Boston Bruins to Open 2010-11 Season in Prague Against Phoenix Coyotes

Boston Bruins to Open 2010-11 Season in Prague Against Phoenix Coyotes David Krejci can mark Oct. 9 on his calendar as his homecoming, as the Boston Bruins will open their 2010-11 season in Prague, Czech Republic against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The story had been rumored for some time, but the NHL officially made the announcement on Tuesday.

The Bruins will play on Saturday, Oct. 9 and again the following day at 02 Arena in Prague.

The teams won't be the only ones opening their seasons overseas. The Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild will play a pair of games in Helsinki, Finland, on Oct. 7 and 8, while the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks will skate two games at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, the eighth and ninth of October.

"Fans in Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic will have the opportunity to watch some of their own home-grown players competing in these regular-season NHL games, which will certainly be a great experience for everyone involved," said Mike Ouellet, the NHLPA's chief of business affairs, in a statement.

Krejci and Vladimir Sobotka are the only two Czech natives on the Bruins' roster, though Zdeno Chara is from the neighboring Slovakia. Petr Prucha, Martin Hanzal, Robert Lang, Zbynek Michalek and Radim Vrbata of the Coyotes are natives of the Czech Republic.

As the rosters are currently constructed, 18 players would be returning to their home countries in the three pairs of games, including six Finns in the Hurricanes-Wild matchup. That group includes Joni Pitkanen, Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen of the Hurricanes, and Niklas Backstrom, Mikko Koivu and Antti Miettinen of the Wild.

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