Are the Boston Bruins and the NHL going to head down under to play some regular season games?
Various reports coming from the NHL All-Star festivities this past weekend in Sunrise, Florida, and from Australia, have the NHL taking it’s act to the land down under to kick off the 2023-24 NHL regular season. Kerry Goulet, the new Melbourne Ice head coach and host of ‘Gouche Live’ (a Toronto-based Youtube hockey show), was the first to report this on his show’s Facebook page last week, and David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period followed up those reports over the weekend.
It’s all but a lock the NHL will have games in Australia to start the 2023-24 season. Logistics still being ironed out, along with teams. Boston & LA still among teams in mix to go. Work in progress, but expect announcements once all items are finalized.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 4, 2023
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was asked about the reports of the NHL heading to Australia at the annual State of The NHL press conference he and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman held prior to the NHL All-Star tournament on Saturday. While he would not commit to the games happening, he acknowledged ongoing conversations with interested parties in Australia.
“Have we been approached numerous times over many years by promoters in Australia who’d love to bring NHL games over there? Absolutely,” Daly told the media on Saturday. “Has any final decision been made in that regard? No.”
On Tuesday morning, Goulet doubled-down on his report in a phone call with Boston Hockey Now:
“I’m telling you, this is happening!” Goulet told BHN. “As of now, the teams will I can confirm are Los Angeles and teh Vancouver Canucks. Boston Bruins are very likely too – though that doesn’t make much sense geographically and travel-wise – and there will be another team too.”
The Boston Bruins are no strangers to playing overseas. The Bruins kicked off their Stanley Cup-winning 2010-11 season in Prague, Czechia against the then-Arizona Coyotes. The Boston Bruins then played the Calgary Flames in two preseason games in Shenzhen, China just prior to the 2018-19 NHL regular season. That’s two straight times actually that the Boston Bruins wound in the Stanley Cup Final after starting the season overseas, as they went on to Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final but lost to the St. Louis Blues.