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NHL Debuts in Australia with Exciting Preseason Matches

A long-anticipated moment for hockey fans Down Under has arrived: The NHL is set to make its debut in Australia.

This Friday, the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings will embark on their journey to Melbourne, where they are slated to play two preseason games at Rod Laver Arena on September 23 and 24 as part of the 2023 NHL Global Series. A limited number of tickets are up for grabs for these groundbreaking matches.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly expressed his excitement during the NHL North American Player Media Tour, noting, "This has been in the making for some time. It’s a win-win, benefiting the sport in Australia and expanding our business footprint there. Our gratitude goes out to both teams for embracing this unique opportunity."

Anze Kopitar, the captain of the Kings, shared his enthusiasm but also acknowledged the challenges ahead, especially with the long flight and ensuring team chemistry. A first-time visitor to Australia, Kopitar is optimistic about the reception: “Australian sports fans are renowned for their enthusiasm. I believe hockey will make a lasting impression there.”

While the NHL has ventured into various global territories, from established markets like Finland and Sweden to emerging ones like Germany and China, Australia presents a unique landscape. With a history of hockey dating back to the early 20th century and a spot in the International Ice Hockey Federation since 1938, the sport is not entirely foreign to Aussies. Yet, with only 6,150 registered players and 20 indoor rinks, there's significant room for growth.

Melbourne, known globally as a sports mecca due to events like the Australian Open and the Australian Grand Prix, has a fanbase eagerly waiting to witness the magic of NHL hockey. Daly remarked, “Australians’ love for sports, especially those with a competitive and contact edge, aligns perfectly with hockey. We see a potential fanbase that we can nurture and expand."

In today's interconnected world, international fans can engage with the NHL more closely through TV and online platforms, making these live games a strategic move to foster global fan engagement.

Bedard Expresses 'Immense Gratitude' as Blackhawks Training Camp Commences

The onset of the Chicago Blackhawks training camp saw over 250 fans flocking to get a sneak peek of the 2023 NHL Draft's No. 1 pick and the fresh face of the franchise as he embarked on his inaugural NHL training camp journey.

A merchandise stall was strategically placed in the grand hall of the arena, exclusively selling memorabilia adorned with Bedard's name and No. 98, ranging from hats, pucks, jerseys to sweatshirts. The spotlight was solely on Bedard, eclipsing other Blackhawks players.

Despite the 18-year-old forward’s long preparation for this moment, the emotions were palpable the night before the camp kicked off.

“Once you hit the ice, it’s all about hockey, striving to keep the awe at bay. Yet, discussing this with my parents last night, it hit home how special this is,” Bedard shared post-practice. “Being here, amidst the fans and the energetic vibe of this city, it's surreal. I am brimming with gratitude. This indeed feels like living a dream right now.”

Bedard's entry into the league carries a buzz akin to when center Connor McDavid was snapped up as No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2015 NHL Draft. As Bedard edges closer to his NHL regular-season debut, likely slated against the Pittsburgh Penguins and his childhood idol, their captain Sidney Crosby, on Oct. 10, the excitement is only projected to skyrocket.

However, the Chicago aficionados couldn’t hold their excitement till then.

Among the spectators was 7-year-old Charlie Fisher, donning Bedard’s Canadian jersey along with a Blackhawks cap. When queried about his expectations from Bedard this season, he excitedly mentioned, “the Michigan!” referring to the lacrosse-style goal popularized by Mike Legg during his stint with the Wolverines.

Post three consecutive seasons of missing out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs and bidding adieu to franchise stalwarts Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, the fans are hinging their hopes on Bedard as a beacon of revival.

“This injects a new zest among the fan base,” noted longtime Blackhawks enthusiast Patrick Townsend. “The zeal here is palpable. He's almost single-handedly steering the Blackhawks back into relevance.”

The statistics lend credence to the escalating hype.

In the previous season, Bedard topped the charts in the Western Hockey League with 71 goals, 143 points, 360 shots on goal, averaging 2.51 points and 1.24 goals per game across 57 regular-season face-offs with Regina. Chicago got a taste of his prowess when Bedard delivered a trio of goals and an assist, contributing to a 5-0 triumph over the St. Louis Blues at the Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase in St. Paul, Minnesota, last Saturday.

NHL Board of Governors Greenlights Senators' Acquisition by Andlauer

The NHL Board of Governors has unanimously endorsed the purchase of the Ottawa Senators by Michael Andlauer this Thursday.

With this approval, Andlauer is set to take over the reins of the Senators' operations. Meanwhile, Anna and Olivia Melnyk, the offspring of the late Eugene Melnyk, will hold onto a 10 percent stake through the Melnyk Estate.

In a statement, Andlauer expressed, “The Ottawa Senators Hockey Club is a stellar organization, right from the players and staff to arguably the most ardent fan base in the game. My family and I are elated to formally become part of Ottawa’s team and the Ottawa-Gatineau community.

"I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the NHL and the Melnyk family for facilitating this opportunity, and for entrusting me with the stewardship of this remarkable franchise moving forward. A big thank you also goes out to my equity partners and advisors on this transaction, who share my vision and dedication towards ushering in both on and off-ice triumphs to the National Capital Region.

"I am eagerly looking forward to touching down in Ottawa and kickstarting this new chapter. It's an immensely exhilarating time for the franchise, the fans, and the local community. Go Sens Go!”

Andlauer, a past proprietor of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League, has a rich history in the hockey world. His tenure saw the Bulldogs clinch the Calder Cup in 2007. Post selling the franchise to the Canadiens in 2015, Andlauer acquired the Belleville Bulls from the Ontario Hockey League, relocating them to Hamilton, where they snagged OHL championships in 2018 and 2022. Moreover, in 2009, he bought a stake in the Canadiens, Bell Centre, and Gillett Entertainment Group (now known as evenko) as a part of a consortium led by Geoff Molson, serving as the Canadiens alternate governor thereafter.

