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NHL unlikely to return to China in 2020-21

Tim Tucker   ·   16 février 2020
While the NHL had planned to return to China for preseason games in the fall of 2020, those plans are looking much less likely, according to TSN Insider Darren Dreger. Dreger states concerns over the Coronavirus have the NHL looking to put those plans on hold for now.

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In 2018, The Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins played a preseason game in Shenzhen, China. The NHL did not return in the fall of 2019 due to booking issues, but did send Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin to the country as an ambassador for the League in the hopes of helping to promote the game. At that time, the NHL said it was putting plans in place for preseason games in China in 2020, but Dreger says that is unlikely to happen at this point.



During Ovechkin's visit, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly made it clear the league considers the relationship with China an important one.

"I don't see us playing regular-season games next year in China, but we'll continue with bringing teams over there and playing preseason games for a while, and look for strategic ways to continue to grow hockey's presence in China because I think the development of the sport is most critical at this point, less about the National Hockey League and more about the game of hockey and developing the game of hockey in China and more focused on trying to do that."

This isn't the only way the NHL is being impacted by the Coronavirus. Many teams are dealing with a shortage of sticks as the main brands used by NHL players are manufactured in China and those factories currently aren't operating due to the outbreak.
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HOCKEY - QUIZ
Which player has accumulated the most points for the Sabres in 2006?
CHRIS DRURY
DANIEL BRIERE
DEREK ROY
MAXIM AFINOGENOV
THOMAS VANEK
TIM CONNOLLY
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