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Will Sharks Play in Europe Next Season?

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Credit: Sammi Silber

With this week’s announcement of the NHL Global Series returning next season, a few members of the San Jose Sharks organization could be returning home for a game.

Of the four games to be played in Europe, the NHL will play two in the preseason (Switzerland and Germany) and two in the regular season (Finland and Czechia). The Sharks currently are only without direct ties to Finland with forwards Tomas Hertl (Czech) and Timo Meier (Swiss) as well as owner Hasso Plattner (German) hailing from the three remaining countries.

This, of course, depends on impending UFA Hertl returning to the fold.

Should the San Jose Sharks receive a preseason game in Germany, it would not be the first game there as an organization as they faced off against Adler Mannheim for an exhibition game in Oct. 2010. They followed that with regular season contests in Stockholm.

In fact, should the Sharks receive one of the Global Series games, it would be the organization’s third trip to play overseas. They also went to Japan at the beginning of the 1998-99 season.

On Friday, Meier commented about the possibility of the Sharks playing in his home country.

“That would obviously be awesome, to have a game over there,” the All-Star mused. “If it’s close to home I think it would be fantastic to have my family and friends get there to watch a game.”

As for what it may mean for the team, Meier sees it as a major opportunity off of the ice.

“Any time you can go on a trip like that with your team, I think it’s great bonding, and being able to see some different cities, I think that would be an unbelievable experience.”

The NHL has yet to announce the dates and teams for the planned games, but with some ties to the announced cities, the San Jose Sharks and their fans have reason to be excited for the potential of international play later this year.

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