ATLANTA (AP) -The NHL will return to Europe to open next season, announcing Saturday that two games each will be played in Prague and Stockholm.
The New York Rangers will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning at Sazka Arena in the Czech Republic, while the Ottawa Senators face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Globe Arena in Sweden's capital city.
The games will be played Oct. 4 and 5.
``We'll start next season with doubleheaders in two international venues,'' commissioner Gary Bettman said on the eve of the league's All-Star game in Atlanta. ``We're all pretty excited about that.''
The league clearly wants to showcase some of its top players, such as Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson and Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier. Of course, the top draw in Prague would be New York's Jaromir Jagr - if he's still with the Rangers.
The Czech standout could become a free agent after this season.
``There's no guarantee that anyone on our team right now will be on our team in the fall,'' said Glen Sather, president and general manager of the Rangers.
The NHL opened its current season in London. The Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks played the Los Angeles Kings before two sellout crowds at O2 Arena.
As a warmup to their regular-season opener, the Rangers are scheduled to meet European club champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia on Oct. 1 for the inaugural Victoria Cup in Bern, Switzerland.
The International Ice Hockey Federation is organizing the game - named after the Montreal arena where the first organized game was held in 1875 - as part of its 100th anniversary celebration.
The IIHF hopes to make the Victoria Cup an annual event between the European champ and an NHL challenger.
Advertisement

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Stamkos staying with Tampa The biggest prize in NHL free agency has elected to stay home, as Steven Stamkoshas signed a new deal with the Tampa Bay...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks hope to force a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Pick Will the Pittsburgh Penguins close out the Stanley Cup Final tonight when they host the San Jose Sharks in...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Final Game 4 Pick Can the San Jose Sharkseven up the Stanley Cup Finalwhen they host the Pittsburgh Penguins...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Sharks Game 3 Pick Can the San Jose Sharks get on the board in the Stanley Cup Final when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 at...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Stamkos staying with Tampa The biggest prize in NHL free agency has elected to stay home, as Steven Stamkoshas signed a new deal with the Tampa Bay...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks hope to force a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Pick Will the Pittsburgh Penguins close out the Stanley Cup Final tonight when they host the San Jose Sharks in...
Thumbnail Stanley Cup Final Game 4 Pick Can the San Jose Sharkseven up the Stanley Cup Finalwhen they host the Pittsburgh Penguins...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Sharks Game 3 Pick Can the San Jose Sharks get on the board in the Stanley Cup Final when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 at...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Team Pages