Celebrating it’s 90th anniversary this year, the Spengler Cup will as always begin on December 26th and run through until December 31st.
Since 2010 the event has been expanded to include six teams including the hosts HC Davos.
The two groups of three are as follows:
A round robin stage with all teams playing twice will dictate the playing order for the rest of the tournament with every side still having a chance to win the competition even if they finish bottom of the group.
Genève-Servette are from Geneva in Switzerland and compete in the top tier of their nations league.
They are coached by Chris McSorley, who is Marty’s brother.
He was assistant coach for Team Canada last year as they won the event and coached Genève-Servette in this competition three years ago. Being the second Swiss team in the competition brings another interesting aspect.
CSKA Moscow play in the KHL and last won the Spengler Cup in 1991. They have competed a few times in this event but not since 1992.
Coached by John Torchetti, the first North American coach in the clubs history, they are having a good season at home, currently sitting 5th in the Western Conference.
Rochester Americans will be competing for the second time in their history, the first was way back in 1996 and they are still the sole North American team to compete in the competition.
It will be interesting to see how they adapt to the European way of playing although they have players with bundles of NHL experience which will doubtless help.
Davos are the hosts and have made the final of the cup on forty occasions, winning it fifteen times.
They made the final last year before losing to Team Canada who had a team full of NHL talent due to the lockout, and there was no disgrace in falling 7-2.
Arno Del Curto has been the head coach since 1996, winning a handful of championships through the 2000’s and always building a team to challenge for titles.
Vítkovice Steel are from the Czech Republic and made the final at their first ever invitation to the Spengler Cup in 1980. Roman Malek is perhaps their best known player as the goaltender was drafted by Philadelphia in 2001.Their captain Jiri Burger may be 36, but he’s still providing the bulk of the teams offense and spent 13 season with the club.
Team Canada are often the dark horses as you never know quite what you’ll get.
Winners last year because of a team stacked with current NHL talent, this year’s team has a far different look. Names you may recognise are goaltenders Chris Mason and Allen York, Jason Williams, Darren Haydar and Brendan Bell.
Dough Sheddon will again be the head coach as he was last year and this will be his fifth year involved with Canada during the Spengler Cup.
It will be broadcast in the UK on Eurosport, although sadly not all of the coverage will be live.
As I write this article, Eurosport will not be showing the second semi-final or the final itself live but worth checking out the daily schedule as this things have a habit of changing.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 26
13:45 GAME 1
Live: Geneve-Servette HC v Rochester Americans
19:00 GAME 2
Live: Team Canada v HC Vitkovice Steel
FRIDAY DECEMBER 27
00:30 Replay: Geneve-Servette HC v Rochester Americans
01:00 Replay: Team Canada v HC Vitkovice Steel
09:00 Replay: Geneve-Servette HC v Rochester Americans
10:00 Replay: Team Canada v HC Vitkovice Steel
13:45 GAME 3
Live: CSKA Moscow v Loser G1
19:00 GAME 4
Live: Davos v Loser G2
SATURDAY DECEMBER 28
Replay’s of yesterday’s games at 00:05, 01:00, 09:00 and 10:00.
14:00 GAME 5
Live: Winner G1 v CSKA Moscow
19:00 GAME 6
Live: Winner G2 v Davos
SUNDAY DECEMBER 29
Replay’s of yesterday’s games at 00:05, 01:00 and 09:00.
14:00 GAME 7
Live: 2nd Torriani v 3rd Cattini
19:15 GAME 8
Live: 2nd Cattini v 3rd Torriani
MONDAY DECEMBER 30
Live: Semi-final 1st Cattini v Winner G7
TUESDAY DECEMBER 31
03:00 Replay: Semi-final 1st Torriani v Winner G8
07:45 Replay: Semi-final
08:45 Replay: Semi-final
15:30 Replay: Final
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 01
03:45 Replay: Final
07:00 Replay: Final
THURSDAY JANUARY 02
11:15 Replay: Final