You could see NHL gear all over the city Saturday, from Queen Victoria Market to the Central Business District to Melbourne Park, where fans participated in activities at the NHL Global Fan Tour outside Rod Laver Arena.
It was an interesting mix of expats and Aussies.
Kyle Webb came from the northwest coast of Tasmania. No, he isn’t a New Jersey Devils fan. He’s a Kings fan. He went from playing field hockey to loving ice hockey, and he had been to Los Angeles to see the Kings play the Carolina Hurricanes in 2015 and the Anaheim Ducks in 2019.
What did it mean to him to see the Kings in his home country?
“It’s a massive opportunity,” he said. “It really is. I see it now an area where the game will grow as well, because little kids now are going into street hockey as well. A lot of people that play field hockey are getting more interested as well.”
Seamus Jones came from Canberra, the capital of Australia. He got into the NHL from playing video games.
“I’ve played ice hockey — not very well,” he said with a laugh. “We’re in a country where it’s mainly desert.”