Team Canada celebrates after winning the final game between Team Canada and HC Ocelari Trinec at the 93th Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS AP/Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP

Team Canada celebrates after winning the final game between Team Canada and HC Ocelari Trinec at the 93th Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS AP/Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP

Hockey Canada withdraws from Spengler Cup due to COVID-19 concerns

The right decision for the health and safety of players, coaches and staff

CALGARY — Hockey Canada has withdrawn its team from the Spengler Cup.

Canada often competes in the European club-based tournament based in Davos, Switzerland, sending a squad of Canadians selected off European pro teams along with some free agents.

Hockey Canada said in a statement on Monday it was pulling out due to the “ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The joint statement from CEO Tom Renney and president Scott Smith says that Hockey Canada believes it is the right decision for the health and safety of players, coaches and staff.

Hockey Canada says it will participate in the event “for years to come.”

Canada’s Spengler Cup team was intended to be Hockey Canada’s backup entry for the 2022 Beijing Olympics in February if the NHL pulls out of the Winter Games.

Claude Julien was named the head coach for Canada’s team at the Spengler Cup, as well as the Channel One Cup in Russia, in late November.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2021.

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