Team Canada’s Gregory Campbell reacts with the Spengler Cup Trophy after the final game between Team Canada and HC Lugano, at the 90th Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Defending champion Canada names Spengler Cup roster as Olympics loom

CALGARY — Hockey Canada has named its 20-man roster for the 2016 Spengler Cup hockey tournament.

Canada will enter this year’s event in Davos, Switzerland looking for its third title in a row, and Olympic general manager Sean Burke and head coach Willie Desjardins will get one last chance to evaluate players in competition before selecting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games team.

Forwards Andrew Ebbett, David McIntyre, Mason Raymond and Nick Spaling and defenceman Maxim Noreau return from Canada’s 2015 Spengler Cup winning team.

“The Spengler Cup allows us an opportunity to take another look at some players who’ve been part of earlier teams, as well as work with some new faces, just given how it aligns with other league schedules,” said Burke, who noted that eight of the players selected come from either the NCAA or the American Hockey League.

Canada’s rosters for its last two pre-Olympic tournaments have been heavy with players based in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. KHL president Dmitry Chernyshenko has said he is waiting to find out how many Russians will be banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics before deciding if he will allow his players to compete in South Korea.

Rosters are already thin after the NHL declined to release players for the 2018 Games.

Canada has won the Spengler Cup 14 times. It will begin its quest for a 15th title Dec. 26 against Czech club Mountfield HK.

Host club Davos, the Swiss national team, Latvia’s Dinamo Riga and Finnish club HPK are the other teams in the tournament.

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