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Website launch begins countdown to Winter Classic

NHL.com

NHL.com launched its 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic website Thursday afternoon, amplifying the excitement generated by the first meeting between the Winter Classic opponents -- Boston and Philadelphia -- at the Wachovia Center (7 p.m., NHL Network) on Thursday night.

The all-encompassing site provides fans with all the information, stories and video they need to prepare for the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day (1 p.m., NBC, CBC, RDS) at Boston's Fenway Park. In addition to comprehensive coverage of the Flyers and Bruins, visitors to the Web site will be treated to a variety of other features.

There are retrospectives of the two previous NHL Winter Classic games on a dedicated NHL Winter Classic video channel. There will also be blogs, facts, figures, FAQs, as well as unparalleled reporting on the construction of the rink -- including the wildly-popular web cam that monitors the work of NHL Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig and his rink crew 24 hours a day, seven days a week until puck drop.

NHL.com and all 30 NHL team websites combine to attract nearly 17 million unique visitors per month. Earlier this year, NHL.com was recognized by Fast Company Magazine as one of the 10 most-innovative companies in sports. Also, the NHL was the only sports league nominated in Website Design category for the 2009 Webby Awards.

More than 307,000 fans -- nine times the capacity of Fenway Park -- registered on NHL.com for the chance to purchase tickets to the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. This week, those U.S.-based fans chosen randomly and those Canadian fans who won an on-line contest began to receive notification of their eligibility to purchase tickets.