With Canada and Ambri-Piotta backing out of the Spengler Cup due to COVID-19, the organizers have found two replacements to fill the six-team event.
Slovak team Slovan Bratislava will replace Canada for the team’s first showing at the world’s oldest invitational hockey tournament. Ambri-Piotta, a team in the top national team in Switzerland, will be replaced by a select team with players from local rivals SC Bern, the SCL Tigers, and EHC Biel.
Bratislava plays in the top Slovak league, as well as the Champions Hockey League. Bratislava is currently the favorite to win in domestic league play with a 16-5-1-1 record and 60 points, 10 points clear of Zvolen in second.
For the Swiss-based clubs, it’s a bit of an unusual situation. The three teams are rivals in the National League, but they’ll come together with an equal number of players from the three teams to build one all-star team. The GMs of the three respective clubs are currently working on
The Spengler Cup is set for its 94th edition in Davos, Switzerland from Dec. 26-31. Canada, using a select team based on players competing in Europe, won four of the past five events. The 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic, the first time the tournament didn’t take place since the 1950s.