• The NHL takes three season-opening matchups across the pond: the Carolina Hurricanes faced on the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland; the Columbus Blue Jackets took on the San Jose Sharks in Stockholm, Sweden; and the Phoenix Coyotes squared off against the Boston Bruins in Prague, Czech Republic. Each pair of teams played two games against one another overseas. The Hurricanes swept the Wild; the other two pairs of teams split.

• With regular season outdoor hockey games becoming more popular every year, the NHL decides to stage not one, but two outdoor games this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day, with the Capitals winning, 3-1. Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames hosted the Montreal Canadiens in the Heritage Classic on February 20, 2011. The Flames blanked the Canadiens, 4-0. All four teams wore special throwback or throwback-inspired uniforms during those games.

• The All-Star Game returns following a one-year Olympic hiatus, and it takes on a totally different format. It essentially became the world's most glorified pickup game, with captains Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom going back and forth choosing up sides. Team Lidstrom beat Team Staal, 11-10, in what's always a defense-optional affair.

• A memo to all teams: it takes four games to win a postseason series. The year after the Flyers came back from an 0-3 series deficit to oust the Bruins, two teams nearly squandered a 3-0 series lead. In the first round, the Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks won the first three games of their opening round series against the playoff-backing-in Chicago Blackhawks -- and didn't finish them off until overtime of Game 7. In the following round, the San Jose Sharks were taken to seven games by the Detroit Red Wings after going up three games to none. The Sharks would win that seventh game, 3-2.

• The Boston Bruins advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 21 years after outlasting the Tampa Bay Lightning in an epic seven-game series. In the seventh game, which the Bruins won 1-0, the referees apparently left their whistles at the airport -- not a single penalty was called.

• On the eve of the Stanley Cup Final, May 31, the NHL announced that the Atlanta Thrashers were sold to True North Sports & Entertainment and will move to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season. For Atlanta, it's the second time it lost an NHL franchise to a Canadian city. For Winnipeg, it marks a return to the NHL following a 15-year absence following the Jets' move to Phoenix.

• The Bruins end a 39-year drought by beating the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final. Despite thoroughly outplaying them throughout the entire series, outscoring them by nearly a 3-1 ratio (23-8), it would take the Bruins all seven games to finally vanquish Vancouver.

Anaheim Ducks

Atlanta Thrashers

Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres

Calgary Flames

Carolina Hurricanes

Chicago Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche

Columbus Blue Jackets

Dallas Stars

Detroit Red Wings

Edmonton Oilers

Florida Panthers

Los Angeles Kings

Minnesota Wild

Montreal Canadiens

Nashville Predators

New Jersey Devils

New York Islanders

New York Rangers

Ottawa Senators

Philadelphia Flyers

Phoenix Coyotes

Pittsburgh Penguins

St. Louis Blues

San Jose Sharks

Tampa Bay Lightning

Toronto Maple Leafs

Vancouver Canucks

Washington Capitals

2011 All-Star Game
Raleigh, NC