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NHL to Open 2024-25 Season with Games in Prague

Although the full 2024-25 NHL schedule hasn’t yet been released, the league announced today that the season will open with the Sabres and Devils facing each other in Prague, Czechia, on Oct. 4 and 5.

And those aren’t the only European games slated for next season. The Panthers and Stars will play in Tampere, Finland, on Nov. 1 and 2.

In addition, the Sabres will play a preseason game on Sept. 27 in Munich, Germany, against the Deutsche Eishockey Liga’s Red Bull Munich. Sabres right wing JJ Peterka is from Munich and played for the Red Bull squad before joining the NHL.

Although the league’s announcement didn’t include any mention of uniforms, the logos shown at the top of this post will presumably be worn as jersey patches for the respective games in Czechia, Finland, and Germany.

And speaking of uniforms, the season-opening Sabres/Devils games will also mark the regular season debut of the league’s new uniforms from Fanatics, which will take over the NHL uniform contract from Adidas at the conclusion of the current season.

Comments (11)

    Interesting series sponsor/advertiser. A global logistics company who works with the NHL, apparently, on the existing outdoor events.

    Fastenal? They aren’t logistics, they are an Industrial Supplier. I worked for them out of college and they were notoriously thrifty. They sponsored a NASCAR team and then came out with a few national jingles and it was a big deal for anyone working for them that they spent any money. They’re based out of Minnesota so teaming up with the NHL isn’t such a stretch for them.

    Hockey, at this point, is like a niche sport in the USA. I’d say soccer (not necessarily MLS, all the major global leagues combined) has surpassed the NHL as America’s 4th major spectator sport. I know way more passionate Premier League and Liga MX fans than NHL fans.

    The door swings both ways though. The NHL has such an opportunity in Europe. Hockey is already by far the most popular sport in Sweden and Finland, it’s a bit head, even or only slightly behind soccer in Czechia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Austria, very popular in northern Italy, very popular and growing in Germany which is a big consumer market, and it’s not totally obscure in France and the UK (esp Scotland).

    The NHL needs to do more of this, and it needs to focus on the international game. National teams very national teams. I actually go way further than the NHL would ever go, I say to trim 22 games off the NHL season, align with the European schedule (starting mid September) so that NHLers can go to the IIHF World Championships every May and have that be a big thing. For many reasons (lost money on gates, more comp with NFL, injury risk) that’s absolutely never going to happen. But events like this, and the 4 nations tournament next season is a good start, hopefully that 4 nation tournament will eventually turn into an 8 nation tournament annually, or a 16 nation quadrennial World Cup style tournament.

    The men should also do what the women do and have a USA vs Canada, best of 3 rivalry series each season.

    If they played like European and international hockey (no fighting), the NHL would be my second favorite major sport behind football. Hopefully they will play more games in Europe, and begin to adopt that style of play.

    Besides aligning with the schedule, more emphasis on national team vs national team play, and trimming the amount of games down to European levels (European leagues play around 60 per season), the only other change I’d want the NHL to adopt to align with Europe is the points system. W = 3, OTW = 2, OTL = 1, L = 0. I feel like presently, there’s not enough incentive to win in regulation vs OT, really the only incentive is not getting a bit more tired but I do think scoring regulation wins and OTWs differently makes more sense.

    I wonder what the reason is for the Germany match being called “Challenge” while the other two aren’t.

    The German game is a preseason or exhibition game with an NHL team vs a German league team.
    While the other 2 countries are hosting regular season NHL matchups.

    I like these logos, even if they feature a sponsor. The NHL appearing more often in Europe is a very logical decision, a lot of their players come from Europe. If I lived in Sweden, Finland or the city of Prague I would definitely buy a ticket.

    Replace Sweden with Munich, I forgot there is no NHL game in Sweden this time.

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