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Global Series

NHL overseas history

Looking back at League's games abroad

NHL.com @NHL

The NHL has pioneered playing games around the globe, with 30 teams traveling to 15 countries across Europe and Asia since the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings first went to Europe for a postseason exhibition tour in 1938.

The League continues to bring the greatest hockey players to the world through its various international events. Here's a look at the past games played abroad:

 
2018 NHL Global Series
Monday, October 1

New Jersey Devils vs. SC Bern -- PostFinance Arena, Bern, Switzerland

Devils forward Taylor Hall scored with 1:03 left in overtime in a 3-2 win against SC Bern.

Defensemen Andy Greene and Ben Lovejoy also scored for the Devils. Simon Moser and Mark Arcobello scored for Bern.

Forward Nico Hischier, the first Switzerland-born player chosen with the first pick of an NHL draft when New Jersey selected him No. 1 in 2017, was given a standing ovation during the lineup announcements. Hischier played for Bern for three seasons, including 20 games with the team in National League, Switzerland's top professional league, in 2015-16.

 

Wednesday, October 3

Edmonton Oilers vs. Kolner Haie - - Lanxess Arene, Cologne, Germany

Ryan Strome scored at 2:07 of overtime to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win against Kolner Haie.

Ty Rattie, Milan Lucic and Tobias Rieder scored for the Oilers. Rieder, born in Landshut, Germany, opened the scoring at 11:05 of the first. Rieder forced a turnover, skated up the slot and received a pass from Cologne native Leon Draisaitl that he backhanded past goalie Gustaf Wesslau. 

Draisaitl's father Peter is the coach for Kolner Haie.

 

Saturday, October 6

Edmonton Oilers vs. New Jersey Devils -- Scandanavium, Gothenburg, Sweden

Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac each scored two goals for the Devils in a 5-2 win against the Oilers.

Stefan Noesen scored, Miles Wood had two assists and Keith Kinkaid made 17 saves for New Jersey. 

Lucic and Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist, Connor McDavid had two assists and Cam Talbot made 22 saves for Edmonton.

 

Thursday, November 1

Winnipeg Jets vs. Florida Panters -- Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland

Patrik Laine had a hat trick to lead the Jets to a 4-2 win against the Panthers.

Mathieu Perreault scored for Winnipeg, and Mark Scheifele had three assists. Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves.

Keith Yandle and Evgenii Dadonov scored for the Panthers, and James Reimer made 32 saves.

 

Friday, November 2

Florida Panthers vs. Winnipeg Jets -- Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland

Roberto Luongo made 32 saves to lead the Panthers to a 4-2 win against the Jets.

Keith Yandle and Evgenii Dadonov each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who scored three power-play goals.

Patrik Laine scored his fourth goal in two games in Finland, Nikolaj Ehlers scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves.

 

2018 NHL O.R.G. CHINA GAMES
Saturday, September 15

Boston Bruins vs. Calgary Flames -- Universiade Sports Center, Shenzhen, China

Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk scored the game-deciding goal in the fourth round of the shootout in a 4-3 win against the Flames.

Forward Brad Marchand also scored in the shootout for the Bruins. Forward Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Flames in the shootout.

Forwards Trent Frederic and Ryan Donato and defenseman John Moore gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead in a 1:55 span midway through the first period.

Defenseman Mark Giordano scored two goals for the Flames, and forward Sean Monahan also scored.

 

Wednesday, September 19

Boston Bruins vs. Calgary Flames -- Cadillac Arena, Beijing, China

DeBrusk scored two goals in the Bruins' 3-1 win against the Flames.

The goals came despite DeBrusk missing time during the second and third periods because of a stomach illness.

Goalie Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the Bruins, and defenseman Kevan Miller scored an empty-net goal.

Monahan scored for the Flames, and goalie Mike Smith made 17 saves.

