December 21, 2018
By Rob Williams, Daily Hive
Hockey Canada released its Spengler Cup roster on Thursday and there are a number of familiar names to be seen.
Kevin Bieksa headlines the group, as the former Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks defenceman plays what will likely be his final games of competitive hockey.
Other notable names include former Canucks forwards Adam Cracknell and Max Lapierre, former Maple Leafs forwards Daniel Winnik and Dominic Moore, and former Canadiens forward Matt D’Agostini.
Longtime NHLer Kyle Quincey joins Bieksa on defence.
Canada’s roster is filled mainly with players playing professionally in Europe, along with players playing in the AHL, ECHL, and NCAA.
While most members of the team are on the downside of their careers, that’s not the case with defenceman Dante Fabbro (above), a 2016 first-round pick of the Nashville Predators. At just 20 years old, Fabbro represented Canada at the past two World Junior Championships.
Former Canadian World Junior star Zach Fucale (above) joins Jared Coreau as the team’s two goaltenders.
Here’s the full roster:
Zach Boychuk, Airdrie, Alta. SC Bern (NLA, Switzerland)
Colt Conrad, St. Alphonse, Man., Western Michigan University (NCHC, U.S.)
Adam Cracknell, Prince Albert, Sask., San Diego (AHL)
Matt D’Agostini, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., HC Ambri-Piotta (NLA)
Zac Dalpe, Paris, Ont., Cleveland (AHL)
Chris DiDomenico, Woodbridge, Ont., SCL Tigers (NLA)
Andrew Ebbett, Vernon, B.C., SC Bern (NLA)
Cory Emmerton, St. Thomas, Ont., Lausanne HC (NLA)
Aaron Gagnon, Armstrong, B.C., SCL Tigers (NLA)
Dion Knelsen, Three Hills, Alta., SC Rapperswil-Jona (NLA)
Maxim Lapierre, Brossard, Que., HC Lugano (NLA)
Jacob Micflikier, Winnipeg, HC Fribourg-Gotteron (NLA)
Torrey Mitchell, Greenfield Park, Que., Lausanne HC (NLA)
Dominic Moore, Sarnia, Ont. Hockey Canada
Daniel Winnik, Toronto, Geneve-Servette HC (NLA).
Kevin Bieksa, Grismby, Ont., Hockey Canada
Kodie Curran, Calgary, Rogle BK (SHL, Sweden)
Simon Despres, Laval, Que. Laval (AHL)
Dante Fabbro, Coquitlam, B.C.; Boston University (HE, U.S.)
Maxim Noreau, Montreal, ZSC Lions (NLA)
Kyle Quincey, Caledon, Ont., HIFK Helsinki (Liiga, Finland)
Daniel Vukovic, North York, Ont., Geneve-Servette HC (NLA)
Patrick Wiercioch, Burnaby, B.C., Dinamo Minsk (KHL, Russia)
Zach Fucale, Rosemere, Que., Fort Wayne (ECHL, US)
Jared Coreau, Perth, Ont., San Diego (AHL)
Player selections were made by co-general managers Sean Burke and Ron Francis, along with input from head coach Kevin Dineen and assistants Gordie Dwyer and Mike Kitchen.
“We are excited with this year’s group of players, as we believe we have assembled a team that combines experience from previous Spengler Cup appearances and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and a group of new faces who will contribute to the success of our team,” Burke said in a statement.
“The Spengler Cup is always an exciting tournament with a rich history, and we look forward to competing for our fourth-consecutive championship with this group of 25 players.”
Bieksa, who wanted to stay close to his family in Anaheim, is without an NHL team this season. The 37-year-old hinted at retirement in a radio interview with Satiar Shah and Alex Auld on Sportsnet 650 this week.
Bieksa has been keeping in shape, working out at the Ducks’ practice facility in Anaheim. He also spent a week practicing with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips earlier this month.
For anyone doubting Bieksa’s commitment to fitness, keep in mind what he told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman in September.
“I’m still in better shape than 95% of the players and 100% of the media,” he said.
The legendary quote machine is as sharp as ever, recounting the time he knocked out Fedor Fedorov when the two were teammates with the Manitoba Moose:
The Spengler Cup is the oldest club tournament in the world, being first held in 1923. Held in Davos, Switzerland, the tournament begins on Boxing Day. Canada has won the tournament three straight years.