RALEIGH, NC – The National Hockey League today announced that the Carolina Hurricanes will face off against a Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) opponent in an exhibition game as part of the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere™ Challenge. Staged by the NHL and NHLPA 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. SKA St. Petersburg plays in the Bobrov Division of the KHL’s Western Conference.
The Phoenix Coyotes will also play an exhibition game against a KHL opponent, facing Dinamo Riga at Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia, on Wednesday, Oct. 6. This marks the first time in 20 years that the NHL returns to Russia or Latvia for exhibition games. In September 1989, the Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames conducted a pre-season tour of the Soviet Union which 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 Red Army club and Dynamo Moscow.
In Sept. 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. However, this time the Soviet National League teams proved to be stronger, finishing with a 5-3 record against their NHL counterparts.
Following the exhibition game in St. Petersburg, the Hurricanes will open their 2010-11 NHL regular season by playing the Minnesota Wild in two games at Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena, Thursday, Oct. 7 and Friday, Oct. 8.