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Chicago Blackhawks to play European champ in Switzerland next fall @NHL

BERN, Switzerland - The Chicago Blackhawks will play the European champion Zurich Lions in Switzerland in September, the NHL and International Ice Hockey Federation announced Sunday.

The teams will meet in the second Victoria Cup match in Zurich, NHL International executive Ken Yaffe said at a news conference before the world championship final.

"We hope the Victoria Cup continues to be an annual event which sees the best of the NHL play the best club team in Europe," Yaffe said.

The game is scheduled Sept. 29 at the Hallenstadion arena before the Blackhawks move on to Helsinki, Finland to open the NHL season against the Florida Panthers with a two-game series Oct. 3-4.

"Our dream is to have the Stanley Cup champions play in the Victoria Cup," IIHF President Rene Fasel said. "I hope Chicago wins the Cup this year."

The Blackhawks lead the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.

The New York Rangers won the inaugural Victoria Cup last October by beating Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia 4-3 in Bern.

Zurich defeated Magnitogorsk over two matches in January to win the first Champions Hockey League title and earn the Victoria Cup invitation.

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