 

2017 SAP NHL GLOBAL SERIES
Friday, November 10

Ottawa Senators vs. Colorado Avalanche -- Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden

Senators forward Mark Stone scored twice including 59 seconds into overtime in a 4-3 win against the Avalanche.

Sweden natives Erik Karlsson (two assists), Johnny Oduya (one assist) and Fredrik Claesson (one goal) each had points for Ottawa.

Colorado captain and Stockholm native Gabriel Landeskog had an assist.

 

Saturday, November 11

Colorado Avalanche vs. Ottawa Senators -- Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden

The Senators completed the two-game sweep with a 4-3 win, getting two goals from Mike Hoffman. Oduya and Stone also scored for Ottawa.

Blake Comeau, Alexander Kerfoot and Sven Andrighetto scored for the Avalanche, who were outshot 40-18.

 

2017 NHL CHINA GAMES, PRESENTED BY O.R.G. PACKAGING
Thursday, Sept. 21

Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings -- Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai, China

Tanner Pearson scored two goals and Jonathan Quick made 31 saves, helping the Kings win the first NHL game played in China. They defeated the Canucks 5-2 in front of 10,088 fans.

Video: Canucks and Kings travel from Shanghai to Beijing

 

Saturday, Sept. 23

Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings -- Wukesong Arena, Beijing, China

Jonny Brodzinski scored the only goal of the shootout, helping the Kings to a 4-3 win against the Canucks and a sweep of the two-game series in China.

 

2011 COMPUWARE NHL PREMIERE GAMES
Friday, Oct. 7

Anaheim Ducks vs. Buffalo Sabres -- Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland

Thomas Vanek scored two power-play goals and had an assist on Jason Pominville's second-period goal in the Sabres' 4-1 victory against the Ducks.

Pominville and Luke Adam each had two assists, and Ville Leino scored for Buffalo. Sabres goalie Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots.

Defenseman Nate Guenin scored and Jonas Hiller made 21 saves for Anaheim.

New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings -- Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden

Anze Kopitar had a goal and assisted on Jack Johnson's power-play goal at 4:08 of overtime that gave the Kings a 3-2 win against the Rangers. Mike Richards tied the game at 15:01 of the third period and had the primary assist on Johnson's game-winner. Quick made 24 saves for Los Angeles.

Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves.

 

Saturday, Oct. 8

Anaheim Ducks vs. New York Rangers -- Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden

Bobby Ryan scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round to give Anaheim a 2-1 win against the Rangers.

Forward Andrew Cogliano scored at 9:26 of the first period to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead. Rangers center Brad Richards tied the score at 17:45 of the third period.

Lundqvist made 27 saves for the Rangers. Hiller made 14 saves and four more in the shootout for Anaheim.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Los Angeles Kings -- O2 World Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Adam scored twice during a three-goal first period in the Sabres' 4-2 victory against the Kings. Forwards Drew Stafford and Paul Gaustad also scored, and Nathan Gerbeand Vanek each had two assists for Buffalo. Miller made 31 saves.

Kopitar scored two goals and Jonathan Bernier made 22 saves for Los Angeles.

 

[RELATED: Complete Global Series coverage]

 

2011 COMPUWARE NHL PREMIERE CHALLENGE GAMES
Thursday, Sept. 29

New York Rangers vs. Sparta Prague -- Tesla Arena, Prague, Czech Republic

Artem Anisimov and Ruslan Fedotenko scored second-period goals, helping the Rangers defeat Sparta Prague 2-0.

 

Friday, Sept. 30

New York Rangers vs. Frolunda HC -- Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto had a goal and an assist, and Mats Zuccarello had two assists in the Rangers' 4-2 win against Frolunda HC.

Del Zotto broke a 1-1 tie with a goal at 5:24 of the second period, the first of two second-period goals for the Rangers.

 

Sunday, Oct. 2

New York Rangers vs. Slovan Bratislava -- Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia

Zuccarello scored the first of four straight goals for the Rangers, who defeated Slovan Bratislava 4-1.

