A piece of Czech history and a modern hockey show. The apparent contrast worked brilliantly on Friday, when the NHL Global Fan Tour broke camp under the backdrop of the Municipal House.
The league’s fan zone, which thus offered fans a taste before the Prague games of the NHL Global Series between the San Jose Sharks and the Nashville Predators (Friday 7 and Saturday 8 October at the O2 Arena), attracted thousands of fans to the city center, from the youngest to the veterans of retirement age .
[Více k tématu Splněný sen Hertla i Josiho: Zahrají si doma]
“Great. I mainly enjoyed target shooting and hockey on the Playstation,” said nine-year-old Lukáš from Černý Most, armed with a cap with the Boston Bruins logo.
Friday morning belonged to the school classes, several of them from Prague’s Vršovice went to the fan zone. Ondřej Pavelec and Jiří Tlustý also added variety to their visit – the former Winnipeg Jets goalie and forward of a number of NHL clubs came to shoot at targets and hardness and posed for group photos with the children.
“Ondra and I already went on this Fan Tour three years ago. It’s especially nice for children that they can see something from this kind of hockey workshop. That they can shoot here, goof off, get a little insight into the world of the NHL. He is such a pioneer of , for the kids to watch,” said former forward Tlustý, who played 446 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Jets and New Jersey Devils.
“Children can try things here that they have never tried. There is quite a lot here, there are also a lot of children here and that is only good,” said goalkeeper Pavelce, who graduated in 2018 with 398 duels for Winnipeg and the New York Rangers. in the back.
And who, by the way, beat Tlustý – who was limited by a long-term wrist injury – even in the hardness of the shooting, when he fired a light puck at a speed of 130 kilometers per hour.
The Global Fan Tour, whose goal is to promote the NHL, returned to the Czech Republic after two years, the last time it was presented in 2020 in Třinec. However, that was the only stop at the time – the real tour took place only in 2019 before the duel between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks, when the fan zone traveled through the largest Czech cities from Pilsen through Ostrava to Prague. At that time, it attracted more than 20 thousand people.
This year, she hosted the Global Fan Tour in the Czech Republic in May, when she performed in Přerov and Karviná. On September 15, she camped under the Krkonoše hills in Vrchlabí, on September 19 in Litoměřice, and two days later she visited Moravia again – this time in Hodonín, the birthplace of Michal Kempný, who brought the Stanley Cup here in 2018.
Duels within the Global Series will be held in Prague after three years. San Jose’s two meetings with Nashville will kick off the entire NHL season.
“It was postponed for a long time, so it’s great for the Czechs that now they have the opportunity to see these matches. Not everyone will get there, but the one who succeeded will see a big show,” predicted Pavelec. “On the other hand, it’s the beginning of the season, the hockey probably won’t be the same as when the teams are already played. It’s hard to predict what it will look like in the first games.”
The event on Náměstí Republiky will be followed by one last stop before the actual matches in the O2 arena: on Saturday, October 1, the fan zone will move to the outskirts of Prague to the Metropole Zličín shopping center. Finally, he moves to Berlin, where the Sharks will play a friendly against the local Eisbären on Tuesday. Then Hertl et al. will move to Prague for the culmination of a short European tour.