Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings to face off in Australia

The NHL team in the desert will face off against the Los Angeles Kings in the land down under.
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 9:16 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — You’ll see dingoes in Australia, but you won’t see any coyotes unless you’re talking about the Arizona Coyotes.

The NHL team in the desert will face off against the Los Angeles Kings in the land down under. The two teams will have the honor of being the first two NHL teams to play in the Southern Hemisphere. Though Australia has its own national ice hockey organization, the game is part of the NHL’s efforts to expand its global reach. The Coyotes and Kings will play a two-game series at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, known for hosting the Australian Open tennis tournament.

“I’m looking forward to it,” team left winger Jeff Zucker said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re fortunate enough to be able to go on a great trip, have a lot of fun doing it, and have a great team bonding aspect along with it.”

The NHL has a long history of playing international games dating back to the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens facing off in the United Kingdom in 1938. Since that first game, the league has played in 15 different countries, the most recent global series held in Switzerland, Berlin, Prague, Czech Republic and Finland.

“Just being together in the short period of time together, traveling together, and going through a little bit of adversity with the travel times, I think it’s going to bond us,” General Manager Bill Armstrong said. “You get to play right away, and you get to play a battle-tested L.A. Kings team on the other side, so it’s going to be a tremendous challenge for the group.”

The Coyotes will leave for Australia Saturday evening and fly out of Phoenix Sky Harbor. The games against the Kings are Friday, Sept. 22 and Saturday, Sept. 23, at 9 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+ and the NHL Network. The Coyotes are expected to return to the Valley on Sept. 25 to prepare for the season home opener on Saturday, Oct. 21.

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