The Hurricanes could be opening next season in Finland as part of the 2010 NHL Premiere in Europe, general manager Jim Rutherford said today.
"We've been in discussions for a few weeks," said Rutherford, who is attending the NHL governors meeting in California. "There has been no confirmation of it, but there's a good chance we will be in it. The discussions have been good and everything moving in the right direction."
The Hurricanes have three Finns in their lineup -- Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen and Tuomo Ruutu. All are expected to play for Finland 's Olympic team in the upcoming Vancouver Winter Games.
Rutherford said travel expenses are borne by the league. He said a decision should come "in the fairly near future" -- last year's announcement was made in February.
Other teams being considered appear to be Phoenix, San Jose, Columbus, Boston and Minnesota, and it's possible the NHL could send six teams to the games.
Compuware had the title sponsorship of the 2009 NHL Premiere games in Stockholm and Helsinki.