Brian Boyle, Anisimov and Ryan McDonagh each scored for the Rangers.

 

Monday, Oct. 3

New York Rangers vs. EV Zug -- Bossard Arena, Zug, Switzerland

Mike Rupp, Callahan, Anisimov and Fedotenko each scored goals, but it wasn't enough for the Rangers in an 8-4 loss to EV Zug.

 

Tuesday, Oct. 4

Anaheim Ducks vs. Jokerit -- Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland

Corey Perry had two goals and Ryan Getzlaf scored 1:13 into overtime to lift the Ducks to a 4-3 victory against Jokerit.

Defenseman Cam Fowler also scored for Anaheim.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Hamburg Freezers - O2 World Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Kopitar scored twice and had two assists, and Justin Williams had a goal and an assist in the Kings' 5-4 victory against Hamburg.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Adler Mannheim -- SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany

Tyler Ennis scored twice and had an assist, and Vanek had a goal and an assist in the Sabres' 8-3 victory against Adler Mannheim.

 

2010 COMPUWARE NHL PREMIERE GAMES
Thursday, Oct. 7

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Minnesota Wild - Hartwall Areena, Helsinki, Finland

Brandon Sutter scored twice as the Carolina Hurricanes held on to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in the opening game of the NHL season. Brent Burns scored for Minnesota with 3:21 left, but Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward made a late save to preserve the win.

 

Friday, Oct. 8

Minnesota Wild vs. Carolina Hurricanes - Hartwall Areena, Helsinki, Finland

Hurricanes rookie forward Jeff Skinner scored the only goal of the shootout and Ward was strong in goal in the Hurricanes' 2-1shootout win. Skinner also set up Carolina's first goal, by Tuomo Ruutu, which tied the game two minutes into the second period. The Wild opened the scoring 17 minutes into the first period on Andrew Brunette's goal. Ward made 41 saves for Carolina, stopping Mikko Koivu, Burns and Antti Miettinen in the shootout to preserve the victory.

San Jose Sharks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - Ericsson Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden

Logan Couture scored on a power play midway through the third period to help the San Jose Sharks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2.

 

Saturday, Oct. 9

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks - Ericsson Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden

Ethan Moreau's goal at 1:56 of overtime lifted Columbus over San Jose, 3-2. Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius scored for the Blue Jackets. Devin Setoguchi and Joe Thornton netted goals for the Sharks. Steve Mason stopped 33-of-35 shots for the win.

Phoenix Coyotes vs. Boston Bruins - O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic

Czech-born Radim Vrbata scored twice and added an assist to lead the Coyotes past the Bruins 5-2. Nathan Horton scored twice for Boston in the third period. Vrbata pleased the home crowd of about 16,000 in O2 Arena 7:59 into the game, scoring from a rebound off Adrian Aucoin's slap shot. Vrbata hit the puck when it was in the air.

 

Sunday, Oct. 10

Boston Bruins vs. Phoenix Coyotes - O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic

Goalie Tim Thomas led the Bruins to a convincing 3-0 win, evening the two-game series at a win a piece. Lucic, Horton and rookie Tyler Seguin each scored for the Bruins.

 

October, 2010

Boston Bruins, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild

Destinations: Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Russia, Ireland, Germany, Latvia

An unprecedented six NHL teams opened the 2010-11 regular season by playing six games in Europe as part of 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere and NHL Face-Off. It was the fourth straight year the NHL began the regular-season with games contested overseas. NHL teams participated in an additional seven exhibition games before the start of the NHL regular season.

 

2010 COMPUWARE NHL PREMIERE CHALLENGE GAMES
Saturday, Oct. 2

Boston Bruins vs. Belfast Giants Select - Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Bruis topped the Giants 5-1. After Belfast Giants Select took a 1-0 lead, the Bruins scored three goals in a 45-second span at the end of the second period. Two more goals, including one on a penalty shot, came in the final 20 minutes.

