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NHL looking beyond its borders

September 25, 2008 |  4:11 pm

When the Kings and Ducks played one another in London last season, there were plenty of hockey fans to pack the arena, including these Ducks fans.

Got an e-mail the other day from a group that's trying to bring hockey back to the frozen tundra of Winnipeg through expansion or relocation of an existing team. I was in the minority but I always liked visiting Winnipeg -- nice city, nice folks. And now a nice new arena, though a bit small by NHL standards. They've come up with a fine website, too, for making their case.

Today I got an e-mail from the league, with a follow-up announcement on the NHL's website, that it had signed a broadcast deal to show its games in Asia and India. This on the heels of playing regular-season games last season in London (the one in England, not the Canadian province of Ontario) and playing regular-season games in Stockholm and Prague this season.

Get the picture?

Like the NBA, which has more employees in Europe and in China than it does in Los Angeles, the NHL is looking well beyond the Canadian and U.S. borders for fans. Don't be surprised if the NHL has teams in Europe before it ventures back to Winnipeg or puts a team in Hamilton or other Canadian cities.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: When the Kings and Ducks played one another in London last season, there were plenty of hockey fans to pack the arena, including these Ducks fans. But note the Kings fans are there too. Credit: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

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