SHANGHAI - The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks are set to face off in the first-ever preseason games played in China in the 2017 NHL China Games™ presented by O.R.G. Packaging. On Sept. 21, the Kings will play host to the Canucks in Shanghai at Mercedes-Benz Arena at 7:30 p.m. (China Standard Time). The game in Shanghai will be broadcast on NBCSN in the United States, Sportsnet in Canada and CCTV in China. The clubs will travel to Beijing to play the second preseason contest at Wukesong Arena on Sept. 23, where the Canucks will play host to the Kings at 3:30 p.m. (China Standard Time). The game in Beijing will be broadcast on Sportsnet in Canada, NHL Network in the United States and CCTV in China.
Bringing preseason games to China is a piece of the National Hockey League's long-term business strategy in China, and with a population of more than 1.3 billion, China is committed to hockey and expects to expand its participation in all winter sports to 300 million people by 2022. The NHL looks to work side by side with sports bureaus across China in developing grassroots hockey programs, supporting local youth hockey and hockey development at all levels. The NHL's China-based partner, Bloomage International Culture & Sports Development Co., also will play a vital role in helping to promote hockey culture across various regions of the country, supporting the League and its youth hockey initiatives. The League will look to develop programs to provide schools with training and instructional content to implement these impactful hockey programs that promote physical education, sportsmanship, teamwork and fitness through participation in hockey.
Since announcing the 2017 NHL China Games presented by O.R.G. packaging in March, the NHL is has been active in promoting hockey with various programs throughout China, aiming to let more people experience the game. Last week in Beijing, the U.S. Embassy hosted "Hockey Night," where representatives from the NHL educated attendees with a basic knowledge of hockey, the NHL has hosted seven clinics in several major cities in China this summer including Beijing, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Shenyang, where nearly 250 youth players have participated. The coaches at the clinics teach the skills of the game, while also focusing on fitness, health and teamwork that inspires student interest in hockey.
Besides the youth program, the NHL also added Chinese elements to its traditional Player Media Tour in New York last week. At last week's NHL/NHLPA Player Media Tour, over 30 NHL star players including Tanner Pearson of the Kings and Christopher Tanev of the Canucks greeted fans across China in Chinese for the first time through the NHL's official Chinese social media platforms. They also tried Moon cakes and participated in the entertaining "Hockey Puck Challenge," stacking hockey pucks in 30 seconds with chopsticks.
Tickets to the 2017 NHL China Games presented by O.R.G. Packaging in Shanghai and Beijing are on sale via en.damai.cn. Fans can follow @NHL on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook and join the conversation using #NHLChinaGames.