 

Saturday, Oct. 2

San Jose Sharks vs. Adler Mannheim Eagles - SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany

Goals by Ryane Clowe and Dan Boyle in the third and fourth rounds of the shootout gave the Sharks a 3-2 win in front of 13,600 fans at SAP Arena.

 

Monday, Oct. 4

Carolina Hurricanes vs. SKA St. Petersburg - Ledovy Arena, St. Petersburg, Russia

Carolina fell to the KHL club 5-3 in a rough game. Eric Staal was kept off the ice for the second half of the game after coach Paul Maurice was concerned for his safety on the ice due to the play of SKA. The Hurricanes were whistled for 12 penalties, including three majors and a game misconduct.

 

Monday, Oct. 4

Minnesota Wild vs. Ilves Tampere - Tampereen Jaahalli Arena, Tampere, Finland

The Wild secured a 5-1 victory led by Koivu, Miettinen and goalie Niklas Backstrom, the Wild's three Finland-born stars. Backstrom told NHL.com, "It's different because a lot of people here are going to see you, but they've seen you play here for a lot of years. It's part of the game and your job to have the pressure, but I don't feel it."

 

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Boston Bruins vs. HC Bili Tygri Liberec - Tipsport Arena, Liberec, Czech Republic

Horton scored late in the first period to open the scoring and Patrice Bergeron scored on a breakaway goal early in the second to send Boston to a 7-1 victory. Bergeron had two goals and three assists.

 

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Redhawks - Malmo Arena, Malmo, Sweden

Antoine Vermette scored two goals and Derick Brassard had two assists as the Blue Jackets won 4-1 against Malmo Redhawks. Malmo was a unified team comprised of two Swedish hockey teams, Malmo and Rogle BK from Angelholm. Each team supplied 10 skaters and one goaltender.

 

Wednesday, Oct. 6

Phoenix Coyotes vs. Dinamo Riga - Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia

The Coyotes won 3-1 against KHL team Dinamo Riga, which was filled with 10,520 fans.

 

September and October, 2009

Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues

Destinations: Switzerland, Sweden and Finland

The 2009-10 season was the third consecutive the NHL hosted regular-season games overseas as four NHL teams traveled to Europe in the fall of 2009 to play six exhibition games and four regular-season NHL games in three European countries during the course of six days.

In the 2009 Compuware NHL Premiere series, the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers played home-and-home games Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3, in Helsinki, Finland, at Hartwall Areena. On those same dates, the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues played a home-and-home series at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

Of note, Finland and Sweden during the 2008-09 season were among the top-ranked countries in terms of overseas visitors to NHL.com. The roster of the Detroit Red Wings was comprised of numerous Swedish players, including captain Nicklas Lidstrom, 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall.

Despite the large Stockholm crowds cheering on the Red Wings and their bevy of Swedish-born players, the Blues left Europe with four points in the standings. On Oct. 2, Paul Kariya scored two goals as the St. Louis rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Red Wings 4-3 in their opening game of the NHL regular season.The next day they erased another two-goal deficit and beat the Red Wings 5-3 to go home with two victories.

The Blackhawks played in Europe for the first time in 17 years. The games were the first ever played in Europe by the Florida Panthers organization and the first regular-season NHL games ever played in Finland.

In the opener in Helsinki, Panthers defenseman Ville Koistinen, the only Finland-born player on the Panthers roster, scored the winning goal in the shootout, lifting the Panthers to a 4-3 victory. Koistinen also scored in regulation.

The next day, the Blackhawks used three power-play goals to beat the Panthers 4-0. Pleasing the crowd of 12,000, Chicago played Finland-born goalie Antti Niemi, who made 23 saves, in place of Cristobal Huet.

