For the past five years, the NHL has hosted regular season games with 17 teams (and the Ducks, Kings and Rangers a second time) taking part. Host cities have included Berlin, London, Helsinki (three times), Prague (twice), Stockholm (four times). The past three Stanley Cup champions have started their season overseas. The NHL is going global, with an increasing number of players coming from the other side of the world.
So why is it a bad idea?
The team’s fans get screwed. Okay, so the NHL gets exposure to overseas fans, but each team that goes over loses a home game. The Kings will actually lose two home games this year, as they “host” both the Rangers and Sabres in Europe. So for any Los Angeles season ticket holders, they go from seeing their team 41 times to 39. With some teams struggling in their own markets, it seems odd to try and promote teams with only ties to (maybe) a couple players of the participating teams.