This morning, after he scored a clutch game-winning overtime goal over the reigning Stanley Cup champs, Victor Hedman received some very exciting news.
Well, Hedman and the rest of the Tampa Bay Lightning received some exciting news when it was announced that they will play the Buffalo Sabres twice in Hedman’s homeland of Stockholm, Sweden on Nov. 8 and 9.
The Bolts and Sabres are two of four teams participating in the third-annual NHL Global Series, as the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks will open their regular seasons against one another in Prague, Czech Republic in October.
The NHL brought back the playing of regular season games abroad in 2017, five years after the last 2011 NHL Premiere.
“I know I’m going to have a lot of requests for tickets (from) friends and family,” said Hedman in an interview with Bolts TV on NHL.com. “It’s an unbelievable atmosphere (in Sweden) and Swede’s love their hockey. So, I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be excited about this one.”
It isn’t just Hedman who will be making a return to his native country for the these games, as Buffalo rookie defenseman Rasmus Dahlin also calls Sweden home. Dahlin, who has made his admiration of Hedman known, having intently watched the Lightning’s morning skates from the seats before previous Sabres/Lightning matchups according to NHL.com, will get to play against his hockey idol on Swedish ice.
While it will certainly be a memorable experience for these two Swedish defensemen, it is great overall to see the NHL continuing to promote the league beyond North America. Just as we have seen the NBA, NFL and MLB all do with recent games being played in cities like Mexico City, London and Tokyo, the NHL is staying the course with broadening its reach on a more global level.