The NHL Lockout has sent plenty of NHLers to Europe and some of those players will be suiting up at the annual holiday tournament in Davos, Switzerland. The biggest team to stock up on NHL talent is Team Canada who will be looking for their first Gold at the tourney since 2007.
Let's take a look at Team Canada's roster:
They won't the be the lone NHL talent participating, as most of the other teams will be boasting a few on their rosters as well:
HC DAVOSJoe Thornton and Loui Eriksson will be representing the host team at the tournament, but it looks like Rick Nash is still nursing a groin injury and may not play. Thanks to a rule that allows teams 4 temporary reinforcements from non-participating teams to suit up for competing teams, Patrick Kane, will be representing HC Davos at the tournament despite playing for EHC Biel in the Swiss NLA. It also looks like they'll be getting help from Habs d-man Raphael Diaz and Swiss NLA leading scorer, Damien Brunner.
HC FRIBOURG-GOTTÉRONThe current top team in the Swiss NLA team in the tourney features Habs forward, David Desharnais, but will also be getting some reinforcement help in Bruno Gervais, Patric Hörnqvist, Max Talbot and Cory Schneider. That's some decent help for a team that is already playing so strong in their league and they should be contenders for the Spengler Cup.
ADLER MANNHEIMThe top team from Germany's Deutsche Eishockey Liga will have some German NHLers representing them in Dennis Seidenberg, Marcel Goc, and Jochen Hecht. Jason Pominville is currently playing for Mannheim, and it's expected that he'll suit up on a very strong Mannheim team to challenge for Gold. Mannheim will also get some help from Nick Bonino who's been playing in Italy's 2nd divison and absolutely lighting it up with 46 points in 17 games. Another NHL addition for Adler is Bonino's Anaheim Ducks teammate, Luca Sbisa, who is playing for Lugano in the Swiss NLA.
HC VITKOVICE STEELRoman Polak and Filip Kuba are the only current NHLers on the Czech Extraliga team's roster, but they'll also have former NHLer and shootout star, Marek Malik, joining them. You'd expect Vitkovice to get some reinforcement help from other Czech teams as other teams stock up, but they'll be in a bind as their season continues through the Spengler Cup and may not want to release any players as teams battle for playoff spots with only 20 games remaining in their season.
SALAVET YULAEV UFAThe middle of the pack-KHL team sports some fantastic ex-NHL draft busts including Nikita Filatov (6th overall, 2008) and Alexander Svitov (3rd overall, 2001), and Oleg Saprykin (11th overall, 1999). A KHL team has advanced to the finals the past 5 years and won 3 of them, so the pressure will be on the team from Ufa to represent the rival league of the NHL in the season in which the KHL can really attract some attention.
The tourney kicks off Boxing Day and with no NHL hockey, the World Juniors being played in the early morning, and some star power participating it should make for some great afternoon hockey to watch.