The Carolina Hurricanes and the Phoenix Coyotes will face off against Kontinental Hockey League opponents in exhibition games as part of the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge. Staged by the NHL and National Hockey League Players Association in cooperation with the KHL, Russia's top professional league, the Hurricanes will play against SKA St. Petersburg at Ledovy Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Oct. 4, while the Coyotes will play against Dinamo Riga at Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia on Oct. 6. SKA St. Petersburg and Dinamo Riga both play in the Bobrov Division of the KHL's Western Conference.
This will be the first time in 20 years that NHL teams have played in Russia or Latvia. In September 1989 the Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames conducted a preseason tour of the Soviet Union that included four games against Soviet National League clubs. Games were played in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Riga. The NHL clubs finished with a combined 6-2 record against the top Soviet teams, including the Soviet Red Army and Dynamo Moscow.
In September 1990, the Montreal Canadiens joined the Minnesota North Stars in traveling to the Soviet Union for the "Friendship Tour '90." Again, games were played in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Riga and again they were enthusiastically greeted by the Soviet public. The Soviet National League teams finished with a 5-3 record against their NHL counterparts.
Following this year's games, the Hurricanes will open their 2010-11 regular season by playing the Minnesota Wild in two games at Helsinki's Hartwall Arena on Oct. 7 and 8. The Coyotes will open their regular season against the Boston Bruins at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on Oct. 9 and 10.
More information on 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere will be released at a later date, including ticket information, broadcast information, training camp schedules and preseason schedules.