Canada could be sending quite an impressive team to the Spengler Cup.
With the NHL's announcement Monday that all games through Dec. 30 have been cancelled, the possibility of locked-out players wearing the Maple Leaf over the holidays in scenic Davos, Switzerland, increased.
Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Patrice Bergeron and John Tavares are among the Canadian players who have spent the lockout playing in the Swiss league and would be eligible to compete in the historic club team tournament. Hockey Canada has been in touch with all of them.
"These are top-end guys that would obviously put us in a good situation with our overall team makeup," said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada's vice-president of national teams.
Brooks Laich and Michael Del Zotto could also be available along with Matt Duchene, who recently signed with Ambri-Piotta after spending a couple of months in Sweden.
However, Pascall is facing the same dilemma as his colleagues who are currently assembling the country's world junior team. He needs to prepare for a Plan A and Plan B since it's possible the NHL lockout could end just before Canada faces Adler Mannheim on Dec. 26 in the tournament opener. The final will be played Dec. 31.
"We're kind of going day by day," said Pascall.
The Canadian team isn't expected to name its roster until just before Christmas because of the uncertainty brought on by the NHL work stoppage.
Each year, the team is largely comprised of Canadian-born pros based in Switzerland along with a handful of guys from other European leagues and the American Hockey League. The tournament is considered the oldest in hockey - it dates back to 1923 - and features the Canadian entry, host HC Davos (which could feature past Canadian Olympian Joe Thornton) and three other European club teams.
Canada last won the event 2007.
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