By Ian Oland
Andrew Zadarnowski of the SB Nation blog Eyes on the Prize is reporting that the KHL is negotiating with the NHL to host the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning for several exhibition games against its Russian teams.
Zadarnowski says that the two leagues are targeting September 2022 for the games to happen.
The Capitals have four Russian stars, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and Ilya Samsonov, while the Lightning routinely feature Ruskies Nikita Kucherov, Mikhail Sergachev, and Andrei Vasilevskiy in their lineup.
The KHL is negotiating with the NHL to host the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning in Russia for a couple of exhibition games against their teams. They are targeting September of 2022, and obviously Ovechkin and Kucherov are the big draws.
— Andrew Zadarnowski (@AZadarski) December 13, 2021
Since November 2019, there has been reporting that the Capitals were interested in playing in Russia as soon as 2020.
“We’ve talked about different things overseas, and we’ve talked about some in Russia or some in Sweden,” Capitals President Dick Patrick told to The Washington Post. “We’re not sure; it’s a league decision. They’ve talked about China, too, which would be like an exhibition game. I personally wasn’t too intrigued with that. I think it is just too hard on players during training camp. It could happen next year or the year after. If we are going to do it, it would probably be one of those years.”
Months later, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the NHL couldn’t get an agreement completed, but was still interested in exploring the possibility during the 2021-22 season. The other team involved was the St. Louis Blues at the time.
Looking into reports the NHL was considering games in Russia in 2020-21. No comment from the league, but word is it won’t happen next season — although they will continue to explore possibility for 2021-22. Potential teams: STL/WASH. Hope it happens: would be great showcase
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 28, 2020
S/T to @AMYKINSSS
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