The NHL is the top professional ice hockey league, with season somewhat of a marathon that lasts from October to April, being a total of 82 games long.
NHL teams travel across the US and Canada for games, with each one needing to travel to games varying distances from their home arena.
Sometimes they will go on a road trip and stay away from home for weeks at a time. Other times they will fly to another city to play one game and then fly back home after that game ends. Players are required to carry their own equipment with them when they fly from city to city for games.
If you’re interested in learning more about NHL players’ travels, keep reading this article, and we’ll provide you with more information.
How do NHL teams travel to away games?
The National Hockey League (NHL) is the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. The NHL has a regular season that runs from October to April, followed by playoffs that culminate in the Stanley Cup Finals. The NHL consists of 32 teams, 25 of which are based in Canada and 7 in the United States.
Airplanes are the preferred mode of transportation because they are faster and more comfortable for players. The National Hockey League has a system in place to schedule flights for teams traveling to away games.
Depending on their geographical location, the NHL schedules a certain number of flights for each team and then assigns them to specific days or weeks.
Teams that live close to each other will be scheduled to fly on the same day, while teams that live far from each other will be scheduled on different days. There are two ways for teams to travel to away games: charter flights and commercial flights.
A commercial flight is an airplane that carries passengers for hire (i.e., commercial airlines). Any individual or group does not charter these flights. A commercial flight is an airline flight that is available for purchase by the general public. Commercial flights are often cheaper than charter flights. However, they are not always available for all destinations or at any time of day.
Charter flights provide players with more room to stretch out and sleep during long trips, but they are also much more expensive than commercial flights. Charter flights are more expensive but offer greater flexibility with regard to scheduling and destination. The NHL teams will charter these flights to travel to away games which they do not have enough time to fly on a commercial flight due to their tight schedule. On the other hand, a charter flight is a private flight that is reserved for a specific group of people.
Do any NHL teams have their own planes?
Every NHL team has its own plane. These planes are used to fly the teams to and from games, but they’re also used for other things like:
- Flying players and staff around North America for promotional events
- Bringing players to and from their offseason homes in Europe or the U.S.
- Transporting medical staff and equipment
- Transporting equipment between NHL cities when a team is on the road
The majority of the teams are charter members of the National Hockey League’s Air Partnership Program. This program allows them to use each other’s planes, so they don’t need to buy their own.
The Air Partnership Program is a partnership among National Hockey League (NHL) teams that allows them to share aircraft. It is designed for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and convenience for players traveling on long trips during the season.
Some NHL teams are not charter members of the Air Partnership Program but still have their own planes to fly on long trips or when they need to fly internationally because there are no other participating NHL team charter flights available.
Do NHL players have to go through customs every time they travel for games?
When NHL players go overseas for games, they have a person in charge of their paperwork and other crucial concerns. NHL players do not have to go through customs every time they travel for games. They only have to go through customs when they are traveling internationally.
When a player travels from one Canadian province to another, they don’t need a passport or a visa, but the player needs a health certificate and an identification document.
The majority of the time, customs is aware of the travel plan and has pre-cleared everyone, so a customs agent may arrive at the venue ahead of time, similar to how they do with touring bands. They most certainly have Nexus cards, which make crossing the street much easier. Due to the fact that they don’t fly commercially, they’ll most likely be dealt with separately by customs authorities who exclusively deal with private planes.
Do NHL players get green cards?
A green card is a document that allows a person to live and work in the U.S. permanently. It is a type of immigration status granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
No, National Hockey League players do not get green cards. When they come to the United States, they are given P-1 visas – if necessary, and the professional hockey player can play for the sponsoring franchise and travel with the team across the country, which allows them to play as long as their team has an NHL contract with them.
However, many NHL players and organizations are opting to start the Permanent Residence process (also known as the “Green Card”) for those players on the active roster who want to make the United States their permanent home, recognizing the potential devastation if they had to leave the country. Because visas don’t last forever, it’s assumed that many of those who have been living in the United States for a time will ultimately receive a green card for permanent residency. Still, for the most part, they will keep their citizenship.