Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames to play two pre-season games in China

Players of the Los Angeles Kings, and the Vancouver Canucks fight for the puck during the NHL China pre-season hockey game at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (AP Photo)

CALGARY — The Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins will square off in a pair of NHL pre-season games in China in September.

The Flames and Bruins will clash Sept. 15 in Shenzhen and Sept. 19 in Beijing.

"I think this is going to be a great experience for our guys," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Wednesday in a statement.

"This is a great opportunity for us to experience a different culture while showcasing our league and our product."

The Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings played pre-season games in the same Chinese cities in 2017.

"Any time you can get together on a trip like this it goes a long way in building chemistry as a team," Flames centre Sean Monahan said.

"I don’t think people realize how big of a deal this is. You want to be able to experience as much of the world as you can. To able to do it with your teammates, your friends, it will be special."

Flames alumni Lanny McDonald, Colin Patterson, Perry Berezan, Dana Murzyn, Joel Otto, Jim Peplinski, and Jamie Macoun travelled to Hong Kong in 2013 to promote hockey.

The Bruins held youth hockey camps in Shanghai and Beijing during the summers of 2016 and 2017.

The games in China are part of the strategy of the NHL and Players’ Association to grow the game globally, the NHL said in a statement.

China, with a population of more than 1.3 billion, is committed to developing hockey and other winter sports ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

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