The Bruins have begun their season outside of North America twice in the last decade, and both times the season ended in a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. They’ll be hoping for more of the same next year.
The National Hockey League announced Friday that the Bruins will open the 2020-21 season against the Nashville Predators at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, to headline the 2020 NHL Global Series.
The Bruins and Predators will complete their training camps in Europe, and each will play in an exhibition match against a European team. The Bruins will report to Mannheim, Germany, and play Adler Mannheim at SAP Arena, while the Predators will report to Bern, Switzerland, and play SC Bern at PostFinance Arena.
“We have kicked off our season with international games twice in the past decade, and both times the trips have proved valuable for our team building, so we feel that this trip to Germany and the Czech Republic will be beneficial for our team,” said Bruins president Cam Neely.
“We are also looking forward to working with the NHL and the Nashville Predators to continue our collective efforts to grow the game of hockey in international markets.”
The Bruins previously played in Prague in the 2010 NHL Premiere Games, splitting a pair of contests against the Coyotes. They also played an exhibition game at the Odyssey in Belfast, Northern Ireland. That squad went on to win the Stanley Cup in June 2011.
Last season, the Bruins spent part of their preseason in China, where they faced the Calgary Flames in a pair of exhibition games.
Bruins forwards David Krejci and David Pastrnak grew up in the Czech Republic.
“Opening the season in Prague and Northern Ireland back in 2010 was a very special experience to share with my family, friends, and teammates,” said Krejci. “It was the start of a year I’ll always remember.
“Growing up in Czech, it was my dream to play in the NHL, so to be able to play in more NHL games in Europe means a lot to me personally. I think it’s great the league continues to grow the game and bring hockey to different countries all over the world.”
“I was very excited to learn that the Boston Bruins would be heading back to my home country to play in the 2020 NHL Global Series in Prague,” said Pastrnak. “I remember driving to O2 Arena as a kid to go see the Bruins play the Coyotes back in 2010 for the NHL Premiere games. The passionate fans and atmosphere were something I’ll never forget.
“I can’t wait to feel that energy again from the ice in Prague and Mannheim.”
Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.