The Colorado Avalanche will play two games against the Ottawa Senators in the coming National Hockey League 2017-2018 season in Stockholm Sweeden! This is going to be a part of what the NHL is calling its SAP NHL Global Series. The two teams will play each other at the Ericsson Globe on Friday, November 10th and Saturday, November 11th. If you would like to purchase Tickets to the games they will go on sale to the public starting on Wednesday, March 29th.
If you would like to purchase tickets to the event you can do so from this website on Wednesday, March 29th starting at 9 A.M. CET (3 a.m. ET / 1 a.m. MT)
This is the sixth time the NHL has traveled to Europe to play regular-season games. This, however, will be the first time that the league has done so since the 2011 season when they held the event called the Compuware NHL Premiere. This event was held in Berlin Germany, Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm Sweden.
Here is how the Colorado Avalanche Twitter accounts choose to announce the event
The games between the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will be the 21st and 22nd NHL Regular season games that will be played in Europe. They will also be the seventh and eight NHL regular season games played in Sweeden.
Here is what NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had to say about the event
“We have more Swedish players than ever in the NHL, and we are extremely pleased that the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series will allow us to showcase a number of those players, with their NHL teams, in their homeland,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The return of regular-season NHL games to the international stage will provide yet another highlight for our Centennial celebration.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, “The return of regular-season NHL games to the international stage will provide yet another highlight for our Centennial celebration.”
If you have been an Avalanche fan for more than just a season then you have probably heard mention of or are familiar with the group that calls themselves Eurolanche. This is a great and passionate group of fans of the team that even make a group event for I believe it is 1 week each season when they travel together to Denver to catch as many as they can while they are out there and participate in events with various local Avalanche fans as well as Altitude personalities and media people as well. I am sure that they are thrilled to hear about this announcement as it means that they will be able to catch a couple of games in their own backyard so to speak. Here is their announcement/invitation to all Avalanche fans to make the trip they make each season only in reverse to come join the festivities with them up in their neck of the woods.
Looks like a pretty large number of the Eurolanche group is already registering and setting up their trips for the games in Sweeden as we speak.
— Eurolanche (@Eurolanche) March 25, 2017
Here is what Avalanche President Josh Kroenke had to say about the event
“We are excited and proud to have the opportunity to play regular-season games in Sweden as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series. Sweden and the city of Stockholm have a rich history of hockey, and we look forward to playing in front of their great fans and continuing to showcase the NHL overseas. Hockey is truly a global sport and the Avalanche‘s roster includes players from not only the United States and Canada, but from Sweden, Finland, Russia and Switzerland. We are especially pleased that our fans across Europe and especially Sweden will be able to enjoy this series.”
It is pretty cool to me that the league decided to pair theAvalancheand Ottawa Senators against each other in the games in Sweeden for many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is that both of the team’s captains are from Sweeden.
Both teams have a heavy international flavor to them as players from many different countries are currently on both rosters. With both teams, it will be a bit of an interesting offseason to see who remains with their clubs respectively as we move through the offseason and start getting ready for the next season, but It is definitely something that the league is on the right track with getting more games back overseas. There was recently an article written on this site addressing that very issue. Has the NHL Forgotten Its European Fan Base?
So it personally makes me very happy to see that the league has indeed not forgotten it completely at least.
The NHL is a global league and approximately 26 percent of players this season were born outside of North America. (These numbers have been taken from NHL)
I hope that this trend of having more games played overseas is something that they continue to do as the passion for the league is well and alive out there. It would be easy for the league to keep growing that passion and maybe even potentially generating an opportunity to place an expansion franchise out there one day. There is also the opportunity for them to snuff all interest out completely.
I for one sure hope and pray that it is not the later course of action that the league decides to take. The European fans deserve these games and I think it’s something that should happen each season where a couple of teams at least make the trip to a specified city out there and play a couple of games.
Feature Image Credit to The Associated Press