December 22, 2012

On Ice

I am a hockey fan.

You can probably guess that by the fact that one of my tags is "Hockey", but other than that I've been avoiding the subject for an obvious, unmentioned reason.  So I'm not going to mention it.

Instead, I'm going to have a good holiday season because the World Juniors are coming up soon, as is the Spengler Cup.  Yes, I also like watching the Spengler Cup, despite the fourth or fifth billing the competition gets in this country (NHL, WJHC, World Championships, CHL, then a toss up between regional AHL or Spengler).

Quick run down of what exactly the Spengler Cup is: 

-It's the oldest invitational hockey tournament in the world.
-Established to improve the skills of German-speaking clubs, it's grown far beyond that.
-Current iteration includes HC Davos hosting every year, with national and professional teams from around the world joining in.
-It has been most frequently a four team tournament, but that has increased to six.

Team Canada has bee playing since 1984, and is usually made up of Canadians playing in Europe, AHL players without NHL contracts, or free agents looking to keep competitive.  What makes it interesting is that any "national" team (the USA and Japan have both played as well) is going to be composed of players from several different locations, where the club teams have played together all season before taking a break to enter the tournament.  Plus, since the club teams have their own players, there are often Canadians playing against Team Canada, something they love doing.  For instance, Rick Nash and Joe Thornton are on Davos this year due to the NHL strike (they also have one of my favourite names, long-time Spengler member Reto von Arx), while Jason Pomminville will be with Alder Mannheim.  Lots of former NHL players with the Euro clubs, too, because wouldn't you?

What makes this year one to watch for is simple:

Team Canada looks insane.


posted by Thursday at 11:55 am


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