NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement Friday as preparations continued for Game 1 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).
The puck will drop at 1 p.m. ET for the Winter Classic, which Forbes magazine calls the best new sporting event of the last decade. NBC will provide live broadcast coverage of the game in the U.S. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event live. NHL Radio and Sirius XM Radio will provide radio coverage and NHL.com will have extensive digital coverage.
Fans can be first in line to receive the updates and alerts on ticketing, news and other information by visiting NHL.com for its continuing coverage on all things related to the 2011 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic.
In addition to the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, Bettman announced a number of other signature ventures for the 2010-11 season. The NHL’s full master schedule will be released Tuesday, June 22.
NHL Heritage Classic
The NHL also hopes to play an outdoor regular season game in Canada next season and will be discussing the plan with the Competition Committee in June. The Heritage Classic would be played at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Sunday, Feb. 20 and would feature the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames. CBC and RDS would carry the game in Canada and VERSUS would telecast the outdoor match in the United States. Assuming plans for the game are approved, it will be the first NHL regular season game contested outdoors in Canada since the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Canadiens at first Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on November 22, 2003.
Compuware NHL Premiere
The 2010-11 NHL regular-season will launch on two continents next October with the League celebrating its fourth-consecutive year of regular-season games taking place across Europe. An unprecedented six -- the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks -- will open the season by playing six games in Europe as part of 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere and NHL Face-Off.
The Hurricanes and Wild will play two regular-season games against one another at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, Oct. 7 and Friday, Oct. 8. The Blue Jackets and Sharks will square off for two games at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Oct. 8 and Saturday, Oct. 9. Meanwhile, the Bruins and Coyotes will play each other at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10.
VERSUS as well as local rightsholders will televise the action live to fans in the U.S. In Canada, TSN will provide live coverage.
Prior to the start of the regular season, all six NHL teams will square off against European competition in a series of exhibition games spanning across Europe. Included in those games will be the first-ever visits by an NHL team to Belfast, Ireland; Mannheim, Germany; and St. Petersburg, Russia.
NHL All-Star Game
The League’s mid-season spectacular returns when the Carolina Hurricanes and the city of Raleigh host the 2011 NHL All-Star Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 29 and Sunday, Jan. 30 and will include Honda NHL SuperSkills and the 58th NHL All-Star Game at RBC Center. The action from both nights will be covered live by VERSUS, CBC and RDS.
The 2011 NHL All-Star Game will mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities. The 2011 NHL All-Star Game will feature various hockey-themed events, entertainment and activities. Further details on the 2011 NHL All-Star Celebration, including ticket and broadcast details, will be released at a later date.
The NHL begins its season with the ultimate grassroots event that gives communities across Canada the honor of hosting an NHL game from their very own local arena. Dundas, Ontario, this year’s winning community, represents the fifth winner of the annual Kraft Hockeyville program.
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, Dundas will host a 2010-11 NHL pre-season game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators at the newly renovated J.L. Grightmire Market Street Arena. Together with the NHL, NHL Players’ Association and CBC Television, Kraft connects family and friends through their passion for hockey and pride for their community. Kraft Canada provides $100,000 in arena upgrades to the winning community and $25,000 to each of the four runner-up communities.
NHL Face-Off, the League’s annual launch event in North America, welcomes the beginning of the 2010-11 NHL season in North America on Oct. 7 with the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting arch rival Montreal Canadiens live on CBC. The League will officially celebrate the start of the season with an opening day hockey and entertainment festival in Toronto providing fans the opportunity to celebrate the coming of a historic NHL season. CBC will present a second game that evening as part of an opening-night doubleheader when the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames.
In the U.S., the season begins with a special doubleheader on VERSUS. Both Stanley Cup finalists will take to the ice when the Flyers play Pittsburgh, followed by the Blackhawks squaring off against the Colorado Avalanche.
Hall of Fame
The NHL Hall of Fame Game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 6, when the Toronto Maple Leafs will face either the Buffalo Sabres or Chicago Blackhawks. The Hall of Fame inductions will take place on Monday, Nov. 8. CBC’s "Hockey Night In Canada" will once again provide full coverage of all of the festivities that evening.
Hockey Day In Canada and Hockey Day In America
February promises to be a historic month for hockey in both Canada and the United States. CBC’s 11th annual Hockey Day In Canada will take place on Saturday, Feb. 12 with the following triple-header on CBC’s “Hockey Night In Canada”: Ottawa at Edmonton (2 p.m. ET), Toronto at Montreal (7 p.m. ET), and Calgary at Vancouver (10 p.m. ET). Hockey Day In Canada celebrates Canada's love and devotion to the game of hockey with celebrations in communities throughout the country.
The NHL and NBC salute roots of the game, its traditions and pageantry with Hockey Day in America on Sunday, Feb. 20. As part of USA Hockey’s Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok, the day-long event will celebrate hockey with a slate of NHL games that are scheduled to include Philadelphia, New York Rangers, Washington, Buffalo, Detroit, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Boston.
2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs
The 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on Wednesday, April 13. The last possible date for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final is scheduled for Friday, June 17, 2011.
A new tradition continues Wednesday, June 22 in Las Vegas when the top NHL stars join forces with celebrities from music, stage and screen for a celebration of hockey’s best at the 2011 NHL Awards at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. The Awards once again will celebrate the best of the best in hockey from on and off the ice. Television partners CBC and VERSUS will return for the latest installment of this renowned event.
NHL Entry Draft
Wrapping up the historic NHL season will take the League to the "State of Hockey" as the Minnesota Wild host the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Entry Draft will be held over two days, Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25.
TSN will provide live round-by-round coverage of the draft in Canada, while in the U.S., Friday’s first round will be live on VERSUS and Saturday’s Rounds 2-7 will be televised by NHL Network. The 2011 NHL Entry Draft will be the second-ever held in the state of Minnesota and the first at Xcel Energy Center – a building home to 409 consecutive Wild sellouts. The NHL Entry Draft has grown significantly since the first such event was held in a Montreal hotel ballroom in 1963.
In Minnesota, NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the Entry Draft floor while more than 10,000 fans and more than 500 print, television and radio media are expected.