The Victoria Cup is an annual game played between one or more European teams - determined by the Champions Hockey League (for the 2008-2009 season by the 2008 European Champions Cup respectively) - and one or more NHL challengers.
The first Victoria Cup, which also will be one of the highlights of the IIHF's 100 Year Anniversary celebrations, will be played at PostFinance Arena in Berne, Switzerland. The winner of the 2008 European Champions Cup, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Russia), and the New York Rangers will face each other on October 1, 2008.
One day earlier, on September 30, the New York Rangers will meet SC Bern in an exhibition game, also at Berne's PostFinance Arena.
"The Victoria Cup will be a joined venture between the IIHF and the NHL and it will be the first annual world club competition for a trophy endorsed by both the IIHF and the NHL. This competition will also carry a substantial financial reward," said René Fasel, the president of the IIHF.
The cup is named after the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal where the first organised hockey game was played on March 3, 1875.
"This is a milestone for international hockey and for the relationship between the IIHF and the National Hockey League," said Fasel. "Ever since the historic game between the Montreal Canadiens and CSKA Moscow on New Year's Eve 1975, hockey fans around the world have been longing for games between NHL clubs and European teams. There have been several games since then, but this is the first time we will have a summit meeting, a one-off final, for a trophy which we hope will be part of the annual international calendar for years to come."
Since the first NHL vs. Europe encounter between the New York Rangers and CSKA Moscow on December 28, 1975, at Madison Square Garden, NHL clubs have faced Russian/Soviet clubs for a total of 108 games. The Russian/Soviet teams have an all-time 57W-10T-41L-record against NHL clubs.
The IIHF has chosen Ovation AG in Zug, Switzerland, as the agency to develop the commercial aspects of the Champions Hockey League. René Fasel said of the partnership: "We are very fortunate to have an agency with the integrity and experience of Ovation to lead the marketing and commercial development. The agency is led by Craig Thompson, one of the founding fathers of the UEFA Champions League, who has all the experience necessary to deliver the Champions Hockey League."
September 30, 18:00, Exhibition game: SC Bern vs. New York Rangers
October 1, 17:00, Legends game: Switzerland vs. Russia
October 1, 19:30, Victoria Cup: Metallurg Magnitogorsk vs. New York Rangers
Tickets are available through Ticketportal. Also: Call Centre -- Tel: +41 (0) 900 101 102 - CHF 0.99/min) and at the ticket retail outlets across Switzerland.
Logo represents both continents
Designwerk, the London-based agency commissioned to create the Champions Hockey League logo, has also designed the Victoria Cup logo as part of the extended brand family.
Twelve hockey sticks, six on each side, come together in a V shape to represent the opposing European and North American powers who will face-off against each other to win this coveted challenge. Each hockey stick symbolizes not only the clubs themselves, but the obstacles they have overcome to get this far, uniting both sides in victory at the V’s center.
The Victoria Cup serves as the annual season opener for the Champions Hockey League and winning it is the ultimate goal of any participating club. Thus, the logo’s blue tints visually tie into those of the Champions Hockey League identity.
A 21st century design for the Victoria Cup Trophy
The Milan-based company GDE BERTONI, one of the world’s greatest trophy makers, has been commissioned to manufacture the trophy which is currently in production. Best known for creating the FIFA WORLD CUP Trophy, the company has also produced other notable designs including the UEFA Super Cup, the UEFA Cup and the Olympic Order. The design for the Victoria Cup trophy however is like none they have seen before and they are delighted with the challenge.
Twenty-first century materials are being used to create this cup in harmony with the notion that it literally inaugurates a new era for European hockey. The Victoria Cup diverges from traditional trophy designs: Twelve Hockey sticks, six per side and made of transparent Perspex, sit atop a marble base and come together in a V-shaped cup. A light source will illuminate the cup from inside and when the stadium lights are turned down, a blue aura will emanate from the cup bringing the logo itself into three-dimensional life.