News | 9/18/2013 9:23:35 AM | Rob Crean
| The 2013 Spengler Cup takes place Dec. 26-31
When it was announced back in April that the Rochester Americans had been invited to participate in the 2013 Spengler Cup tournament in Davos, Switzerland, it marked just the second time that a professional club from North America would participate in the prestigious tournament. Remarkably, both times it was the Amerks that were selected, as the team played to a third-place finish in the 1996 Spengler Cup.
The Spengler Cup is considered the world’s oldest invitational hockey tournament, with the inaugural event having taken place in 1923 after being started by Davos-based physician Dr. Carl Spengler. The club tournament’s magic formula is a mix of its location in the Swiss spa town of Davos, the unique arena, the timing between Christmas and New Year’s, the coming together of various ice hockey philosophies and its longstanding tradition.
The Amerks will spend the holiday season in Switzerland taking on a variety of opponents from all over the world, as this year’s tournament includes entrants from Canada, Switzerland, Russia and the Czech Republic (CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SCHEDULE). Rochester will open the tournament on Dec. 26 against the Swiss-based club Geneve-Servette.
Here’s a closer look at the teams slated to compete in the 2013 Spengler Cup:
The host team of the Spengler Cup has a long history of winning championships. It has won more National League A titles than any other team, having taken home the championship 30 times, a run that started in 1926. Their most recent title came in 2011. In addition, the club has won the Spengler Cup a total of 15 times, with the first coming in 1926 and the most recent in 2011.
Based in the famous Swiss city of Geneva, and, like HC Davos, plays in the Switzerland’s top professional league. The team is coached by Canada native Chris McSorley, who played four seasons in the American Hockey League with New Haven and Springfield. Matthew Lombardi, a nine-year NHL veteran, reportedly signed with the team last month.
Hockey Canada enters a team into the tournament each year, typically made up of Canadian players who are playing professionally in Europe. Last season, because the NHL was in the midst of a work stoppage when the Spengler Cup took place, stars such as John Tavares, Patrice Bergeron, Matt Duchene, Jason Spezza, Tyler Seguin and Sam Gagne took part in the tournament. Team Canada will enter as the defending champs after the team featuring the aforementioned players defeated the host team 7-2 in the final game.
One of Russia’s historic clubs, CSKA Moscow is a member of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and is coached by American John Torchetti, former head coach of the AHL’s Houston Aeros and a longtime NHL assistant coach who won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-10. This year’s team features several former NHL players, including Alexander Radulov, Oleg Saprykin, Viktor Kozlov and Alexei Morozov.
HC Vitkovice Steel competes in the Czech Republic’s Czech Extraliga. Like many of the teams in the Spengler Cup, the club has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1928, they have won multiple championships and are located in the Czech city of Ostrava.
Amerks.com will continue to run its "Spengler Cup Series" leading up to the tournament to provide fans with more information before the Amerks participate for the second time in team history in December.