Inter-League Game Could Spell Bad News for NHL
Could an exhibition game really give bad publicity to a major North-American sports league?
The NHL has constantly been trying to show that their league is the best to the public all over the world. For the past few seasons, the league has sent four of their teams overseas to play in places such as Germany, Sweden and England. The teams usually open the NHL regular season a week early, playing two games in the country that they were designated. This season the league has decided to send the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings to Sweden, and the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers to Finland. Not only are these teams playing each other, but they will see time against some of the best teams of the chosen nation in pre-season play.
Why is this a possible threat to the league? The NHL holds themselves as the greatest hockey league in the world with the most powerful teams and the best players. There is almost no way of disputing that prestigious honor as long as the teams are playing against each other all the time and do not allow any outside teams to jeopardize that point. Allowing other teams from other leagues could harm the reputation of the NHL.