Hockey Players from the Beijing Hockey Association. Those players participated in numerous activities during O.R.G. Packaging Night including Future Bruins, Three Minutes of Fame and the pregame high-five line where they had the opportunity to fist bump the B's players before they took the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Later in July of 2016, the Bruins organization embarked on its first-ever official visit to China, where over 200 Chinese children attended the various clinics hosted by the Bruins and players Matt Beleskey and David Pastrnak as well as Bruins alumni Andrew Raycroft and Bob Sweeney. In addition to hosting the youth hockey clinics, the Bruins players were able to explore Beijing and Shanghai, where they experienced the local Chinese culture. Beleskey and Pastrnak were each treated to custom made Chinese suits which they wore during the trip, that Pastrnak and Beleskey later wore to the Bruins first-ever Chinese Cultural Night hosted at TD Garden in Boston on February 12, 2017. Chinese Cultural Night coincided with a new group of Chinese youth players who visited Boston and included a ceremonial puck drop by O.R.G. Packaging Chairman Mr. Zhou Yunjie and the Chinese youth players. Other highlights of Chinese Cultural Night included sampling of Want Want Milk, a Chinese drink, and Chinese "Go Bruins" signs that were given to fans throughout the game. While Mr. Zhou Yunjie was in town for Chinese cultural night, he and Pastrnak engaged the local Boston Chinese community and visited the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, where the pair helped children with arts and crafts, and gave out gift bags and tickets and to Bruins' Chinese Cultural Night game against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins embarked on their second official visit to China in July 2017, with current Bruins players Torey Krug , David Pastrnak, and Tuukka Rask along with Bruins Alumni Hal Gill and members of the Boston Bruins Corporate Partnership and Youth Hockey Development Teams in participation. The trip's festivities kicked-off with the grand opening of a brand new state-of-the-art hockey rink built by Mr. Zhou of O.R.G. Packaging where hundreds of fans and youth hockey players attended. Over the course of the trip, Krug, Pastrnak, Rask, and Gill assisted with on ice and off ice sessions of youth hockey clinics held by the Bruins organization. They also had a once in a lifetime experience of climbing the Great Wall of China and partook in sightseeing in Beijing and Shanghai.
Since the partnership with O.R.G was consummated, the Bruins have hosted over 100 Chinese youth hockey players from 2015 to 2017. Throughout their visits, the Chinese youth hockey players participated in clinics led by the Bruins Youth Hockey Development Team, played games against local New England youth hockey teams, explored the city of Boston and watched Bruins hockey games at TD Garden. The Bruins will continue to host a different group of Chinese youth hockey players in Boston each year, as part of their five-year partnership with O.R.G. Packaging. Since the partnership began in 2015, over 450 Chinese youth hockey players have participated in the various clinics held by the Bruins.