Three European Cities Chosen To Open 2010-2011 NHL Season

When the NHL began its 2007-2008 campaign in London with the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings playing back-to-back matches, it created a new opportunity for the league to market itself to European fans. From there, they would take the following season into Stockholm, Sweden for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators to face each other, and Prague of the Czech Republic where the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning played in what has become the Compuware NHL Premiere Games.

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This year, the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues opened in Stockholm while the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers met in Helsinki, Finland. Today, it was announced which cities will play host in 2010 to kick off the season and what clubs will partake in the action. From the NHL's official website:

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The Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild will play two regular-season games against each other at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, Oct. 7 and Friday, Oct. 8.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks will square off for two games at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Oct. 8 and Saturday, Oct. 9.

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The Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes will play each other at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10.

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For the first time, six different teams will begin the year competing in Europe throughout three countries. Nearly half of the league's squads will have now taken part in the Premiere Games and that number should continue to grow steadily with how much the viewers and players have cherished the event.

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