NHL looks at China as a 'very long-term relationship'

However, the International Ice Hockey Federation has agreed to cover the cost of travel and insurance for NHL players, Reuters reported on Wednesday, in hopes of breaking the impasse.

The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will face off in the first National Hockey League preseason games played in China, it was announced late Wednesday.

Incidentally, NHL is in the middle of a huge controversy for not agreeing to send their players to 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea, but assuring player's participation for 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. "This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities". The NHL may yet decide to go to Korea because of players' interest but also in part because of the lure of Beijing.

The preseason games will take place September 21 in Shanghai and September 23 in Beijing.

"This is an historic moment for the National Hockey League", Commissioner Bettman said.

FILE - In this Saturday, March 4, 2017, file photo, Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin, left, of Sweden, passes the puck against Los Angeles Kings defenseman Derek Forbort during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles. He and other league officials have said it's a long-term arrangement with China that also includes contributions to growing grassroots hockey in the country. "Bloomage is pleased to join the NHL in bringing the top level ice hockey talent to Huaxi Live Wukesong and presenting the best of hockey to Chinese fans". "We look forward to helping the National Football League grow their Chinese market and explore more commercial opportunities, while also providing our Weibo users with a better opportunity to watch and quickly share LIVE games and highlights". The Canucks, Kings, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals have already conducted camps for young Chinese players.

China is a focus for the league with help from the Chinese government and the private sector, led by Zhou Yunjie, the goaltender-turned-billionaire chairman of metal can manufacturing company ORG Packaging.

In addition to the National Hockey League and NHLPA, representatives from the Chinese Government, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Bloomage International and O.R.G.

  • Julie Sanders