NHL kicks off season in England
The NHL will bring bring Canada's game — albeit with a pair of California teams — to England in September to kick off the league's regular season schedule.
The Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings will become the first teams in league history to play regular season games in Europe when they play Sept. 29 and 30 at London's 02 Arena. The weekend games are scheduled for 12 p.m. EDT.
The first games in North America will take placeOct. 3, with the Ottawa Senators atthe Toronto Maple Leafsin the first of games on consecutive nights, as well asthe Montreal Canadiens on the road in Carolina.
All six Canadian teams will be in action the first Saturday of the schedule three nights later, beginning with the Edmonton Oilers hosting the retooled Philadelphia Flyers in a matinee affair.
Later, Montreal will be in Toronto to renew their Original Six rivalry, Ottawa will host the new-look New York Rangers and the Calgary Flames will be in Vancouver to take on the Canucks.
There could be plenty of intriguing storylines for games played in Canadian rinks early in the season.
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are tapped for a Western Canadian trip in early December, playing, in order, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
Longtime Oiler Ryan Smyth could be back in Edmonton as an opponent for the first time on Oct. 23, when the Colorado Avalanche are in town.
Anaheim will play in Vancouver on Nov. 27. Todd Bertuzzi, now a Duck, hasn't played in Vancouver since his last game with the Canucks in April 2006.
The Ducks will also have a Stanley Cup rematch with Ottawa, albeit nine months later. The Senators will be in Anaheim for a game on March 3, 2008.
Ottawa, meanwhile,is slated to be the first NHL team toplay inthe Prudential Center, the new home of the New Jersey Devils, located in Newark. The Senators visit the Devils on Oct. 27.
The NHL will be once again playing its all-star game on the weekend, after showcasing the contest midweek this past season. The all-stars will play at Phillips Arena in Atlanta on Jan. 27.