Panthers Going to Finland for NHL Global Series

NHL Global Series

Photo Credit: Florida Panthers

Sunrise, FL – The Florida Panthers will play two games in Finland later this year, as part of the 2024 NHL Global Series.

The two games will be 2024-25 regular season tilts against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 1st and 2nd, 2024. This will be the third time the Panthers play a game in the Scandinavian country. Most recently, they visited for two games against the Winnipeg Jets in Helsinki in 2018.

This time, the Panthers will go to Tampere – about a two-hour drive from Helsinki. If that city sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the home of Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov.

Barkov, now in his 11th season with Florida, was in the stands when the Panthers played their first exhibition game in Tampere in 2009.

“They came to play against my team, an exhibition game,” Barkov said on Tuesday prior to Florida’s game against the Stars. “(Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov) was on the team. I was watching that team and he was incredible. I never even thought about a chance to play in my hometown with an NHL team.”

The games will take place at Nokia Arena, the home area for Tampere’s professional Liiga team, Taparra, which Barkov and his father played for. Barkov is now a part owner of the club.

The Panthers and Stars each came into the season with four Finnish players, which is the highest in the league. Forwards Anton Lundell and Eetu Luostarinen, and defenseman Niko Mikkola also hail from Finland.

Lundell also remembers watching the Panthers’ visit to Finland in 2009.

“I just know it’s going to be an awesome week for the players, but also for the fans in Finland and all the young boys and girls that grow up playing. They’re going to get so much out of it.”

Speaking to media before Tuesday’s game, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said he’s excited for the four Finns – plus assistant coach Tuomo Ruutu – showing off their home to the rest of the team.

“I’m looking forward to it with this group of guys,” Maurice said. “They have so much fun together, they’re so much fun to be around, and they like each other. Just going to move as a big pack of hockey players around Finland.”

The Florida Panthers defeated the Dallas Stars on Tuesday March 12th in a come-from-behind thriller. After going down 3-0 in the 2nd period, Florida went on to score four unanswered goals. Next up, they face the Carolina Hurricanes on the road. The Panthers are currently in 1st place and hold the best record in the NHL.

(Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)