The Chicago Blackhawks are participating in the 2019 NHL Global Series Challenge against Eisbaren Berlin at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on Sunday (1:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, NBCSCH+, NHL.TV), then open their regular season against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Global Series at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic on Oct. 4 (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, NBCSP, NBCSPCH, NHL.TV).
Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan will detail his experiences on the trip in his own NHL.com blog. Here is de Haan's first entry:
I haven't really been around that much for the preseason because I've been hurt and haven't played in any games, and it's always tough being on the outside. So, was also nice to use the flight over to Germany to just chill and get to know some of the guys. I sat beside Ryan Carpenter and got to know him a little bit.
But whether you're sitting in a La-Z-Boy or a cattle car, it's a long flight. I think everyone's a little fatigued right now, especially during camp, and you try to stay up as late as you can after the flight, but easier said than done sometimes. But it was nice to get the legs moving a little bit this afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Arena, get some fresh blood going through the system.
Video: Blackhawks get set for Global Series Challenge
Coming overseas is a great experience. I played for Team Canada in the IIHF World Championship in 2017, when we went to Paris [France] and Cologne [Germany], and it was great. It's kind of cool that the NHL does these games, good for the exposure and stuff like that, and not necessarily in big hockey countries. It's just good to try and grow the game and I think it's a cool experience, you know? It'd be cool if more teams came over and you almost had a couple of games to start the season instead of just one. But we're fortunate we get to do this.
As far as getting to see things, it's work, you know? It's a business trip for sure. We don't get as much time off as people think. You've got to go to the rink, do practices every day and all that kind of stuff. But I'm going to do my best to try and see some sights. Obviously, there's a lot of history in this part of the world and seeing some of the memorials and museums will be pretty cool.
I'm feeling pretty good, slowly progressing. The shoulder I had surgery on in May feels good, but the groin injury has been a bit of a hinder. Other than that, it's just the typical bumps and bruises.
Like I said a few weeks ago, it's my goal to make it hard on the doctors and the training staff to keep me out of the lineup for the season opener against the Flyers. We're just going day by day right now. I know that's a cliché answer but it's always the right one. It's always the truth. We're progressing in the right direction.