NHL teams went 4-2 during the exhibition games. On Sept. 28, in Tampere, Finland, Finnish club Tappara Tampere defeated the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout. Ville Nieminen, who won a Stanley Cup with Colorado, was the only player to score in the shootout. Meanwhile that day in Zurich, Switzerland, the Blackhawks beat Swiss team HC Davos 9-2.

The next day, the Blues skated to a 6-0 victory in Linkoping, Sweden, against the home club, Linköpings HC. In Zurich, ZSC Lions defeated the Blackhawks 2-1 in Victoria Cup competition.

Wrapping up the exhibition season, the Panthers defeated Finnish club Jokerit 4-2 in a game played in Helsinki, and the Red Wings traveled to Karlstad, Sweden, and defeat Färjestads BK 6-2.

 

September/October, 2008

Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning

Destinations: Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden

Four NHL teams traveled to Europe in the fall of 2008 to play six preseason games and four regular-season NHL games in six European countries during the course of eight days.

Bridgestone NHL Premiere 2008 featured the New York Rangers taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning in two games in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators opening their seasons with two games against each other in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Bridgestone NHL Premiere 2008 games in Prague provided a springboard to the Rangers' season. On Oct. 4, Brandon Dubinsky's third-period power-play goal was the winner in a 2-1 Rangers victory. The next day Scott Gomez scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Lundqvist made 18 saves for a 2-1 Rangers win.

In Sweden, the Penguins won their opener against the Senators when Tyler Kennedy scored his second goal at 4:35 of overtime for a 4-3 win. The next day, Senators forward Dany Heatley scored two goals and Alex Auld made 30 saves in a 3-1 Ottawa victory.

To prepare for their season openers, all four NHL teams played exhibition games in Europe.

One night after winning 8-1 against host SC Bern, the Rangers represented the NHL in the inaugural Victoria Cup game in Bern, Switzerland. Rallying from three goals down in the third period against European champion Mettalurg Magnitogorsk, the Rangers pulled out a 4-3 victory on Callahan's breakaway goal with 20 seconds left in regulation.

Tampa Bay visited three countries in a span of 10 hours to play its two exhibition games. Based in Prague, the Lightning flew to Berlin, Germany, to play Berlin Eisbaren. Immediately following its 4-1 victory, the Lightning boarded a flight to Bratislava, Slovakia, where it would defeat HC Slovan 3-2 in a shootout two nights later.

The Senators and Penguins made it a clean sweep for the NHL teams in European exhibition games when Ottawa defeated captain Daniel Alfredsson's former team, Forlunda, 4-1 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Pittsburgh won 4-1 against Finnish team Jokerit in Helsinki.

 

September, 2007

Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings

Destination: London, England

The Stanley Cup,  the most-cherished trophy in sports, returned to its ancestral homeland in the arms of the champion Anaheim Ducks for the two-game NHL Premiere 2007 series against the Los Angeles Kings in London.

History was made in front of two sellout crowds at the O2 Arena, as NHL regular-season games were played in Europe for the first time. In the first game, Sept. 29, Kings forward Michael Cammalleri scored twice and Bernier made 26 saves in a 4-1 win. The next day, Perry had two goals and an assist as Anaheim split the series with a 4-1 victory.

 

September, 2003

Toronto Maple Leafs

Destinations: Sweden, Finland

The Toronto Maple Leafs traveled to Sweden and Finland for a three-game tour as part of the NHL Challenge Series. Sweden native Mats Sundin lead the Maple Leafs against Swedish powers Djurgarden and Farjestad, and Finnish club Jokerit.

The Maple Leafs swept all three games.

 

September, 2001

Colorado Avalanche

Destinations: Sweden, Finland

The fifth NHL trip to Sweden, the 2001 NHL Challenge Series, was cut short by the horrific events of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

The scheduled three-game tour was reduced to one game, with the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche taking on Swedish Elite League team Brynas. Games against Djurgarden and Finnish first-division club Jokerit were cancelled.

