• Blueshirts Plan a Return to Czech Republic
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
will get the homecoming he surely has dreamed of when the Blueshirts play a special exhibition game against Lundqvist's former team, the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite League, at the Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Friday, Sept. 30.
"I'm very excited about this game. New York and Gothenburg have both played a huge part in my career," said Lundqvist. "Last time I was on skates in that arena we were celebrating our second championship. I'm sure it will bring back a lot of memories."
The game is part of the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge, and tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, June 21, at 9 a.m. local time in Gothenburg (3 a.m. ET). For more information on purchasing tickets visit www.ticnet.se
It will be a unique experience for Lundqvist, who played five seasons for Frolunda before coming to the NHL. In 2005, his last in Sweden before joining the Rangers, Henrik captured both the Golden Puck and the Golden Helmet awards for outstanding play. To make the occasion even more special, Henrik, a two-time NHL All-Star, will oppose his twin brother Joel, who plays for the Indians.
"It will be special in a lot of ways for sure," Lundqvist said of the Sept. 30 game. "To play against my brother again, and a bunch of guys that I played with for a lot of years will just add to that feeling."
Frolunda has faced NHL competition before. On Oct. 2, 2008, the Ottawa Senators played an exhibition game at the Scandinavium. Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson, a Gothenburg native and former Frolunda player, returned to score a goal and an assist in the Senators’ 4-1 victory.
In 1981, the Rangers participated in the DN (Dagens Nyheter) Cup in Sweden, a tournament that featured elite Swedish clubs, including Frölunda. The teams finished 1-2 in the standings, with the Rangers claiming the Cup.
The Rangers will open their 2011-12 NHL regular season by playing two games at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Oct. 7 against the Los Angeles Kings and Saturday, Oct. 8 against the Anaheim Ducks. 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere marks a record fifth consecutive season the NHL will be playing regular-season games in Europe.
NHL teams will play a total of four games in three different European capital cities – Berlin, Stockholm and Helsinki – Oct. 7-8, 2011. Last year, six NHL teams -- the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks -- opened the 2010-11 NHL regular season by playing six games in Europe.
By the end of 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere, 17 NHL teams- – over half of the NHL –- will have played regular-season and exhibition games in Europe since 2007. The Rangers were also part of the event three years ago, when they opened the 2008-09 season in Prague, Czech Republic.