After Colorado Avalanche fans endured another loss on Thursday night, this time at the hands of Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, a much needed morale booster came Friday morning when the NHL and the NHLPA announced that the Avalanche and the Ottawa Senators will in fact play two regular season games in Stockholm, Sweden in November next season as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series. Darren Dreger reported on Twitter at the end of January that the two teams were “likely” to travel overseas to play two games, but it wasn’t confirmed until Friday morning.
NHL Global Series: Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche to Play in Sweden
Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement that “we have more Swedish players than ever in the NHL, and we are extremely pleased that the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series will allow us to showcase a number of those players, with their NHL teams, in their homeland.” Senators captain Erik Karlsson and Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog are both Swedish, as well as team legends Peter Forsberg of the Avalanche and Daniel Alfredsson of the Senators, giving the NHL extra incentive to explore opportunities in Sweden using these two teams as an example. The games will be the seventh and eighth regular season games played in Sweden, and they will take place on November 10th and 11th at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm.
It will be the first time the NHL has had a series of games overseas since the six-year run from 2006-2011 that saw games played in Puerto Rico, Austria, England, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Latvia and Russia as part of the “NHL Premiere,” usually taking place in the preseason and the first few games of the regular season schedule. The Senators participated in the 2008 edition of the series winning an exhibition game against Frolunda Gothenberg 4-1 and splitting two contests against the Pittsburgh Penguins losing 4-3 in overtime and winning 3-1. It will be the first time the Avalanche have participated in international competition since the 2001 NHL Challenge, beating Brynas Gavle 5-3 in Stockholm, Sweden in an exhibition.