In the NHL, a game that does not count toward a team's regular season record, usually played as a preseason game between opponents in the same league.
Exhibition games have been around for nearly as long as the NHL, and essentially include any games that are played outside the regular season (and the playoffs). In most cases, the term "exhibition game" refers to preseason games. These games are basically a way for teams to "warm up" for the regular season, get to know their opponents, and as a way for coaches to evaluate players and make decisions on the roster. The number of preseason games played by each team will vary, with some teams playing as many as 10. Often this is dictated by where preseason games are played-in recent years many NHL teams have played preseason exhibition games in Europe, which usually reduces the overall number of games these teams will play.
Exhibition games besides the preseason include prospect tournaments, such as the Vancouver Canuck's YoungStars tournament, where up-and-coming young players show off their skills. In 2012, in response to the NHL lockout, several NHL players participated in a "tour" of exhibitions games for charity, with the first game being played in Quebec.