Nashville, Tenn. (November 8, 2019) - The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, in conjunction with Live Nation Sweden, announced Friday that the Nashville Predators will participate in the 2020 NHL Global Series. The team will complete their training camp in Bern, Switzerland, by playing an exhibition game against SC Bern at PostFinance Arena as part of the NHL Global Series Challenge, before opening the 2020-21 season against the Boston Bruins at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.
"Starting the 2020-21 season in Europe will be a great new experience for our team both on and off the ice," Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile said. "It will provide for some great team-bonding opportunities and will be super special for our Captain Roman Josi and fellow Bern native Yannick Weber. We are excited to share this once-in-a-lifetime memory with them."
"We are elated to once again be selected for one of the League's marquee events," Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said. "Having this opportunity is a true testament to the city of Nashville and the passion of our fans, who are the best in sports."
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. To keep up with the latest ticket details and to gain access to special ticket pre-sale offers for each event, fans should register at NHL.com/GSSwitzerland and NHL.com/GSCzechRepublic.
Ten of the 22 players on the Predators active roster hail from Europe, highlighted by the duo of Josi and Weber, who both grew up in Bern. Josi played for Bern's Under-17 and Junior clubs before making his Swiss League debut with SC Bern in 2006-07, and went on to help the club win a league title in 2010. Weber played three seasons with Bern's junior club, winning a league title in 2005.
"It means a lot for our entire organization to get the opportunity to play games in the Czech Republic and Switzerland," Josi said. "We are proud of what our franchise has accomplished over the past couple seasons and now are lucky enough to play in not only the Winter Classic, but in the Global Series too. We are all honored that we get the chance to play in Europe and everyone on the team is excited for the opportunity.
"It's really great for me and Yannick to get to play a game in Bern. Before coming to North America, Bern was the only team I had ever played for growing up, and I watched them play when I was little. I grew up five minutes away from their rink and it's my hometown club - it's going to be so special for me, and I can't wait for the game."
Nashville's only time playing abroad in team history was against the Pittsburgh Penguins during GAME ONe 2000 Japan, where the Preds split two games with the Penguins in Saitama (Nashville 3, Pittsburgh 1 on Oct. 6, 2000; Pittsburgh 3, Nashville 1 on Oct. 7, 2000).
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. The NHL's biggest stars are also featured across numerous social media platforms and on NHL.com in eight languages for the League's international fans. To date, there have been five NHL regular-season games played in the Czech Republic, which have all been played at O2 Arena in Prague.
Friday's announcements were made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden, prior to the first of two games between the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning, who are participating in the 2019 NHL Global Series. There have been 26 regular-season NHL games played in Europe, with these two contests being the 27th and 28th such games.
More information on the 2020 NHL Global Series and 2020 NHL Global Series Challenge will be announced at a later date. As part of the League's six international sites, NHL.com/cs and NHL.com/de will serve as the official home for all of the latest news and information about the Predators participation in the 2020 NHL Global Series as well as other features from around the NHL.