The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players Association announced today that the Anaheim Ducks will open the 2011-12 NHL regular season in Europe as part of the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere™ and NHL Face-Off™. The Ducks season debut will be against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, Oct. 7, at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland. On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Ducks will face off against the New York Rangers at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. Additionally, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Ducks will play a special exhibition game against Finnish hockey club Jokerit of the SM-Liiga at Hartwall Areena, the former team of Teemu Selanne
. The Ducks (Stockholm and Helsinki), Kings, Rangers and Sabres will play a total of four games in three different European capital cities – Berlin, Stockholm and Helsinki on Oct. 7-8, 2011.
"The Compuware NHL Premiere Games underscore the strength of our game, the popularity of our players and the international appeal of our brand,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “With a new format that varies each team’s opponents; with the participation of the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers, and with the debut of Berlin’s 02 World Arena as a regular-season NHL venue, these games will play a significant role in launching our 2011-12 campaign."
The Ducks’ current roster has four Finnish players – Teemu Selanne
, Saku Koivu
, Jarkko Ruutu and Toni Lydman
and one Swede in Andres Lilja. Selanne played in 20 games with Jokerit in 1994-95, scoring 7-12=19 points in 20 games.
“We are honored to be able to represent the National Hockey League in Europe,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray.
In 1997, the Ducks participated in the first-ever NHL regular-season games played outside of North America with two games against the Vancouver Canucks in Tokyo, Japan. The games, at the Yoyogi Arena, both drew sellout crowds of 10,500. Anaheim was part of the inaugural NHL Premiere, having played in London at the O2 Arena to kick off the 2007-08 season on Sept. 29 and 30 vs. Los Angeles. The 2011-12 NHL Premiere mark the second European trip for the Ducks, Kings and NY Rangers.
The Ducks will be offering travel packages. More information will be published at AnaheimDucks.com when available.
More information on 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere™ will be released at a later date, including broadcast information, training camp schedules and complete preseason schedules. All four NHL teams will be offering travel packages for fans. Please visit each team Web site for additional information.