There are rumours circulating that the NHL season will start with games in Sweden and possibly other European capitals for 2008. This might vindicate my post from a few days ago which stated that the league needs to start a dialogue with fans in Europe. Looks like the NHL would start the season with a two-game series between Ottawa and Pittsburgh at Stockholm’s Globen Arena, and Ottawa would warm up for the game with an exhibition match vs. FrÃƒÂ¶lunda in Gothenburg. This a still a rumour, but is discussed with little real substance in a Swedish daily called “The Local”.
Rumours that they’re nosing around in other cities are probably based on the fact that the Swedish kick-off discussions are still preliminary and that the NHL is exploring other possibilities. Earlier reports had them starting the season in Prague. I doubt this means they’d do this on any real scale, with a bunch of teams in a bunch of cities, but most likely another one-off like they did in London and, earlier, Japan.
However, I’ve now heard and read the Swedish rumours from a bunch of sources including my friend JR (who forwarded the Swedish piece). So this seems a little more solid than the others.