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Matches in Europe starts new season with the NHL

October 4 2008

The new season of the National Hockey League (NHL) starts on Saturday, October 4 matches in Prague and Stockholm. Previous NHL season for the first time in its history, opened in Europe - "Anaheim" and "Los Angeles" had two games in London. This time the flight across the ocean made for four of the club: "Pittsburgh" and "Ottawa" will compete twice in the Swedish capital, and the New York Rangers and Tampa, "two nights in a row will please fans of the main city of the Czech Republic. In North America, the first matches of the regular season will be played on October 9.

Stronger European focus in the policy of the NHL is not accidental. On the eve of the season the league commissioner Gary Bettmen announced plans for expansion into Europe. According to him, over the next 10 years in several cities in the Old World will be a club of the NHL, which will form a separate division. While this project looks fantastic, but increased competition from Continental Hockey League (CHL) forces of North Americans to action. That CHL has become a major troublemaker in enhaelovskoe offseason. About 50 players, last season's speakers in the NHL, had moved to Europe, and the most famous of them settled in the new Russian league clubs. This is the ninth goal-scorer in the history of the NHL Jaromir Jagr, the principal keeper of the Stanley Cup finalist 2007, Ray Emery, goalkeeper John Graham, a strong middle peasants Josef Vasichek, Branko Radivojevic, Joseph Shtumpel, Chris Simon, and Russians Sergei Brylin, Vitaly Vishnevsky, Andrey Zyuzin, and Alexander Radulov.

The latter left for Salavat Yulayev not played put the contract year in "Nashville," and caused the deterioration of relations between the two major hockey leagues in the world. From Email "upstream" should be made ex-striker Magnitogorsk Metallurg Nikolai Kulemina, who joined the ranks is going through difficult times, "Toronto". Attempt to break into the "Columbus" took 18-year-old winger Nikita Filatov, who was chosen above all the Europeans - a sixth number - the NBA Draft in 2008. Also went to conquer the NHL 20-year-old goalie Semen Varlamov (Washington), 18-year-old defenseman Vyacheslav Voinov (Los Angeles), 20-year-old striker Viktor Tikhonov (Phoenix) - grandson of the famous coach Viktor Tikhonov.

All three years after the lockout, which canceled the 2004/05 season, the NHL an increase in revenue clubs. As a consequence, once again climbed the "ceiling of salaries": The maximum payroll team can now be 56.7 million dollars. For comparison, three years ago, a ceiling was set at 39 million, whereas now the minimum budget teams must be at least 40.7 million. Main favorite of the new season comes the defending champion Detroit in the summer most appreciated "lure" of the market of free agents - Marian Hossa. Former club Slovakian striker and finalist playoffs-2008 "Pittsburgh" did not become stronger, and the loss of a leading defender Sergei Gonchar, who because of a shoulder injury to miss 4-6 months, dealt a serious blow to the ambitions of the team. However, having in the Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins are doomed to fight for the Stanley Cup. In terms of major championship competitors are also included, "Montreal", "Anaheim", "Dallas", "San Jose", "Philadelphia". From "Washington", the slave's most valuable player in the NHL last season, Alexander Ovechkin, "Edmonton" and "Tampa" experts expect serious progress.

But the main discovery of the 2008/09 season promises to be "Chicago."The team, which included a scattering of young talent assembled, already in the last championship forced to reckon with, and in the summer, "Hawks" to strengthen productive defender Brian Campbell and goaltender Cristobal Huet strong. The Frenchman drove out "the framework" of Nikolai Khabibulin, whose "Chicago" put up for Draft failures. Since none of the Russian NHL veteran was not interested in (largely because of salary 6.75 million dollars), will continue his career Stanley Cup-2004, likely in the CHL. Nine NHL includes a new season with new head coach. The restructuring team, started three years in a row without going into the playoffs, "Toronto", will start under the guidance of an authoritative Ron Wilson. His office in San Jose "trust no experience of independent work in the NHL, but absorbed the spirit of a winner in Detroit Todd MakLellanu.

The second season in a row with a new coach begins the season "Ottawa", headed by the winner of the last two youth world championships, Craig Hartsburg. From the Junior League of Canada in "Florida" came Peter DeBur of the American Hockey League in the Atlanta and New York Islanders - respectively John Anderson and Scott Gordon. Moved from the chair commentator for the "wheel" "Tampa" Barry Melrose, led by Wayne Gretzky, who in 1993 led Los Angeles in the finals of the playoffs. Also new mentors appeared in "Colorado" (Tony Grenato) and "Los Angeles" (Terry Murray). Regular Season, which consists of 82 matches, will end on 12 April. Unlike the three previous years, the team will hold at least one game with each of the other 29 teams league. One match "regular season" will be special: January 1, Chicago and Detroit will play at the outdoor stadium in Chicago. Head to Head "All Star" will be held January 25 in Montreal. Playoff game, which will knock the top 16 teams (eight from each conference) will begin April 15. The name of the holder of the Stanley Cup will be known no later than June 15, RIA Novosti reported.

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