The Boston Bruins had planned on opening up their 2020-21 NHL regular season overseas against the Nashville Predators in Prague as part of the NHL Global Series, but that plan to visit the Czech Republic has now been postponed.
The Bruins were going to finish their training camp in Europe, play an exhibition game in Germany and then face off against the Preds at the same O2 Arena in Prague where they opened up the 2010-11 Stanley Cup-winning season 10 years prior.
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But the coronavirus outbreak has pushed the completion of the current 2019-20 season into the summer months, if possible at all, and next season will undoubtedly be pushed back at least a few months if that’s the case. With everything in flux currently, the National Hockey League has postponed its entire international slate for 2020 and will instead push those global games into the following hockey season.
That included a Bruins/Predators game in Prague and a Blue Jackets/Avalanche game slated for Helsinki, Finland.
“The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association today announced the postponement of its 2020 international games,” said the NHL and NHLPA in a joint statement. “The NHLPA and the NHL remain committed to maintaining and growing our international presence. We hope that our fans overseas understand the need to postpone the 2020 games, but we look forward to being back with them in 2021.”
At the time of the announcement, both Czech-born Bruins players, David Krejci and David Pastrnak, were pumped to open things up in Prague this fall with Krejci a focal point of the last visit to the Czech Republic 10 years ago.
"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,” said Pastrnak, back when the B’s season-opener in Europe was announced last November. “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."
Both Bruins forwards have been running under the assumption for a while that there would be a postponement for the upcoming season given the current circumstances, and the focus now is clearly on figuring out the logistics of finishing this season followed by a reasonably normal NHL regular season next year.