The Blackhawks will be starting their 2019 season in Prague versus the Philadelphia Flyers. NHL had great ratings this year when they went overseas for multiple games. This could lead to the NHL expanding the amount of total games being played overseas. Prague is the capital of Czech Republic and the location of many NHL players that play today. The Blackhawks have some young stars that are from Czech including Dominik Kahun and David Kampf. This allows for these players to be able to play in front of their country and be able to grab attention of the locals. Czech Republic is well known for being a great hockey country and this would be a great opportunity for NHL to show their presence.
We are seeing multiple sports taking their regular season games overseas such as NBA, MLB, and NFL. This allows for these leagues to promote their brand and get more attention outside of the United States and Canada. It also allows for these leagues to recruit young talent that might have interest in playing professionally to join one of these leagues or give kids from a different country a dream to playing in one of these leagues.
We have even seen college programs play in off-site games for recruiting purposes such as Notre Dame. Notre Dame since 2009 has played in a Shamrock Series except in 2017. The Shamrock Series consist of them playing a team on a off-site football field. Some of the sites include Yankee Stadium, Alamodome, Fenway Park, Lucas Oil Stadium, Soldier Field, and AT&T Stadium. Why would Notre Dame play these games so far from home? Well they do it for recruiting purposes and to gain more attention to their program around the United States. This is what the NHL is doing by having the Blackhawks and Flyers play in Prague and I personally am excited about the NHL reaching outside of just Canada and United States.