The COVID-19 parenthesis seems to be about to be closed in professional ice hockey. The proof is in the NHL’s announcement on Thursday 21 April that the Global Series will return to Europe this year. The series of exhibition and regular season games, which was interrupted after 2019 due to the health crisis, will resume next autumn in four European cities. The 2022 tour will feature the Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets. Nashville and San Jose will kick off the 2022-23 season festivities at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on October 7 and 8. Prior to that, both franchises will have warmed up against European teams: the Predators will play the Swiss SC Bern in their home arena on October 3, while the Sharks will play Eisbaren Berlin the following day at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German city. Colorado and Columbus will land in Tampere, Finland, for two games at Nokia Arena on 4 and 5 November. The NHL has already relocated 32 pre-season games and 28 regular season games since 2007, first as part of the NHL Premiere Series (2007 to 2011), then with the NHL Global Series (2017 to 2019).
— Published 22 April 2022