Predators, Sharks Open NHL Season in Prague

The San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators will bring the National Hockey League to the Czech Republic for the 2022 NHL Global Series.

The two NHL regular season games between the Sharks and Predators will be played on October 7 and 8, 2022 at the O2 Arena in Prague.

The Predators upgraded their roster in the offseason by trading for veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh and signing skilled forward Nino Niederreiter.

The NHL’s first game in Europe since 2019 nearly ran into a snag when the Czech Foreign Ministry informed the NHL that Russian players were not welcome in Prague due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the Czech government reversed their stance on Sept. 29.

The Sharks have two Russian-born players, left-wingers Alexander Barabanov and Evgeny Svechnikov, and the Predators have Russian center Yakov Trenin on their roster.

The 2022 NHL Global Series will mark the ninth season overall that the NHL has traveled to Europe to play regular-season games.

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. This year’s games in Finland will mark the first NHL regular-season games to ever be played in Tampere.

The NHL is a global League, with 29 percent of NHL players in the 2021-22 season having been born outside of North America. All four clubs feature a number of international stars on their rosters, including natives of the countries they are visiting.

In October, Roman Josi and Nino Niederreiter of the Predators will be playing in their home country of Switzerland. Czech Republic natives Tomas Hertl and Radim Simek of the Sharks will be playing in their home country for the first time as NHL players.

In addition, the Blue Jackets and Avalanche games in Finland will be played in the home country of Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen of the Avalanche, as well as Tampere native Patrik Laine and Joonas Korpisalo of the Blue Jackets and Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

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