Should the lockout continue (and please refrain from voicing your opinion for a moment) into the new year, Los Angeles Kings' backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier plans to represent Canada at the Spengler Cup which runs from December 26 to 31.
While I am a proud Canadian, I have to admit that I have never paid a great deal of attention to the Spengler Cup with all due respect to the event. Of course, the tournament does take place during the annual World Junior Championship which has become a Canadian holiday tradition - and it should be that way especially given all the talent available due to said lockout.
Of course, the same could be said for the Spengler Cup. Due to the lockout, more NHLers will be available for the tournament meaning that the tournament should be a bigger draw this year than it was in previous years.
Jonathan Bernier has spent the season playing in Germany's second division with the Heilbronn Falcons. In 34 games so far, Bernier has posted a 6-7-0 record with a 2.57 GAA.
While I'm sure he would much rather be playing NHL hockey, Jonathan Bernier is looking to make the best out of a bad situation as representing your country is an irreplaceable honour for any player.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Spengler Cup, Canada tours Europe playing some of the continent's top hockey clubs. Since Canada is the only national team to participate in the tournament, the Spengler Cup won't be as popular with American hockey fans but hopefully seeing Bernier play will be enough incentive to watch even some of the event.
In addition to Bernier, other NHLers like John Tavares, Jason Spezza, Tyler Seguin, Matt Duchene and Brooks Laich have all shown interest in participating in this year's tournament so we'll see how everything goes.
The Spengler Cup kicks off on Boxing Day as Team Canada opens against Adler Mannheim on TSN2. It should be a great event.
Photo: Courtesy of Gerry Broome/AP