Three-time Gagarin Champion at 94th Spengler Cup
Article - Three-time Gagarin Champion at 94th Spengler Cup
Spengler Cup Organizing Committee scores a real coup with Russian KHL representative AK Bars. The Russian top team is without a doubt one of Europe’s elite teams.
Tournament newcomer AK Bars will be travelling to Davos from the city of Kazan in southwestern Russia. The team had already been in Davos last December as part of last year’s KHL Derby and has since intensely pursued a Spengler Cup spot.
The KHL powerhouse from the capital of the semi-autonomous Republic of Tatarstan displays an impressive record of achievements. AK Bars hoisted the highly touted Gagarin Trophy, winning the KHL championship in 2009, 2010, and most recently in 2018. Thanks to these accomplishments this Russian gem should be among the big tournament favourites.
In most recent play AK Bars, founded in 1956, proved yet again that it belongs to the best teams in the KHL. They handily finished atop the Eastern Conference with 93 points in 62 regular season games. In round one of the playoffs they swept Neftekhimik and would have met up with Spengler Cup-proven Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the quarterfinals. But the KHL playoffs, too, were cancelled due to the coronavirus before the series had begun.
No Russian triumph for nine years
Aside from this outstanding success, the Russians hope to add an international trophy to their title collection – with a win at the Spengler Cup in Davos. The path there should be a hard one, though. No Russian team has won a Spengler Cup title in nine years. SKA St. Petersburg celebrated the last triumph to date – in 2014 Salavat Yulaev Ufa dropped the final to Genėve-Servette.
The Spengler Cup Organizing Committee is thrilled to present an elite European team of the renowned Kontinental Hockey League in AK Bars.
Text: Spengler Cup-Online Foto: KHL