What does it mean to you to return to the Spengler Cup, 9 years after you played with Hockey Club Davos?
Riku Hahl: It’s pretty cool, actually. I have so many great memories from my time in Davos. I really enjoyed playing there.
How do you rate your time with Hockey Club Davos when you placed 2nd in the National League A in 2005-06?
Riku Hahl: It was a good year for our team, eventhough we ended up losing in the finals. That was a disappointment, obviously. But other than that, everything was positive. Davos is a great place to play and the organization is top-notch.
What are some of your most prominent memories from your time in Davos?
Riku Hahl: I had so many great teammates, like the Von Arx brothers, Andres Ambühl and Marc Gianola. The whole group - from the coaches to the physios, equipment managers and players – it was a real pleasure to be a part of.
Do you still have contact with any of the Davos teammates and acquaintances from that time?
Riku Hahl: Yes, I catch up with Andres Ambühl from time-to-time.
What do you tell your Jokerit Helsinki teammates about the Spengler Cup?
Riku Hahl: That I hope everyone will enjoy their time there. The tournament is magnificent and played in such beautiful surroundings, but at the same time playing so many games in so few days will be tough physically.
What are you most looking forward to on your trip to Switzerland aside from hockey?
Riku Hahl: It’s nice to bring my family along for the trip. I hope I have the time to maybe go ride a small sled with my son while we’re there. It’s also pretty cool to show him a place in Europe where I’ve played before but he’s never been to.
Were you able to profit in your career from your time in Davos? How so?
Riku Hahl: Absolutely! I got great coaching and learned a lot from Arno Del Curto. We trained really hard while I was there. It was also great to see and learn from a different culture.
What goals will you strive for with Jokerit at the Spengler Cup?
Riku Hahl: We want to play good hockey in the tournament and be an entertaining team in front of the fans. Of course, we will try our best to win the tournament.
Which opponent are you most looking forward to facing?
Riku Hahl: It would be awesome to play against HC Davos in an evening game. The sold-out arena and two good teams would be a wonderful setting for a great night of hockey.
How can Jokerit profit from its experience at this year's Spengler Cup?
Riku Hahl: The tournament has so much tradition and like I mentioned earlier, it is played in great surroundings. It will be a memorable experience for the whole Jokerit organization.
If you could have a wish for this year's Spengler Cup, what would it be?
Riku Hahl: All I hope for is that people will enjoy the hockey and everybody will be in good spirits. We’re looking forward to coming over there.
The following is an overview:
Russia: Sport1 Channel
Czech Republic/Slovakia: Nova Sport
Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Finnland, Denmark): – Final program to be decided
Negotiations with additional countries are under way.
After a few jobs as assistant coach for various Canadian national teams, you have been asked for the first time to head Team Canada at the Spengler Cup. What does this task mean to you?
Guy Boucher: No matter what job you are selected for by Hockey Canada, it is always an honor and a dream come true – especially, as there are many people in Canada that would love to work for Team Canada. For me, the Spengler Cup will be my sixth dream to come true [Guy Boucher was the assistant coach for Team Canada at the U18 World Championships in 2005/06, 2006/07, and 2007/08, assistant coach at the U20 WC in 2008/09, and assistant coach at the WC in 2012]. The only thing missing are the Olympic Games.
What does your first participation at the Spengler Cup mean to you?
Guy Boucher: I have heard a lot about the tournament and watched it on TV at home in Canada. Apparently, it is an event that captures the whole town of Davos. The Spengler Cup will be a great way to spend Christmas for my family and me.
You have been the head coach in Bern for ten months now. Which expectations have been fulfilled? Which have not?
Guy Boucher: My expectations go from day-to-day and are a part of the process. I have been pleasantly surprised how fast everyone in Bern has jumped aboard. I thought it would take much longer with a new head coach, nine new players, and a new goaltending coach. To the players’ credit, that was not the case. It is easy for me to have a game plan, but it is the players that have to pay the price to put it into effect.
Where do you stand in your preparations for the Spengler Cup?
Guy Boucher: Steve Tambellini and I have met on multiple occasions and discussed the situation and which players should be selected.
What do you look for when picking your team?
Guy Boucher: It is always a goal to get the players that will form the best possible
group. That depends on work ethic and discipline. With so little time, one has to get on the same page as soon as possible. I will meet the team one day before the tournament begins and we will only have one practice together before our first game against HC Davos.
Can you already name some of the players on your roster?
Guy Boucher: No, at this point I cannot give you any information regarding the roster.
Serge Pelletier will assist you. How can you profit from his Spengler Cup experience?
Guy Boucher: So far I have not had a chance to talk to him. But, obviously, we will talk soon and I will ask him to give me a detailed account of his experiences.
What do you look forward to most at the Spengler Cup?
Guy Boucher: The challenge of achieving the best possible result in such a short time. I love challenging tasks.
Canada will face Davos on the first day – what is your prediction?
Guy Boucher: Who can predict the result? I am sure it will be an intense game, throughout which my team will hopefully get better and better.
What is your goal at the Spengler Cup?
Guy Boucher: Every tournament at which Team Canada participates, the goal is to win.
How good do you expect the opposition to be?
Guy Boucher: It will be tough. Davos leads the National League A, Geneva won the Spengler Cup last year, and then there are three KHL teams. That says it all.
Would you like to participate at the Spengler Cup with your team, SC Bern, as well?
Guy Boucher: That is not up to me to decide.
Photo: Thomas Hiller
Pat Quinn will be remembered as a long-time coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks, as well as Team Canada, with whom he won the first Olympic gold medal in 50 years at the Winter Games 2002 in Salt Lake City. In 2006 he was also the bench boss for Team Canada at the 80th
Spengler Cup. There, he led a team that consisted of players active in Europe (especially in Switzerland) and the American Hockey League. His team reached the final before falling to the host HC Davos. The Spengler Cup extends its deepest condolences to the family of Pat Quinn.
The Russian news agency Tass citing CSKA Moscow informed that the Russian coaching legend Viktor Tikhonov had passed away in Moscow at the age of 84. Tikhonov, born on June 4, 1930 in Moscow, is an icon of a golden era of ice hockey. Under his lead, the Soviet “Big Red
Machine” won 8 World Championships and three Olympic Gold medals between 1978 and 1992. Another memorable moment was the victory of “his” CSKA Moscow at the Spengler Cup. The Spengler Cup extends its deepest condolences to the family of Viktor Tikhonov.