By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
Over the last couple of seasons, the focus on taking the NHL around the world has been of great importance. The league has held regular season games in Europe and has continued to look for ways to expand the reach and growth of the game.
The first preseason game of the NHL season happened at 2:30 a.m. ET. The game was held in Shenzhen, China, the first of two games between the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames in the preseason taking place in China.
The Bruins opened a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Trent Frederic, Ryan Donato and John Moore. The Flames managed to get one goal back at the horn to end the first with Sean Monahan beating the buzzer.
The Flames struck for two goals in the third, both by Mark Giordano, including one in the final minute of regulation on a 5-on-3 power play. The Bruins won the game in a shootout, with Jake DeBrusk scoring the game-winning goal.
The two teams will meet in Beijing for a second preseason game on Wednesday. In the US, game time is 7:30 a.m. ET.
This is only the beginning for global games around hockey this season. Commissioner Gary Bettman has noted that regular season games in China could certainly be a possibility. In addition, the Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils are playing in exhibition games against teams from Switzerland and Germany before meeting each other in a regular-season game in Sweden on Oct. 6.
The Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets will also play a pair of games internationally on Nov. 1 and 2 in Finland.
Josh Morrissey Signs New Deal with Winnipeg
Speaking of the Jets, defenseman Josh Morrissey has signed a new deal with the team. The restricted free-agent finalized a two-year, $6.3 million contract with Winnipeg on Sunday.
The 23-year-old is entering his third full NHL season in 2018-19. He scored seven goals and had 26 points last season. Morrissey was the Jets’ 2013 first-round pick, taken 13th overall.
Restricted Free Agents
By now, the offseason is typically behind us and the focus shifts to preparation for the season. For a handful of teams, there is still some business to be done.
Six players remain unsigned as restricted free agents and have not reported to training camp as a result of ongoing talks. There are a few headliners among the group.
The biggest name without a contract is winger William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nylander scored 20 goals and had 61 points last season and was the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. In 185 NHL games, he has 135 points.
Other players still not signed and in camp include Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse, Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore, Anaheim forward Nick Ritchie, Buffalo forward Sam Reinhart and New Jersey forward Miles Wood.