Sports Outside the Beltway

Kings-Ducks To Open In London

Its official the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will open the NHL Season in the United Kingdom:

“Our commitment to grow the game globally has never been stronger,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly. “The NHL is extremely proud to be represented in London by two great hockey organizations in the Ducks and Kings as well as to be recording NHL history at such a fantastic facility in the 02.”

After three successful Game One events in Japan in 1997, 1998 and 2000, NHL Premiere will mark the first time the NHL will have played regular-season games in Europe.

The home-and-home series will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 8:00 p.m. (GMT) and Sunday, Sept. 30, at 5:00 p.m. (GMT).

I guess the NHL is forced to grow globally becuase the market is at critical mass in Canada and just isn’t growing in the US. It would of made mroe sense to send an East Coast team there as its closer and the time change is slightly less. However, as with any scheduling in the NHL the Eastern Conference has all the power and they use it to screw over the Western Conference in terms of travel. Granted in this case it was more a function of AEG owning the Kings and the Arena influnincing who plays, but the scheduling problems still exist.

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