The 2014 edition of the Spengler Cup gets underway on Boxing Day in Davos, Switzerland. The six team, invitation-only tournament has been presented since 1923 and heralds itself as the oldest invitational hockey tournament in the world.
Over the years, a number of former BCHL players have skated in the Spengler Cup – and not all for Team Canada either. Often, Canadians playing pro hockey in Europe wind up competing against their compatriots as their club teams are invited to the tournament.
This year, the teams competing are Team Canada, HC Davos (Switzerland), HC Genève-Servette (Switzerland), Medvescak Zagreb (KHL), Jokerit Helsinki (KHL) and HC Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL). There are six BCHL alumni featured, three on Team Canada and three on Medvescak Zagreb.
On Team Canada, defenseman Steve McCarthy (Trail, 1996-97) along with forwards Ben Walter (Langley, 2000-02) and Jeff Tambellini (Chilliwack, 2000-02) are former BCHLers featured.
Walter has 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 26 games with EC Salzburg (Austria) this season, while Tambellini has racked up 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 26 games with Gottéron (Switzerland). McCarthy is listed by Hockey Canada as being with the SCL Tigers of the Swiss B League, but I can’t find any record of him on their website.
On Medvescak Zagreb, goaltender Mark Dekanich (Coquitlam, 2002-04) and defensemen Geoff Kinrade (Cowichan Valley, 2003-05), Shaone Morrisonn (South Surrey, 1998-99) are all former BCHL players to skate in this year’s Spengler Cup.
Dekanich is 0-10 this season, with a 3.92 goals-against-average and an .838 save percentage, while Kinrade has six assists in 21 games and Morrisonn has three assists in 32 games.
The Spengler Cup starts Boxing Day with HC Genève-Servette against HC Salavat Yulaev Ufa and HC Davos versus Canada.
18-year-old Nathan Looysen (Victoria, 2014-15), who was released by the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers back in September and promptly signed with the Grizzlies, has been traded in the junior B Vancouver Island League from Peninsula to Victoria.
Looysen only got into seven games with the Grizzlies, notching two points (one goal, one assist) before being released in November. He joined Peninsula as it had his BC junior B rights and in 15 games with the Panthers, the Saanichton native had 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists). Looysen has signed with Cowichan as an affiliate player.
Victoria Forward Kellan Tochkin (Alberni Valley AP, Langley AP, 2007-08) has been signed to a try-out by Kallinge-Ronneby IF (Sweden Division 1). The 23-year-old from Abbotsford had his ECHL rights traded from Elmira to Rapid City last week, but hasn’t played a game with the Rush.
Tochkin, who is a former Vancouver Canucks prospect, had five points (one goal, four assists) in six games with Elmira this season. He also had seven points (four goals, three assists) in 14 games with the ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks. If you’re confident in your abilities to read Swedish, or are handy with Google Translate, Kallinge-Ronneby posted on its website here about signing Tochkin to the try-out.