The Senators set the sale process in motion on Nov. 5, 2022, half a year post the demise of Eugene Melnyk, the owner since 2003, who passed away at 62 due to an illness.

During Melnyk’s era, the Senators had a fair share of limelight with a dash to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, though falling short to the Anaheim Ducks, and reaching the 2017 Eastern Conference Final, losing in a tight contest to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The previous season saw them finish sixth in the Atlantic Division, with a 39-35-8 record, missing the playoffs by six points.

Representing the estate, the outgoing chairman and governor of the Senators, Sheldon Plener, extended hearty congratulations to Michael Andlauer on this acquisition. He stated, “Michael’s fervor and quest for excellence poise him to make significant strides for the entire National Capital Region, and we are honored to witness him steer this franchise into a promising future.”

The Columbus Blue Jackets' leadership found it straightforward to accept Coach Mike Babcock's resignation this past Sunday.

The Columbus Blue Jackets' leadership found it straightforward to accept Coach Mike Babcock's resignation this past Sunday. However, the journey leading up to that moment was far from simple.

On Monday, John Davidson, President of hockey operations, along with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, admitted that their decision to bring on Babcock on July 1 proved to be misguided. This realization came to light just as training camp was about to kick off on Wednesday, merely 11 weeks after Babcock's appointment.

Expressing his regret, Davidson remarked, "It's deeply frustrating. Before settling on Mike Babcock as our head coach earlier this summer, we had undergone an extensive evaluation. Regrettably, our judgment was flawed, and the responsibility lies with us."

He continued, “Rest assured, we'll draw lessons from this episode. The scrutiny we're facing is justifiable. Our immediate focus is on aiding our players and coaching staff in gearing up for the upcoming season.”

Babcock's decision followed a revelation by the "Spittin' Chiclets" podcast, which alleged that he had requested players to share personal images from their private phones with him.

Stepping into Babcock's shoes is Associate coach Pascal Vincent, who has secured a two-year agreement lasting until the 2024-25 season.

On Monday, a statement from the Columbus ownership emphasized, "We aren't foreseeing any more adjustments to our hockey management at present. Further upheavals could hamper our players and coaching staff as they gear up for training camp. We'll maintain open dialogue with our hockey leaders and are eagerly awaiting an exhilarating season.”

Historically, Babcock ranks 12th in the NHL with 700 victories and 16th with 1,301 matches across 17 seasons with teams like the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Detroit Red Wings, and Toronto Maple Leafs. He clinched the Stanley Cup in 2008 with the Red Wings and made it to the Stanley Cup Final with the Mighty Ducks in 2003 and the Red Wings in 2009. His coaching accolades also include leading Canada to gold in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics and clinching the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Following his departure from the NHL post his release from the Maple Leafs in November 2019, Babcock took on advisory roles at the University of Vermont for the 2020-21 season and later coached at the University of Saskatchewan in 2021-22.

Power and Precision: A Deep Dive into the NHL's Thrilling World of Ice Hockey

The National Hockey League (NHL) stands as a testament to the grace, speed, and excitement of ice hockey. With a storied history, international appeal, and a legacy of legendary players, the NHL holds a special place in the hearts of sports enthusiasts. This article delves into the captivating realm of the NHL, highlighting its rich history, iconic moments, and its enduring impact on the world of sports.

A Glance Back in Time

The roots of the NHL trace back to the early 20th century, with the league officially forming in 1917. From its inception, the NHL has been a stage for exceptional skill and fierce competition. The league's foundation was laid by a handful of original teams, including the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Arenas, which laid the groundwork for what would become a global phenomenon.

The Heart-Stopping Action

At the heart of the NHL is the thrilling on-ice action that leaves fans on the edge of their seats. The dynamic gameplay showcases a perfect blend of power, finesse, and strategy. With players gliding across the ice with astonishing speed, executing pinpoint passes, and unleashing thunderous shots, each game is a symphony of skill and athleticism.

Icons of the Game

The NHL has witnessed the rise of iconic players whose legacies have left an indelible mark on the sport. Names like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Bobby Orr are etched in NHL lore, celebrated for their extraordinary contributions to the game. These legends' feats on the ice have inspired generations of players and fans alike.

The Quest for the Stanley Cup

The pinnacle of achievement in the NHL is the pursuit of the coveted Stanley Cup. The playoffs, characterized by intense matchups and unpredictable outcomes, culminate in the crowning of the championship team. The Stanley Cup Finals offer a showcase of determination, teamwork, and unwavering passion as teams battle for the right to hoist the cherished trophy.

Global Reach and Cultural Impact

While deeply rooted in North America, the NHL's reach extends far beyond its borders. The league's influence spans continents, with international players from diverse backgrounds showcasing their talents on the ice. The Winter Olympics also serve as a platform for the world's best players to represent their countries, adding a unique layer of international rivalry to the sport.

Community Engagement and Youth Development

Beyond the arena, the NHL is committed to making a positive impact on communities and nurturing the sport's future. Through initiatives like Hockey is for Everyone, the league promotes inclusivity, diversity, and community engagement. Grassroots programs and youth development efforts ensure that the passion for ice hockey remains alive in the hearts of the next generation.


The NHL's legacy is one of resilience, passion, and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence. From its early beginnings to its modern global stage, the league has evolved while preserving the core values that make ice hockey a beloved sport. With each slapshot, save, and celebration, the NHL continues to captivate audiences and ignite a fervor that transcends borders, uniting fans in their shared love for the power and precision of ice hockey.