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NHL Asks Six Teams To Open '11-12 Season In Europe
Published January 17, 2011
TEAM-BY-TEAM: In Buffalo, John Vogl noted the NHL's "main desire with the Premiere Games is to grow the game outside North America," so Sabres LW Jochen Hecht, who is from Germany, and Sabres LW Thomas Vanek, a native of Austria, playing in Europe "presumably would be a bonus for the European fans and the Sabres" (BUFFALO NEWS, 1/16). In Edmonton, Jim Matheson noted the Oilers have "never pushed that European envelope until now, with the emergence" of LWs Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark, who are both from Sweden. The Oilers presumably would be "most attractive to play in Stockholm." Oilers GM Steve Tambellini: "We certainly support the league and their initiatives and would embrace such an opportunity. But it's a league decision and the talking is certainly in the very preliminary stage" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 1/16). Meanwhile, in Calgary, Eric Francis reported the Flames "were asked by the NHL" to be one of the six teams, but the Flames "respectfully opted out." Flames President & CEO Ken King: "We need to focus on what's important and get ourselves back on track" (CALGARY SUN, 1/16).