Hopes for a January 2013 start to an abbreviated NHL season remain alive, at least in the eyes of Patrice Bergeron. He is going to represent Team Canada in the upcoming Spengler Cup, along with Tyler Seguin. The Spengler Cup will be from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31 in Davos, Switzerland.
A side effect of the lockout is the fact that Spengler’s Team Canada is stacked with NHL players of all stripes. In addition to Bergeron and Seguin, other Team Canada players who would usually be in the NHL this time of year include Sam Gagner, Matt Duchene, John Tavares, Carlo Colaiacovo, Jonathan Bernier and Devan Dubnyk.
But once that cup is awarded and the tournament ends, Bergeron will not re-join HC Lugano. Instead, he’s going back to Quebec because he feels like the NHL lockout is going to end soon and so he needs to make sure he is in tiptop shape.
His optimism is pretty refreshing to hear, considering that things haven’t been looking good on the labor front lately.
At the same time, in a different country, Andrew Ference bade farewell to HC Mountfield for the second time in his career. (He played for them during the 2004-05 lockout and was heartily welcomed back during the 2010 NHL Premiere games in the Czech Republic, then welcomed back once more earlier this year.)
He has three primary reasons for wanting to return to North America: his wife and his daughters. He said that he misses seeing his girls and watching them grow up, which is a very good reason for wanting to leave. His family has come over to Europe for Christmas–he tweeted out a picture of a concert they attended in Salzburg, where his girls were very well-behaved–but then they’ll fly back to Boston.
Tuukka Rask started the trend of Bruins leaving their European teams when he said sayonara to HC Plzen late last month. Like Mountfield faithful, Plzen fans saw Rask off positively, especially considering he backstopped the team to the top spot in the league at the time.