In the one game that was played, Alex Tanguay had a hat trick as Colorado took a 5-3 victory.

 

September, 2000

Vancouver Canucks

Destination: Sweden

The NHL returned to Sweden for the fourth time as Vancouver arrived to take part in the NHL Challenge. Swedish teams Djurgarden, AIK and MoDo joined the Canucks for the tournament, which took place at Globe Arena in Stockholm.

Vancouver defeated MoDo and Djurgarden to win the tournament. The Canucks defeated Swedish champ Djurgarden 2-1 in overtime in the final. Sweden-born rookie forward Daniel Sedin scored the game-winning goal to cap a memorable trip.

AIK defeated MoDo to take third place. Vancouver, which spent several days holding training camp in Sweden, beat MoDo 5-3 in its opening game.

 

October, 2000

Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators

Destination: Japan

The NHL returned to Tokyo for the third time in four years, unleashing "Jagr-mania" on the Japanese public.

Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr was the main draw as the Penguins and Predators opened the NHL season with a pair of games at the Saitama Super Arena in the suburbs of Tokyo.

The Predators stole the show in the first game, winning 3-1 on Oct. 6. Mike Dunham made 25 saves and forward Vitali Yachmenev scored the game-winning goal. A crowd of 13,849, the largest crowd to watch a professional hockey game in Japan, watched the game.

One night later, Jagr had two assists in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win. The victory was the first in the NHL for new coach Ivan Hlinka.

 

September 1998

Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning

Destination: Austria

To open the 1998 preseason, the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning traveled to Austria to participate in the International Challenge, taking on Austrian squads as well as each other.

 

October 1998

Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks

Destination: Japan

Hockey returned to Japan after the success of GAME ONE '97 with a two-game series between the Flames and the Sharks, again at the Yoyogi Arena in Tokyo. Once more, the games were highly competitive and well-attended.

In the first game, Oct. 9, Sharks forward Mike Ricci scored with 2:18 remaining in the third period and San Jose and Calgary played to a 3-3 tie. The next day the Flames, behind a Theo Fleury hat trick, won 5-3 in the second game.

 

October 1997

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Vancouver Canucks

Destination: Japan

The NHL broadened its global horizons with its inaugural trip to Japan to play a pair of regular-season games -- the first regular-season games outside of North America.

The games, at Yoyogi Arena, were the focal point of nearly a week's worth of GAME ONE '97 activity designed to spread the word about the NHL and provide the Japanese public with exposure to the sport in advance on NHL participation in the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

Trevor Linden of the Canucks focused the hockey world's attention on Japan when he handed the captaincy to the newly arrived Mark Messier.

That was followed by two well-played, enthusiastically received games by the two teams. On Oct. 3, Messier and Pavel Bure scored in the third period of a 3-2 Canucks win, with each team winning once by a 3-2 score. Both games drew sellout crowds of 10,500.

Video: Memories: The NHL takes the sport to Tokyo, Japan

 

September 1994

Winnipeg Jets

Destination: Finland

With the National Hockey League once again looking to bring its game to a new European market, the Winnipeg Jets were chosen to travel to Finland for a preseason tournament against Finnish club teams.

The Jets were a natural choice as they boasted Finnish stars Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen on their European-heavy roster. The Jets won every game on the tour, including the centerpiece game against Jokerit, Selanne's boyhood team.

 

September 1993

New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs

Destination: London, England

The New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs were chosen by the NHL to bring the sport to England for the second time, playing a two-game preseason series sponsored by French's Mustard.

Occurring near the start of training camp for both teams, the games featured mostly proven NHL players and sure-fire prospects. Other players were left home to get in a full training camp.

The Rangers, who went on to win the Stanley Cup in 1994, got their season off to a good start by winning both games, 5-3 and 3-1. Both games were played at Wembley Arena in London.

 
September 1992

Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens

Destination: London, England

The Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens played a two-game exhibition series at Wembley Arena in September 1992.

