As the world’s premium hockey league builds on its global ambitions, 24 international territories will be getting 50 live primetime NHL games this season. The puck drops Saturday on the NHL European Game of the Week.
The weekly spotlight show kicks off with the first regular-season game in the 2018 NHL Global Series, pitting the singular Connor McDavid, who has led the league in points the past two seasons, and his Edmonton Oilers against the New Jersey Devils in Gothenburg, Sweden. Fans across Europe can watch the teams’ season opener live in primetime via their local NHL broadcast partner.
“For the first time ever, the NHL European Game of the Week creates a destination viewing experience for loyal NHL fans across Europe,” said David Proper, the NHL’s EVP Media & International Strategy. “With the cooperation of our Member Clubs, we were able to increase the number of games played in European primetime, providing a great opportunity for our international broadcast partners to carry nearly 50 Saturday and Sunday matchups this season.”
The NHL European Game of the Week will continue on October 13 with the 2017-18 expansion team and Stanley Cup runners-up Vegas Golden Knights at the Philadelphia Flyers or Edmonton vs. the New York Rangers.
The move is part of the NHL’s ongoing effort to boost its international fan base. There were a handful of exhibition games played overseas this preseason, including a pair of Boston Bruins-Calgary Flames matchups in China last month and the Devils and Oilers battling local clubs in Switzerland and Germany, respectively.