Arno Del Curto has overcome many challenges during his 20-year tenure as the coach of HC Davos. This season he faces a new one: the two rookie goaltenders Joren van Pottelberghe (19) and Gilles Senn (20) need to replace the big Leonardo Genoni.

It took 42 years for Davos to end its Spengler Cup title drought in 2001. That is more than an eternity compared to the 5-year dry spell Arno Del Curto’s team is currently going through after their last victory in 2011. That a half-decade still feels like a long time is a good sign - a very good one in fact. Since 1998, when HC Davos first reached the playoff finals under their cult coach, the team has always been good for a surprise.

New goalkeeper duo

Of course, that will be so this year as well – although there are two big question marks in this year’s season preview: One is the uncertainty whether the new goalkeeper duo Joren van Pottelberghe (19) and Gilles Senn (20) can adequately replace Leonardo Genoni. Genoni, one of the best and most consistent keepers in this country, not only led the club to three championships and a Spengler Cup tile. He was also the team’s life insurance when the club radically built on the youth and fought with some difficulties. In 2007, when the two talented young goaltenders Genoni and Reto Berra were brought from GCK Lions to the Landwasser valley to compensate for the loss of Jonas Hiller, the experiment was successful. Time will tell if it will be successful a second time.

However, van Pottelberghe is likely to miss the Spengler Cup, as he will be playing at the U20 World Championships instead. For the last week of year HCD will therefore integrate another goaltender, who will probably only be named shortly before the tournament, into its team.

Resource management requested

The second question mark is the heavy workload, with which the young team is confronted. With the cup and, especially, the Champions Hockey League, the Davoser are faced with two additional competitions that require well-planned resource management. Last year showed how hard that can be, when HCD, after a good regular season and an excellent international campaign, was unable to muster up the energy to withstand the hungry SC Bern squad in the playoff semifinals.

Aside from the goalkeeper and resource issues, HCD has a very solid and especially well-rehearsed squad. There were few changes in the offseason; defenseman Samuel Guerra left for Zurich’s lowlands and the foreign players Marcus Paulsson, Devin Setoguchi, and Alexandre Picard were compensated by the Swedish defenseman Daniel Rahimi and the Czech forward Robert Kousal. So the chemistry, technical constellation, and subsequent play has remained the same: A large, heavy, and young defense to clean up in the defensive zone and open the play with a quick first pass, the four centres will offer support as two-way players, and the wingers will put the opponents under pressure with quick transitions. In short, typical HCD Hockey: fast, intense, and attractive.

Team players

Number Position Age Height Weight Nationality
Gilles Senn 91 Goalie 1996 195 87 SUI
Melvin Nyffeler 60 Goalie 1994 178 84 Switzerland
Beat Forster 29 Defence 1983 185 98 SUI
Fabian Heldner 61 Defence 1996 191 94 SUI
Sven Jung 90 Defence 1995 192 90 SUI
Simon Kindschi 47 Defence 1996 98 192 SUI
Claude-Curdin Paschoud 71 Defence 1994 190 77 SUI
Noah Schneeberger 32 Defence 1988 186 83 SUI
Félicien du Bois 62 Defence 1983 187 85 Switzerland
Marco Forrer 33 Defence 1996 192 92 Switzerland
Daniel Rahimi 48 Defence 1987 190 98 Sweden
Andres Ambühl 10 Right Wing 14091983 178 86 SUI
Tino Kessler 9 Forward 1996 180 78 SUI
Perttu Lindgren 17 Forward 1987 184 85 FIN
Gregory Sciaroni 18 Forward 1989 182 82 SUI
Dario Simion 59 Forward 1994 186 85 SUI
Samuel Walser 23 Forward 1992 190 95 SUI
Dino Wieser 56 Forward 1989 180 83 SUI
Marc Wieser 65 Forward 1987 178 75 SUI
Tuomo Ruutu 15 Forward 1983 184 91 Finland
Drew Shore 94 Forward 1991 191 93 United States of America
Adam Hall 14 Forward 1980 188 96 United States of America
Per Ledin 27 Forward 1978 183 88 Sweden
Enzo Corvi 70 Forward 1992 183 81 Switzerland
Chris Egli 96 Forward 1996 185 71 Switzerland
Robert Kousal 13 Forward 1990 185 90 Czech Republic
Ken Jäger 98 Forward 1998 183 75 Switzerland