Bulletin: Senators open 2008-09 NHL season in Sweden
“Anytime the league asks you to play and represent all 30 teams, and our game, in a international premiere event, it is looked upon as a privilege,” said Roy Mlakar, president and CEO of the Ottawa Senators. “We’re looking forward to serving as ambassadors for the Senators, the city of Ottawa and the NHL. It will be an event that our players will thoroughly enjoy, and our organization proud to be a part of it.”
The Senators and Penguins will open their season on Saturday, Oct. 4, and Sunday, Oct. 5 at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. The Rangers and Lightning face off in Prague on the same days. The Globe Arena has a capacity of 14,119 for hockey.
The club will travel to Sweden on Sunday, Sept. 28 and play a preseason game against the Frolunda Indians of Sweden’s Elite League in Gothenburg on Thursday, Oct. 2. The Indians play in the Scandinavium Arena, with a capacity of 12,004.
Senators team captain Daniel Alfredsson played three seasons with Frolunda before joining the NHL for his rookie season in 1995-96. Alfredsson returned to his hometown of Gothenburg to help Frolunda capture the Swedish championship during the NHL’s lockout season of 2004-05.
“For me it’s going to be a great experience – playing with Ottawa in Sweden,” said Alfredsson (audio - mp3). “A lot people used to ask me during the lockout (when he played with Frolunda), ’Could our team there face off against an NHL team?’ I said there’s quite a bit of difference. It’s going to be fun showing them what we can do.”
Alfredsson was also quite enthusiastic about playing against his hometown team from Gothenburg. “That’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be a sellout. People love hockey there. I had a couple of good years there. Just being able to experience this, it’s something I’m really looking forward to,” added Alfredsson (audio - mp3).
Further information on the Senators training camp and preseason games will be announced at a later date.