The Spengler Cup: A Brief History

The Spengler Cup is scheduled to begin in 10 days in Davos Switzerland.  The tournment starts on December 26th (Boxing Day) and runs until New Year’s.  It started in 1923.

The tournament was started by Dr. Carl Spengler as a tournament for German language countries who need a positive boast after the end of the First World War.  However, it soon started attracting teams from all over Europe.  The tournament was so successful that non-European teams, from countries like the U.S. and Canada now compete.  Qualification is by invitation

H.C. Davos, the ‘host’ team has won the most Spengler Cups with 15 titles.  Team Canada, this year’s defending champions, have won 12 Spengler Cups.  H.C. Davos has additionally finished in second place on 25 occasions, for 40 appearances in the Final.  Team Canada has 12 wins in 21 appearances in the cup Final.  The now defunct LTC Prague has won seven Spengler Cups, reaching the finals on nine different occasions.

From 1965 to 1983, teams from the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia dominated the tournament.  Canada has been represented in the tournament since 1984, mainly using players who were already playing in Europe or were playing in the American Hockey League (AHL).  In their first four tournament appearances, Team Canada won three Spengler Cups and finished in second place the year they did not win.  This includes a win in the first tournament they competed in.  Team Canada also won four straight Spengler Cups from 1995 to 1998.  HC Davos also won four straight Spengler Cups, but their streak was interrupted by the Second World War (no Spengler Cups were played during the Second World War.)

The following teams have won the Spengler Cup:

HC Davos (15 times)
Team Canada (12 times)
LTC Prague (Seven times)
Dukla Jihlava (five times)
Spartak Moscow (five times)
Oxford University (four times)
SKA Leningrad/SKA Saint Petersburg (four times)
Berlin SC (three times)
Zürcher SC (three times)
Diavoli Rossoneri Milano (three times)
ACBB Paris (three times)
HC Slovan Bratislava (three times)
Färjestad BK (two times)
Sparta Prague (two times)
HC Milano Inter (two times)
Lokomotiv Moscow (two times)
Dynamo Moscow (two times)
EV Füssen (one time)
Rudá Hvězda Brno (one time)
Krylya Sovetov Moscow (one time)
Metallurg Magnitogorsk (one time)
Czechoslovak Olympic Team (one time)
USSR B (one time)
USA Selects (one time)
CSKA Moscow (one time)
Kölner Haie (one time)
Dinamo Minsk (one time)

From 1923 to 1978, the tournament was played on an outside rink.  However, starting in 1979, the tournament has been played on an indoor rink.

Let’s hope that this year’s tournament lives up to its legacy.

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One Response to The Spengler Cup: A Brief History

  1. Pingback: Canada defends Spengler Cup title without NHL stars | canada.com

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