The NHL's plan to grow in China

With the 2020 Winter Olympics in sight, the NHL has a plan to grow China's interest in hockey.

Posted: Sep 18, 2018 7:11 AM
Updated: Sep 18, 2018 7:35 AM

As the National Hockey League continues to spread its wings the NHL is keen to grow the sport in China ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

In 2017, the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings went head-to-head in the NHL's first game on Chinese soil.

This month the iconic Stanley Cup trophy has been on tour in China, even visiting the Great Wall of China, while the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames play two preseason games, first in Shenzhen and then Beijing.

"It's great to see the game growing globally and the world loving the game of hockey," said Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat.

Read: David Pastrnak on nurturing future stars worldwide

Following in the footsteps of sports such as the NBA, the NHL has a twofold strategy to develop the game in a country of 1.4 billion people.

"We believe that by engaging at the grassroots level and having a regular presence at the NHL level, we can encourage the development and growth of the game," NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, told CNN Sport.

With regular public appearances, school programmes and coaching clinics, the league is hoping to have a lasting effect on the country and tap into its unrivaled potential.

Now seems as good a time as ever, with the Chinese government investing $3 billion in winter sports.

Watch the video at the top of the page to see how the NHL is aiming to develop and promote itself in China.

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