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Mark Messier of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the Molson Canadien Heritage Classic Megastars Game on November 22, 2003 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada. (Dave Sandford/2003 Getty Images)
Mark Messier of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the Molson Canadien Heritage Classic Megastars Game on November 22, 2003 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada. (Dave Sandford/2003 Getty Images)

Canada to get outdoor game next season Add to ...

The NHL plans to add a second outdoor game next season, one that will be in Canada featuring two Canadian teams.

That was the most concrete news that came out of the second and final day of the annual governors' meetings. The governors also listened to an extensive report on the Phoenix Coyotes' messy financial situation and the few who stopped long enough to be interviewed on their way out the door Wednesday said they were satisfied with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's handling of the situation.

"If your question is was there pushback, the answer is no," Bettman said when asked if any governors objected to the spending on the Coyotes.

Bettman repeated his assertion that the league will break even on its $140-million (all currency U.S.) purchase of the team once it sells it to another buyer, although it is not clear how. Bettman said he hopes to have an agreement in place with the Ice Edge group of businessmen in 30 days. Ice Edge Holdings LLC has signed a letter of intent to buy the Coyotes for about $140-million.

However, if a deal cannot be made in 30 days, Bettman indicated, he will look elsewhere for a buyer. The commissioner said there are still "two or three" interested parties.

The location of the second outdoor game for Canada has not been decided. The Toronto Maple Leafs asked to host it, but Bettman said there will be more discussions. Talk around the meeting was that the Calgary Flames are the favourites to get the game and it will be played at McMahon Stadium.

There are also plans to open the regular season again in Europe next season. The effort will expand to three games in three cities involving six teams, with Prague, Helsinki and Stockholm the likely sites. Bettman said the teams have not been decided yet.

 

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