 

September 1990

St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers

Destinations: West Germany, Austria

While the Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars each were blazing a trail through the Soviet Union, the Stanley Cup champion Oilers and the Blues traveled to West Germany for the Epson Cup.

The teams each held a four-day minicamp in West Germany before joining West German League champion EG Dusseldorf for the three-game tournament.

The Blues shocked the champion Oilers and went on to win the tournament with a 2-0 record.

While St. Louis returned home with its trophy, the Oilers moved on to Austria for a five-day, two-game exhibition tour against Austrian pro teams.

 

September 1990

Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota North Stars

Destinations: Sweden, U.S.S.R.

The Canadiens and the North Stars traveled to the Soviet Union for "Friendship Tour '90."

The Canadiens, who spent part of their training camp in Sweden, joined the North Stars for a similar tour taken in 1999 by the Capitals and Flames.

Again, games were played in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Riga, and again they were enthusiastically greeted by the Soviet public.

But this time the Soviet National League teams proved to be stronger, finishing with a 5-3 record against their NHL counterparts.

 

September 1989

Washington Capitals, Calgary Flames

Destinations: Sweden, Czech Republic, U.S.S.R.

The Capitals held training camp in Sweden and then conducted a preseason tour of the Soviet Union. They were joined by the Stanley Cup champion Flames, who held training camp in Prague, Czechoslovakia and then ventured to the Soviet Union.

Each team played four games against Soviet National League teams. Games were played in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Riga. The NHL teams finished with a combined 6-2 record against the top Soviet teams, including Red Army and Dynamo Moscow.

The NHL players were greeted with enthusiasm and curiosity wherever they went. The games drew huge crowds and the rabid Russian fans embraced the competition.

For the first time on this trip, the international forays by the NHL were followed closely back home. Five of the eight games were televised in North America, by CBC in Canada and SportsChannel America in the U.S.

 

September 1980

Washington Capitals, Minnesota North Stars

Destination: Sweden

The Capitals found themselves starting the season with a trip abroad. This time, they were joined by the North Stars for a round-robin tournament in Sweden from Sept. 22-26.

The two NHL teams were joined by Swedish teams AIK and Djurgarden. The tournament was sponsored by a Swedish newspaper, which ponied up a $28,000 prize for the winning team.

The Capitals won the tournament with a 3-0 record.

The action was followed closely by the hockey-mad Swedish population and the final game, Washington vs. Djurgarden, was televised live on "Hockey Night in Sweden."

 

April 1976

Washington Capitals, Kansas City Scouts

Destination: Japan

The second-year Scouts, who would become the Colorado Rockies and then the New Jersey Devils, faced the Capitals, also a second-year franchise, in a four-game series in Tokyo and Sapporo.

The Capitals won three of the four games.

 

May 1959

Boston Bruins, New York Rangers

Destination: Europe

After the 1958-59 season, the Bruins and Rangers embarked on a 10-city, 23-game European tour.

The Bruins had finished second in the six-team League that year, while the Rangers had placed fifth. But European fans were treated to competitive, exciting games and introduced to some of North America's brightest stars.

The tour stopped in London, England; Geneva, Switzerland; Paris, France; Antwerp, Belgium; Zurich, Switzerland; Dortmund, Germany; Essen, Germany; Krekfeld, Germany; Berlin, Germany and Vienna, Austria.

 

1938

Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings

Destination: Europe

The Canadiens and Red Wings become the first teams to play a series of postseason exhibition games in Europe.

New York Herald Tribune sportswriter Sparrow Robertson on the games played in Paris: "The professional ice hockey players of the two teams in Paris are a fine lot of players. Next week the two teams are scheduled to play in London and the hockey enthusiasts of the big city will see the fastest competition game played by humans as it should be played.

It is really thrilling to witness ice hockey such as we have seen played in Paris by the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings."

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