In 2013, Zhou Yunjie was in Boston on a bit of business when he found himself with a little leisure time on his hands. He hadn’t played hockey since he was a teenager and had basically lost touch with the game he once loved as a young goaltender back in Beijing in the 1970s. But the Boston Bruins’ Original Six brand appealed to the billionaire businessman. So with the Bruins at home, Zhou decided to take in a game at raucous TD Garden.
That night in Boston relit the hockey fuse in Zhou’s mind. “I always loved hockey and then I went to a live game,” he said. “That gave me the inspiration basically to bring the NHL to China and grow the sport of hockey in China like the NBA. The NBA has been there more than two decades and is very successful there.”
Since that night more than five years ag...
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