In an agreement followed quickly by the release of the
The Olympic men's hockey tournament — won in 2010 by Canada on a goal by
The last NHL games before the Olympics will be held Feb. 8, and league play will resume Feb. 26.
"The NHL features the most international player population in professional sports, and our outstanding athletes take tremendous pride in representing their homelands on the global stage," NHL Commissioner
"The decision to participate … was in many ways a difficult one, but one that we know will be well received by our players and, most importantly, by the vast majority of our fans and sports fans everywhere."
The NHL said it expects more than 120 of its players to participate for the 12 participating federation teams.
The countries are grouped as follows — Group A: U.S., Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia; Group B: Canada, Austria, Finland, Norway; Group C: Czech Republic, Latvia, Switzerland, Sweden.
Canada will attempt to become the first country since the Soviet Union in 1988 to repeat as Olympic champion. Schedules will be released at a later date.
"Having the opportunity to wear their nation's sweater in Sochi is something the players look forward to,"
The Kings' much-anticipated outdoor game at
The Ducks start their season with 11 of their first 16 games on the road, including a three-game trip that starts at Colorado on Oct. 2 to begin the season. The Ducks return to
The NHL also announced a four-division realignment, moving Detroit from the
The Kings and Ducks are joined by Phoenix, San Jose, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver in the Western Conference's Pacific Division.