At the invitation of Bloomage International and as a piece of the National Hockey League’s long-term business strategy in China, the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will face off in the first-ever preseason games played in China as part of the 2017 NHL China GamesTM presented by O.R.G. Packaging, the NHL®, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and Bloomage International jointly announced today. The preseason games between the Kings and Canucks will be played on Sept. 21 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and on Sept. 23 at Huaxi LIVE Wukesong’s Le Sports Center in Beijing, where today’s announcement was made.
In addition to the NHL and NHLPA, representatives from the Chinese Government, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Bloomage International and O.R.G. Packaging were on hand for this historic announcement, which advances the NHL’s commitment to grow the game globally, while furthering the League’s international strategy.
“The 2017 NHL China Games presented by O.R.G. Packaging represent the formal launch of what we hope will be a long and successful collaboration between our League, our teams and our partners in accelerating the development of hockey in China,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, “We look forward to our first games in China and to a variety of initiatives that will inspire generations of Chinese players and fans to enjoy our sport. We recognize the importance of helping China build a strong national hockey program and are committed to supporting that priority in every way possible.”
“Bringing NHL players to China for two games in September will give both current and potential new fans in Shanghai and Beijing a chance to watch some of the best hockey players in the world,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director. “The NHLPA is committed to growing hockey internationally, and the players fully appreciate the opportunity ahead in the coming years to expand the game’s footprint. The players on the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks are looking forward to participating in the 2017 NHL China Games for what will certainly be a great experience in their careers.”
Bloomage International Group is a Chinese based, privately owned corporation that is devoted to expanding sports and promoting a healthy lifestyle across the country.
“Bloomage created Huaxi Live as a multi-purpose real estate brand to promote an immersive and healthy lifestyle,” Bloomage’s Chairwoman, Madam Zhao Yan said. “Being a site that hosted games in the 2008 Olympics we are honored to once again host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games as a venue for ice hockey. Bloomage is pleased to join the NHL in bringing the top level ice hockey talent to Huaxi Live Wukesong and presenting the best of hockey to Chinese fans.”
China’s Head of State visited Huaxi LIVE Wukesong, Bloomage’s flagship sports and entertainment facility, in late February on an inspection tour for the preparation of the hockey facilities for the 2022 Winter Olympics. China is seriously committed to promoting ice hockey and making it into a sport that the Chinese people will love and enjoy.
The matchups in September will be the first preseason games conducted in China, but not the first trip for either the Canucks or Kings, who have each held youth hockey camps in China in recent years. In addition, several NHL clubs have conducted hockey camps for Chinese youth in recent years both in China and North America, including the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals.
With a population of more than 1.3 billion, China is committed to hockey and expects to expand its participation in all winter sports to 300 million people by 2022. The NHL looks to work side by side with sports bureaus across China in developing grassroots hockey programs, supporting local youth hockey and hockey development at all levels. Within the multi-year partnership, Bloomage International also will play a vital role in helping to promote hockey culture across various regions of the country, supporting the League and its youth hockey initiatives. The League will look to develop programs to provide schools with training and instructional content to implement these impactful hockey programs that promote physical education, sportsmanship, teamwork and fitness through participation in hockey.
“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” said Kings President, Business Operations and Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”
“On behalf of the entire Vancouver Canucks organization we are truly excited to play exhibition games in China and represent the National Hockey League on an international stage,” said Trevor Linden, Canucks President of Hockey Operations. “This is a unique opportunity to play games in a growing market and we look forward to what will undoubtedly be a fantastic experience.”
Los Angeles will be designated the home team for the Sept. 21 preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai; Vancouver will be designated the home team for the game on Sept. 23 at LeSports Center in Beijing. The Kings and Canucks will both be offering travel packages. Additional information will be published on each club’s website as it becomes available.
More information on the 2017 NHL China GamesTM presented by O.R.G. Packaging will be released at a later date, including ticketing and broadcast information.
ABOUT THE NHL
The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, will celebrate its Centennial anniversary in 2017. The year-long celebration will pay tribute to 100 years of NHL hockey by honoring the past, commemorating the present, and celebrating its future. In 2017 the League will also celebrate 125 years of the most revered trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup®. Comprised of 31 Member Clubs, the NHL is represented by players from more than 20 countries across team rosters. Each year, the NHL entertains hundreds of millions of fans around the world. The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including NBC/NBCSN in the U.S., Sportsnet and TVA in Canada, and Viasat in the Nordic Region. The NHL reaches fans worldwide with games available online in every country including via its live and on-demand streaming service NHL.TVTM. Fans are engaged across the League’s digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL® App; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network RadioTM, and on NHL.com, available in eight languages and featuring an enhanced statistics platform powered by SAP, providing the definitive destination for hockey analytics. The NHL is committed to giving back to the community through programs including: Hockey is for EveryoneTM which supports nonprofit youth hockey organizations across North America; Hockey Fights CancerTM which raises money and awareness for hockey's most important fight; NHL GreenTM which is committed to the pursuit of sustainable business practices; and a partnership with the You Can Play Project, which is committed to supporting the LGBT community and fighting homophobia in sports. For more information, visit NHL.com.
ABOUT THE NHLPA
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 17 years, more than 70,000 deserving children in 34 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $23-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES KINGS
For half a century, the Los Angeles Kings have been bringing excitement, passion and Stanley Cup® glory to Southern California, delighting our deeply loyal fan base by being a leader in incredible events and employing the greatest players in NHL history. The legacy continues as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, striving for innovation in a constant pursuit of excellence with a first-class commitment to our fans and partners, and with an unmatched pledge to improving our community. We Are All Kings.
ABOUT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Owned and operated by the Aquilini Investment Group, the Vancouver Canucks were founded in 1970 and are currently in their 47th season in the National Hockey League. Playing home games at Rogers Arena since 1995, the Canucks have appeared in three Stanley Cup® Finals (1982, 1994 and 2011) and produced consecutive President’s Trophies in 2010.11 and 2011.12. Through the support and passion of Canucks fans, Rogers Arena hosted a consecutive sellout streak of 474 games from 2002 to 2004, one of the longest in the history of professional sports. President Trevor Linden, General Manager Jim Benning and Head Coach Willie Desjardins currently guide the direction of the club with Henrik Sedin serving as Captain since 2010. Through the Canucks for Kids Fund, the Vancouver Canucks are dedicated to assisting charities that support children’s health and wellness, foster the development of grassroots hockey, and facilitate and encourage education in BC. Thanks to the generosity of fans, donors, players, employees and sponsor partners, the Canucks for Kids Fund (CFKF) has granted $52 million to charities in British Columbia over the last 31 years. For more information, visit nhl.com/canucks or RogersArena.com.