RALEIGH, NC—The National Hockey League today announced that the Carolina Hurricanes are one of six teams that will open the 2010-11 regular season in Europe as part of 2010 Compuware/NHL Premiere™ and NHL Face-Off. The Hurricanes will take on the Minnesota Wild at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, Oct. 7 and Friday, Oct. 8. The games mark the fourth consecutive season that the NHL has started its season with games contested overseas, and the first time the Hurricanes franchise has ever played regular-season games outside of North America.
Hurricanes Chief Executive Office/Owner/Governor Peter Karmanos Jr., will hold a media availability today to discuss the 2010 Compuware/NHL Premiere™ in the Media Workroom on the Arena level of the RBC Center at 2 p.m.
The Hurricanes’ current roster features three players from Finland, including 2010 Olympians Joni Pitkanen and Tuomo Ruutu and leading goal-scorer Jussi Jokinen. The Wild also boast three players from the country: captain Mikko Koivu, goaltender Niklas Backstrom and right wing Antti Miettinen. There are 32 Finnish-born players currently playing in the National Hockey League.
This marks the second consecutive year Hartwall Arena has hosted NHL teams to start the season, as the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers played there on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3, 2009, as part of the 2009 Compuware/NHL Premiere series. Opened in 1997 in time to host the 1997 IIHF World Championships, Hartwall Arena is home to Jokerit of the Finnish League and has a capacity of 13,464 for hockey. For more information on Hartwall Arena, please visit http://www.hartwall-areena.com/en/.