Following a one year hiatus, Canada will return to the Deutschland Cup for the first time since their fourth place effort back in 2012. Hoping to become the second straight champion from North America (USA won it in 2013), Canada has won the tournament four times prior, with the last tournament victory coming back in 2008. The tournament, which is set to take place from Nov. 7-9 in Munich, Germany, should serve as a good warm-up for the Spengler Cup in late December, which could feature some, or even all five of the players below.
You can check out Canada’s roster for the tournament here.
5. Sebastien Caron, G: This won’t be Caron’s first swing at playing for Team Canada. In fact, it won’t even be his first crack at the Deutschland Cup, either. Playing with the DEL’s Iserlohn Roosters back in 2012-2013, Caron represented Canada in two games at the 2012 edition of the tournament, the last time the country was present. A fourth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 1999, Caron has played in 95 career NHL games between four teams, posting a 26-48-7 record throughout five seasons spread throughout his career. His last kick at the can came back in 2011-2012, when, after acting as the starter for the Roosters, Caron played in three games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, posting a 1-1-0 record as an injury fill-in for the club. Caron was later traded along with two second-round draft picks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and a third-round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft to the Nashville Predators for goalie Anders Lindbäck, Kyle Wilson, and a seventh-round draft pick. Shortly after, Caron returned to the Roosters before getting released, which saw him sign with the Hamburg Freezers shortly after. It’s not clear as to who will get the starts in the tournament this year will be, but it’s a safe be to believe Caron will get at least one start in one of the three preliminary round contests.
4. Zach Hamill, F: Like all the players on this list, this isn’t Hamill’s first time donning the red, white and black sweaters internationally. Unfortunately, his career has taken a major downfall since the last time he represented his country back in 2007 at the Canada/Russia Summit Series. A former 8th overall pick by the Bruins back in ’07, Hamill currently has 19 points in 18 games in a Canadian uniform, which came before he even suited up for any NHL team. His NHL career proved to be less than successful, as he has only recorded four assists in 20 career games, with no goal to boot. It was a tough pill to swallow for the youngster once pegged to be an effective goal-scorer for the Bruins, who was out of the league after a very brief three year stint. The 26 year-old Vancouver, B.C. native currently plays with the Finnish club HPK, having recorded 14 points in the first 13 games of the season. Some players are unable to live up to their potential from their junior hockey days, and while that’s evident in Hamill’s play, it’s great to see him succeed elsewhere.
3. Matt Pettinger, F: Like Caron, Pettinger is a carry over from the 2012 team that placed in fourth place. Posting two points in three games that year, Pettinger wont be relied on to put up big offensive numbers during the tournament, as he has only posted 9 points in 20 career international contests. Currently a member of the Hamburg Freezers, the left winger has been quite impressive in the German league, recording 144 points in 203 career DEL matches. Prior to signing in Germany, Pettinger had 3 points in 9 games with the Vancouver Canucks back in 2009-2010, the last stint of his NHL career, While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see the 34 year-old forward back in the NHL, his two-way checking style should prove to be useful for Team Canada, who has been known to bring a high degree of toughness to international tournaments over the past few years.
2. Steve Reinprecht, F: A journeyman NHLer, Reinprecht last played with Team Canada back in 2003, finishing with an impressive 6 assists in 8 games as Canada managed to win the gold medal. At 38 years-old, it’s unlikely Reinprecht will ever represent his country internationally again, so the Edmonton, Alberta native will be out to make a lasting impact. In 663 career NHL games, the 2001 Stanley Cup champion with the Colorado Avalanche recorded 382 points with five teams, a solid amount for the defensively-responsible forward. Despite a career that saw some highlights, including a 51 point season with the Avalanche during the 2002-2003 campaign, Reinprecht struggled during his final few NHL seasons and would later find himself joining the Nürnberg Ice Tigers during the 2012-2013 NHL lockout, He has since remained with the club, and is even off to a solid start to the current campaign, recording 16 points in the first 13 games.
1. Chris Mason, G: Let me guess what you’re saying: two goalies on one list? As you’re probably aware, smaller tournaments like this don’t always attract top quality talent, but Mason has to be the best in this year’s edition of Team Canada. A five-time participant in an international tournament, Mason is hoping to improve upon his 2013 Spengler Cup result that saw him leave without a medal. It’s likely that Mason could represent Canada again at the Davos, Switzerland-based tournament later this year, but for now, he’ll have a chance to prove himself in Germany. A long-time NHLer who became the ninth NHL goaltender to score a goal, Mason has already won a gold and a silver in World Championship competition, but never was able to win a Stanley Cup during his 317 game career. Mason’s best years may be behind, but after serving time as a starter on multiple NHL teams, his experience should be key if Canada hopes to bring home the gold.
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