MOSCOW – After the Karjala Tournament in Helsinki, another event of the Euro Hockey Tour will grow to six teams for the upcoming season. At the Channel One Cup in Moscow, host Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden will be joined by Olympic champion Canada and Olympic host Korea.
While the schedule has yet to be determined and will likely be announced in August, the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia’s Executive Director Dmitri Kurbatov said while confirming the inclusion of Canada and Korea.
“We have reached a principle agreement with Canada. They will play at the Channel One Cup. The Koreans have also asked. For now there’s that plan that six teams will play: Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland, Canada and Korea,” Kurbatov told Russian website championat.com.
With the NHL not planning to be part of the Olympics, Hockey Canada was looking for opportunities to play in more tournaments during the season and that will start with the participation at the Karjala Tournament, which will mainly be played in Helsinki, making the event held in November grow to six teams: Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Channel One Cup is Russia’s Euro Hockey Tour stage and will mainly be played in Moscow at the same venue that was built for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship where Canada won gold. The exact dates are yet to be determined but the tournament will be played during the international break set for the week of 11-17 December 2017.
After that a Team Canada will traditionally participate in the Spengler Cup in Davos from 26-31 December 2017, an international club tournament where this year the Swiss national team will play as well.
The participation of Russia’s favourite hockey rival in Moscow coincides with the 50-year anniversary of the tournament. It was founded in 1967 in honour of the Great October Socialist Revolution and was during most of the Soviet era known under the name Izvestia Trophy or Izvestia Cup named after a newspaper. The name has changed several times since 1996 but the mascot in the logo, a snowman, has stayed. The last time Canada played at the tournament was in 1999.
For Korea it will be the first time for the Asian country to be invited to a top-level event. Korea has never played in a top-level IIHF tournament but will do so as the host of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and three months later at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Denmark after earning promotion to the top level in April.