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Nearly one month after initial reports that the Boston Bruins would open the 2010-2011 season abroad were first leaked, it’s official. The Bruins will return to Europe for the first time since a 10-game tour against the New York Rangers in 1959 and participate in two of the NHL’s first games next season on October 9th and 10th at the O2 Arena in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, against the Phoenix Coyotes.
A record four other teams will also open in Europe: the Carolina Hurricanes will play the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland, while the Columbus Blue Jackets will face off in Stockholm, Sweden against the San Jose Sharks.
The Bruins currently boast two Czechs, David Krejci, who will suit up for the country’s Olympic team this coming Friday, and Vladimir Sobotka, and two players – Zdeno Chara and Miroslav Satan – from neighboring Slovakia.While they will certainly enjoy playing in front of their hometowns (assuming they’re all still on the team), head coach Claude Julien has some reason to be worried. Every coach who opened the season abroad in 2008 was fired before the end of the season. Reassuringly, only one of the four coaches who opened this current season in Europe – Andy Murray of the St. Louis Blues – have been fired… so far.
More information concerning tickets for the games – one of which will be “home” and the other “away” – will be provided as it is released, so be sure to check back soon.