Kings, Coyotes to play two exhibition games in Australia next season

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, right, tries to poke the puck away from Arizona Coyotes center Barrett Hayton during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Los Angeles. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

The Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes will be heading to Australia for a pair of pre-season games this September.

The games — scheduled for Sept. 23 and 24 — will be played at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. It will be the first time NHL hockey will be played in the Southern Hemisphere.

“We are delighted to bring the excitement and passion of the National Hockey League to the dynamic city of Melbourne and the great sports fans of Australia with the 2023 Global Series games,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings are two of our League’s rising young teams and among our most innovative and adventurous franchises. We look forward to their two games at Rod Laver Arena and know this history-making visit will thrill our many avid fans in Australia and cause so many more throughout the sports-loving nation to be captivated by our great game.”

Rod Laver Arena is best known as the centre court stadium for the annual Australian Open tennis major.

The Kings have previously played pre-season games in China (2017), Germany (2011) and Austria (2007) as well as regular season games in England (2007), Germany (2011) and Sweden (2011). The Coyotes traveled overseas in 2010 for one pre-season game in Latvia and two regular season games in Czechia.

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