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Predators, Sharks go global to start regular season in Prague

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Prague — There will be no preseason games when the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks appear at the O2 Arena on Fridays and Saturdays (2pm ET, NHLN, BSSO, NBCSCA) for the 2022 NHL Global Series. They will open the 2022-23 NHL regular season.

These games count.

The Predators and Sharks, however, maintain the prospect that each of these games will occupy more than two points in the standings. They balance business and the big picture.

Instead of opening their practice to the public on Thursday, the Predators and Sharks opened them up. The music played while skating in front of thousands of fans in the arena, including many children in NHL, Czech and youth jerseys.

“We were all such kids at some point” Predator Center Ryan Johansen “And it’s great to see our platform inspire, encourage and make their day, and show them that if their dream is to play in the NHL, it can reach them.”

A father in the stands on Thursday put his 4-year-old son on his shoulders so he could see. Thomas Hertl shark t-shirt.

Hertl is the main attraction here.

Born and raised in Prague, he played for Slavia Prague HC from 2010 to 2013 before joining the Sharks from 2013 to 2014. At the time, the team played in the Czech Extraliga, the top Czech professional league, and was based at the O2 Arena.

Hertl has become a great player and personality for San Jose. Four times he scored at least 20 goals. He scored at least his 30 points on his two occasions. But Czech fans had to follow him from afar.

This is your chance to see him in person. We couldn’t get tickets for either game, so some people came to practice on Thursday. Hertl addressed the crowd in an on-ice interview at the end of practice.

“It was amazing,” Hertl said with his trademark smile. “I’ve never practiced with so many people and it felt great. I’m coming home after 10 years playing in Prague. Now I’m playing for the Sharks and a lot of kids. We’re rooting for you, please support us, it’s been an amazing experience and I can’t wait for tomorrow’s game.”

Sharks manager David Quinn said Hertl’s return could spur teammates.

“We seem to be a tight-knit group and no one is more respected and liked than Thomas,” Quinn said. And it’s our season opener, so there’s a level of excitement that’s different from other games we’ve played all season, and I think it’s something we can do playing in Thomas’ hometown and see how excited he is. That should provide our men with a little extra motivation.”

Sharks have defensemen too Radim Simekwas born in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic, about 40 minutes northeast of the O2 arena.

There are no Czech players on the Predators roster.

They played their homecoming game on Monday. Roman Joshi He returned to his hometown of Bern, Switzerland, to face his former team, SC Bern, in the pre-season games of the 2022 NHL Global Series Challenge.predator forward Nino NiederreiterGrew up in Chur, Switzerland, about three hours east of Bern, was also warmly welcomed.

Josi had 2 goals and 1 assist to win 4-3. Fans expressed their gratitude when he was named the first star, and he raised his stick and expressed his gratitude as his chest pounded.

The Sharks played a preseason game at Eisballen Berlin on Tuesday as part of the 2022 NHL Global Series Challenge. Nico Sturm, from Augsburg, Germany, was sidelined due to an upper body injury. Quinn will be in the lineup on Friday, he said.

“I think I saw the crowd when I went home with Josi in Bern,” said Shark Center Luke Kunin Said. “You’ve seen the success they’ve had there and how exciting it’s been. It’s a big game for us too, so I think you can kind of build on it. It’s going to get you out of that feeling and hopefully you’ll succeed.”

However, each team can build that sentiment on Friday and Saturday. My experience at Josi showed what this means to the fans the Predators are here for, especially the kids in the crowd.

“We are just a group of young people they can look up to,” Johansen said. [we try to] Be a great role model for them here, lead by example, and do your best to show them a great time. ”