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Sharks Head To Stockholm To Open 2010-2011 Season

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The Blue Jackets will play the San Jose Sharks in Stockholm, Sweden, at the start of the 2010-11 season, The Dispatch has learned.

The Jackets will play two games in Europe -- a home game and a road game -- but it's unclear if both games will be against the Sharks or if they'll both be in Stockholm. Best guess for the opener is Thursday, Oct. 7.

- The Columbus Dispatch

I covered this pretty extensively in December, and that should be the first place you look if you want to see how it may influence the Sharks performance next year on a statistical level. Teams tend to take a dip around the 20-40 game mark.

The obvious storyline will be Douglas Murray's opportunity to play in front of his family; if you remember from earlier this season, I did a piece on his grandfather, a legend in the Swedish hockey world. "Lasse" (Swedish for "menace") was a hulking blueliner who played the game exactly how Douglas does-- strong and physical.

Murray is the only Swedish player on the current roster, with Evgeni Nabokov (RUS) and Thomas Greiss (GER) rounding out the European representatives.

I'm not adverse to going overseas, but if the Sharks make a deep run this season, you have to wonder how much of a factor it will be in some of the veteran players legs down the stretch next year. Coupled with the vast amount of travel West Coast teams do already, it's definitely not going to do them any favors in 2010-2011.

How much of a detriment it will be, however, is up for debate.