One of the all-time greatest scorers in NHL history will be in London on Sunday for a pre-season game between the Florida Panthers and the Dallas Stars.
Budweiser Gardens confirmed Saturday that Jaromir Jágr will suit up for the Panthers when they take to the ice in the lone NHL pre-season game in London this year. The 44-year-old Czech forward has enjoyed an illustrious 26-year career in both the NHL and KHL, winning two Stanley Cups, and five Art Ross Trophy’s for leading the NHL in scoring. Jágr is currently third in NHL career regular season points and is fifth in career playoff points.
— Budweiser Gardens (@BudGardens) October 1, 2016
Puck drop has been set for 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available here.
This will mark the twelfth time in its history that the building has hosted a game like this and the first time that either the Panthers or the Stars have played in London.
In the past, pre-season games have provided big attractions for the area. Tourism London General Manager, John Winston says their numbers show it isn’t just Londoners who buy tickets.
“We know people come in to see exhibition games. Some come and stay overnight, but we get a lot of people from within the region who come and watch the game. It certainly adds to the economic impact in our restaurants, particularly.”
Winston goes on to add that Budweiser Gardens is a big part of attracting events like this and remembers back to all of the discussions that took place and the debate over whether the downtown was the right place for it to be.
“Nobody wanted to see it in the downtown core. They didn’t think the investment was worth it, but it has been the best investment we’ve ever made.”
Fans might be wondering where the Philadelphia Flyers are, given that they have been London’s NHL “home team” more than any other club. Brian Ohl, the General Manager of Budweiser Gardens says that it boils down to some simple mathematics.
“As a company, (Comcast Spectacor) has grown a lot so the Flyers have some other obligations and play at some other venues for some of the pre-season. We hope to get them back at some point, but we are really happy that the Panthers decided to fill that void and bring their hockey up here.”
With files from Mike Stubbs