With the NHL preseason kicking off in China on Saturday, commissioner Gary Bettman believes regular-season games in the Pacific are the next logical step.
The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames are set to participate in two exhibition contests overseas with an eye toward growing the popularity of the game in the Chinese market. Last season, the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings were chosen to do the same as the debut participants of the multi-year deal signed by the NHL in 2017.
Regular-season games outside North America have occurred in the past, though never in China. This season, the NHL Global Series features an Edmonton Oilers-New Jersey Devils game in Sweden in October, and two games between the Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers in Finland in early November.