By Martin Merk – IIHF.com
The Karjala Tournament, one of the men’s national team events of the Euro Hockey Tour, will grow to six teams. The traditional four national squads of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden will be joined by Canada and Switzerland.
“There was desire from Canada to play against Euro Hockey Tour countries,” said the Finland Ice Hockey Association’s General Director Matti Nurminen. “The significance of the Karjala Tournament for the teams involved this year is particularly high. As NHL players are not going to join the Olympics in February, players from other leagues will give a taste of the Olympics at the Karjala Tournament.”
Switzerland as the fifth-best European nation in the IIHF World Ranking was invited as well and will complete the six-team tournament in Finland.
The event, known as Karjala-turnaus in Finnish, has been held every season since 1995/96 and is one of the most prestigious annual invitational tournaments for men’s national teams outside of the Worlds and Olympics. It usually takes place in November in Helsinki. Last year’s event was won by Russia.
For Canada the Karjala Tournament held 8-12 November will be a major opportunity to test players from Europe ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games as will be the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, 26-31 December.
Ticket sale for the event will start on 31 August it was announced by the Finnish Ice Hockey Association and the schedule will be released in mid-August.