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Thursday, March 24, 2011
2011 Premiere Games won't include Russia

By Pierre LeBrun

Nyet on the NHL in Russia next fall.

The NHL is no longer planning to have regular-season games in Russia as part of the Premiere Games, the league's deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, confirmed to ESPN.com.

Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that plans to have the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers open the 2010-11 regular season in Russia have fallen through after failed negotiations between the KHL and NHL.

"We explored the possibility of bringing games to Russia next fall, but ultimately were unable to agree on the terms pursuant to which we could make that work," Daly told ESPN.com via email.

We first reported in our Cross Checks blog in January that the NHL had asked the Capitals, Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres to consider opening next season overseas as part of the Premiere Games, including the possibility of games in Russia for the first time. A source told ESPN.com on Thursday that not all of those six teams remain in the mix at this point, but the league still plans on having the Premiere Games in other parts of Europe. Details are still to being worked out.

The NHL has opened overseas with regular-season games dating back to the Kings and Duck playing in London, England, in the fall of 2007.