Christian Thomas will get another chance to showcase his skills in an effort to make the Canadian Olympic Team, after being selected to Team Canada’s entry in the Spengler Cup tournament today.
The 91st incarnation of the Spengler Cup will feature four European club teams – HC Davos (Switzerland), Dinamo Riga (Latvia), HPK Hameenlinna (Finland) and Mountfield HK (Czech Republic) – as well as international teams from Switzerland and Canada. The tournament takes place between Dec. 26-31 in Davos.
“It’s exciting, and I’m excited to go there,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately I have to miss some games here. The team in Pittsburgh and here in Wilkes-Barre have been awesome in letting me play in the tournaments.”
Canada is using this year’s tournament as a final opportunity to take a look at potential players for their Olympic team. While the Winter Olympics have featured National Hockey League players suiting up for their home countries since 1998, this year’s tournament will not feature skaters from the world’s top league, due to an impasse between the NHL and the International Olympic Committee.
However, players participating in European leagues are eligible to participate in the Olympics, as are North American collegiate skaters, and those signed to American Hockey League only contracts. Thomas falls into that latter set.
The Penguins forward suited up for Team Canada earlier this year at the Karjala Cup tournament, which was held in Sweden, Switzerland and Finland. Thomas potted one goal in three games during the competition.
The Spengler Cup will give him one more chance to show off his skill in an effort to earn a spot on Team Canada when it heads to South Korea in February.
“It’s really cool. I’m excited to go out there and show them the way I can play, and work hard,” he said. “Hopefully that’s enough to earn me a spot.”
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Friday, Dec. 22 against the Binghamton Devils at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Puck drop for the first meeting of the season between the Penguins and Devils is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.