Czech in the Mail: NHL to open 08-09 Season in Prague

Hey Bettman! I'm talking to you!Reports are coming out of NHL Headquarters that the league wants to open the season next year in Prague, in the Czech Republic. The two lucky teams that draw this assignment? The Penguins and the Senators.

I’ll let that sink in a moment.

So we’re sending two teams that have a collective two Czechs on their teams to the middle of Eastern Europe, for a two game series that will result in jet lag that will ruin the first month of their season (See Anaheim and Los Angeles, and their collective three wins in ten games, two of which game against each other).

Does Gary Bettman want to hype up the league’s poster boy so much he’s willing to ruin the season of two top teams?

If you are waiting for an answer to that question, you’ve obviously found us by mistake.

To recap a bit for those of you who didn’t catch the final tally: The two games in London gathered 17,300 fans in the O2 Arena in London. Last night’s game in Anaheim had an attendance of 17,285. So the Ducks traveled half a world away to split revenue with the Kings, “for the betterment of the league.” Because the NHL needs to expand its international fanbase.

Someone remind me what channel Versus is on in the UK?

So now the league sends Pittsburgh and Ottawa to Prague, presumably to play in Sazka Arena. Built in 2003 and with a capacity of 18,000, which is exactly 1,000 more than capacity in Pittsburgh and 2,000 less than Scotiabank Centre in Ottawa.

Maybe I’m missing something–why send teams halfway across the globe for a loss of profit in a country that won’t watch another game that season? You’re welcome to rip me apart in the comments. Enlighten me.



  1. Any excuse to travel over there and get me some green fairy juice is fine with me. Clearly the NHL had me in mind when they decided this not those Czech citizens.

  2. In an effort to expand its interplanetary audience, the NHL announced plans to hold the 2015 All-Star Game on Charon, Pluto’s frozen moon. To reach the game on time, the 2015 All Stars, including 12-year-old Jean-Guy LaFollette of Sherbrooke, Quebec, will board the NHL’s rocket on Monday. Charon’s low gravity will make up for the severe muscle atrophy players will experience in transit.

  3. And Dominek Hasek’s terrible revenge is finally revealed, long promised and much feared. All right gentlemen, if we have to do this, repeat after me: PUT IT IN HAITCH!!

  4. At least the Czechs are crazy about hockey. The London game made absolutely no sense.

    As for the matchup, Avalanche-Red Wings would be much better, They have a combined 6 players from the old Czechoslovakia (including both goalies, although Hasek might not be there next season), and they’ve been bitter rivals in the recent past.

    But Bettman needs to worry less about his international market and try not to lose the NHL’s audience in the states.

  5. hmm, they sold out an 18,000 seat arena at 90 bucks a ticket… really bad move to put it in London.

    Oh, and “Someone remind me what channel Versus is on in the UK?” – NASN

    Also the chzech economy isnt exatly great, the people of Pragu wont be able to afford to go, It will be full of Brits and Germans.

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