The Spengler Cup is an annual invitational ice hockey tournament held in Davos, Switzerland. First held in 1923, the Spengler Cup is often cited as the oldest invitational ice hockey tournament in the world. The event is hosted by the Swiss team HC Davos and played each year in Davos, Switzerland, from December 26 to 31 inclusively. Currently, all games are held at Vaillant Arena.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
Spengler Cup logo
|Founder||Dr. Carl Spengler|
|No. of teams||6 (group stage)|
|Countries||Switzerland (usually HC Davos), Canada, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, Finland, various other European countries|
|Venue(s)||Vaillant Arena (Davos, Switzerland)|
|TV partner(s)||SUI: Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen|
Europe: Eurosport 2
RUS: Match TV & NTv2
CAN: TSN & RDS
CZE / SVK / HUN: Sport1
SLO: Šport TV
SRB / CRO / BIH / MNE / MKD: Arena Sport
It was originally devised by Dr. Carl Spengler as a means to promote teams from German-speaking Europe, who might have suffered ostracism in the aftermath of World War I. Eventually, the tournament grew well beyond expectations. Many of Europe's most prestigious clubs and national programs have appeared, including Soviet, Czechoslovak, Swedish, German, and Finnish powerhouses. Through its history, club or national teams from 12 different countries have won the tournament, with host team HC Davos and Team Canada winning the most cups (15) while Switzerland and Czechoslovakia are tied as nations whose various teams have won the most cups (19 each).
Among non-European organizations, Team Canada, Team USA, nationally-ranked U.S. collegiate teams, reigning AHL Calder Cup and Ontario Hockey Association champions, and even Team Japan (in 1971, building international experience before playing as hosts of the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics) have competed for the Spengler Cup. Since at least 1990, Team Canada has been the only participant from North America, with the exception of the AHL's Rochester Americans in 1996 and 2013.
In the 2018 tournament, Finnish club team KalPa from the city of Kuopio defeated Team Canada 2–1 in the final. The game was decided in the 8th round of a shootout, the first series of game-winning shots in tournament history that determined the winner of the Spengler Cup.
Many participating teams are club teams, rather than national teams, where a club team might have players from many nations on the roster. The first tournament was won in 1923 by the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club, composed of Canadians studying at the University of Oxford.
The first 24 tournaments were dominated by host HC Davos (7 wins, 12 runners-up) and the Czechoslovak club team LTC Prague (7 wins, 2 runners-up). The LTC Prague team was shut down by the Czechoslovak communist authorities after players defected at the 1948 Spengler Cup tournament. Between 1965 and 1983, the tournament was dominated by various Czechoslovak and Soviet teams. Since joining the tournament in 1984, Team Canada has been the dominant participant, with 15 wins and 10 runners-up. Team Canada is made up of Canadians predominantly playing in Europe, as the tournament occurs during the NHL and AHL seasons, though active NHL stars Joe Thornton and Rick Nash were playing for HC Davos during the 2004 NHL lockout.
From its inception until 1978, the tournament was played on an outdoor rink. The outdoor rink still exists outside the indoor arena, and is one of the largest outdoor rinks in the world. Starting in 1978, all tournament games have been played indoors.
The Spengler Cup is the second-largest sporting event in Switzerland, after tennis' Swiss Indoors in Basel. It had a budget of CHF 11 million in 2016. About 40% of the total tournament budget amount comes from corporate sponsors. Since 1985, UBS has been the main sponsor and presenting partner of the Spengler Cup. Other major sponsors are Würth, Schenker Storen, Škoda, Siemens and Calanda – each of whom, along with UBS, are the main tournament sponsor of one of the six teams each year.
A frequent point of contention among hockey observers discussing the Spengler Cup's relevance is the use of temporary reinforcements. Since the tournament is open to both clubs and national teams, a rule exists that allows club teams to hire up to four additional players (three skaters and one goaltender) for the duration of the competition. Prior to the 2010 edition, six reinforcement players (five skaters and a goaltender) were allowed per team.
In practice, not all participants choose to take advantage of the rule to the same extent, and it works mostly to the host team's benefit. HC Davos, for whom the event is a significant source of income, tends to upgrade its roster with experienced talent in order to guarantee a competitive performance and maintain high interest from the Swiss audience. Other teams don't have such incentives to reinforce their squad and will often be much less selective.
The Spengler Cup is broadcast on Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen in Switzerland, on Eurosport 2 in most of Europe, on Match TV and NTv2 in Russia, on Sport1 in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, on Šport TV in Slovenia, on TSN and RDS in Canada and on the free-to-air channel FreeSports in the United Kingdom.
Spengler Cup winners
|Club||Won||Runner-up||Years won||Years runner-up|
|15||25||1927, 1933, 1936, 1938, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1951, 1957, 1958, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2011||1924, 1925, 1926, 1929, 1930, 1935, 1937, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1953, 1955, 1960, 1969, 1981, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2012|
|15||10||1984, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017||1985, 1988, 1990, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2018|
|7||2||1929, 1930, 1932, 1937, 1946, 1947, 1948||1936, 1938|
|5||5||1965, 1966, 1968, 1978, 1982||1970, 1971, 1977, 1983, 1984|
|5||1||1980, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1990||1982|
|4||1||1923, 1925, 1931, 1932||1934|
SKA Saint Petersburg
|4||0||1970, 1971, 1977, 2010||–|
|3||4||1924, 1926, 1928||1923, 1927, 1931, 1941|
|3||1||1934, 1935, 1950||1958|
|3||0||1959, 1960, 1961||–|
|3||0||1972, 1973, 1974||–|
|2||4||1952, 1964||1954, 1959, 1961, 1962|
|2||3||1944, 1945||1942, 1943, 1952|
|2||3||1993, 1994||1989, 1992, 1997|
|0||3||–||1991, 2015, 2016|
- 1 Includes hockey clubs from the First Czechoslovak Republic, the Third Czechoslovak Republic, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the last Czech and Slovak Federative Republic based in today's Czech Republic and Slovakia, and Czechoslovak national teams.
- 2 Includes the runner-up 1967 Kingston Aces of the Ontario Hockey Association.
- 3 Includes hockey clubs based in today's Russia and Ukraine, and Soviet national teams.
- 4 Includes hockey clubs from the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, Allied-occupied Germany, West Germany, and today's Bundesrepublik.
- 5 includes hockey clubs from the Kingdom of Italy and today's Italian Republic.
- 6 Includes CSKA Moscow's Cup win in 1991.
- 7 Includes hockey clubs from the French Third Republic, the Fourth Republic, and today's Fifth Republic.
- The Isis, 23 Jan. 1924, page 19. (Future Prime Minister of Canada Lester Pearson was a member of the Oxford University team in the spring of 1923; however, he returned to Canada in the summer of 1923 and therefore did not compete in the first Spengler Cup played at the end of December 1923 and early January 1924. See: Pearson, Lester B. Mike : The Memoirs of the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972, page 50.)
- Ruch, Fabian (2015-12-23). "Ein Berner vermarktet den Spengler-Cup". Berner Zeitung, Berner Zeitung (in German). ISSN 1424-1021. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
- "Presenting and gold partner | Spengler Cup". www.spenglercup.ch. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spengler Cup.|