Ottawa’s Jason Spezza and Islanders star John Tavares will lead a beefed-up Canada at the Spengler Cup.
Hockey Canada has taken full advantage of the lockout, with a choice of NHLers who have gone to Europe to get a game.
The Edmonton Oilers have a healthy presence on the Spengler team, with Devan Dubnyk, Sam Gagner, Ben Eager and Ryan Smith all wearing Canadian colours. Defenceman Cam Barker is a former Oiler.
Other NHLers include Boston’s Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron, Detroit’s Carlo Colaiacovo, San Jose’s Jason Demers and Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Bernier.
Seguin’s played particularly well for Switzerland’s EHC Biel, scoring 24 goals with 14 assists in just 27 games.
Brett McLean, Kurtis McLean, Pascal Pelletier, Byron Ritchie and Derrick Walser are all back from the squad that reached the quarter-finals last time out.
There is plenty of international experience through the Canadian roster.
Bergeron and Smith both won gold for Canada at the Olympic Games. Those two and nine others have represented Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
The team is coached by Doug Shedden.
Canada opens Boxing Day against German club side Adler Mannheim at the annual tournament in Davos, Switzerland.
The other team in Canada’s group is HC Davos (Switzerland). The other pool features HC Fribourg-Gotteron (Switzerland), HC Vitkovice Steel (Czech Republic) and Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russia).
The Canadians last won the tournament in 2007. Lativia’s Dinamo Riga won the last edition.