Avalanche, Senators to play 2 regular-season games in Sweden

The Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will play two games in Sweden next season, the NHL’s first regular-season games in Europe since 2011.

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Friday announced their new Global Series games Nov. 10 and 11 in Stockholm. This is the NHL’s sixth trip to Europe and the seventh and eighth games played in Sweden.

Colorado’s captain is 24-year-old Swedish forward Gabriel Landeskog. Ottawa’s captain is 26-year-old Swedish defenceman Erik Karlsson, winner of the 2012 and 2015 Norris Trophy.

“It’s going to be fun,” Karlsson said. “It’s good for the game. It’s good for the fans over there. Especially with the time difference, they don’t really have the opportunity to stay up and watch every game.”

The teams also have Swedish heritage in some of the best players in franchise history, notably Colorado’s Peter Forsberg and Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson.

“I think that’s going to bring maybe a few more people just for that sake,” Karlsson said. “I think having Gabe there who’s also a big character in Sweden, who’s played a lot of games for the national team, people can relate to him. He’s a great guy and he’s from Stockholm, so it’s going to be a great experience to share with him.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman says with more Swedish players than ever, this is a good chance to showcase the game in the country.

Eighty-four Swedes have played in the NHL this season, roughly 9 per cent of the league. Landeskog and Karlsson are two of four Swedish-born captains, along with the Detroit Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg and Vancouver Canucks’ Henrik Sedin.

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr says the league and players are focused on “continued international growth,” with these games furthering that effort.

The league will make an announcement in Beijing next week, with Bettman and Chinese officials on hand. The NHL has expressed interest in playing in China, whose capital will host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“We believe and I believe that China is the next great market for hockey,” Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said recently. “I’m sure one day you’ll see teams playing in China preseason games and maybe at some point games in the middle of the season. The league understands how important China is as a market, as a media market.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Province purchases land for new Red Deer courthouse

Construction to begin in the fall of 2019

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month