The Capitals are still waiting on the NHL to finalize the logistics of the 2011-12 NHL Premiere to decide whether they will start next season in Europe, General Manager George McPhee said Saturday in Raleigh.
Washington is one of six teams, along with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks that have been invited to take part in what would be the fifth season that the NHL has kicked off overseas. None of the teams have formally accepted or declined the offer while the league irons out specifically how many cities and which ones it chooses to play in.
"It's still a work in progress," McPhee said after attending the NHL Board of Governors meeting Saturday morning. "The league has to work things out on their side, looking at scheduling issues and other things in that respect. Sometime in the next two or three weeks though we should have some answers as to whether it's something we'll participate in."
Rumored to be possible destinations for the Capitals are Russia and Sweden, but it's unclear how many cities the NHL wants to send teams to.
McPhee has expressed his hesitation with the event, particularly the strains put on a team with the added travel in the first month of the season. But on Saturday, McPhee seemed to take a softer stance on the issue.
"That's always a concern," McPhee said about the scheduling. "But the league has learned over the past four years how to integrate teams into the schedule, when we would come back. We're not as concerned about it as we've been, but we just want to make sure if we do this that it's the best possible place to play our games."