DAVOS, SWITZERLAND – Canada’s National Men’s Team begins defence of its Spengler Cup championship on Friday, December 26 when it takes on Energie Karlovy Vary from the Czech Republic on the opening day of the tournament.
Canada will also face Switzerland’s HC Davos (Saturday, December 27), ERC Ingolstadt from Germany (Monday, December 28) and Moscow Dynamo from Russia (Tuesday, December 30) in preliminary round play. The top two finishers in the round robin will face off in the championship game on Wednesday, December 31.
All of Canada’s games at the 2008 Spengler Cup will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet (check your local listings for game times).
Canada’s roster is comprised of Canadian-born players currently playing in Europe, along with NHL prospects loaned to Hockey Canada from National Hockey League teams. The team was selected by Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s executive vice-president of hockey operations, along with head coach Sean Simpson and assistant coaches Serge Pelletier and Russ Courtnall.
Canada has announced a trio of roster changes. Defenceman Joel Kwiatkowski has been added to the roster, while Rico Fata and Eric Himelfarb have replaced Kirby Law and J.P. Vigier, who are unable to participate.
Canada’s roster for the 2008 Spengler Cup includes five players who were part of last year’s championship team (Aubin, Heins, Jackman, Pittis, Vigier), and two players who have seen action for Canada at the IIHF World Championship (Dupont, Isbister).
Canada has appeared in seven of the last eight championship games, winning the Spengler Cup in 2002, 20. Overall, Canada’s National Men’s Team has won the Spengler Cup 11 times (1984, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007), since first taking part in the tournament in 1984.
The Spengler Cup, held annually since 1923, is the oldest professional international hockey tournament in the world.