The 2012-2013 European Hockey Tour starts Wednesday, November 7 with the Karjala Cup and ends Saturday, November 10. This tournament consists of the four major European hockey countries including the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. Those team play each other once and the country with the most wins/points win the Karjala Cup.
After the Karjala Cup, there are three more tournaments in December, February and April. The country with the most points in all four tournaments is crowned champion of Europe, so to speak.
While all the best players of each country come together, those who didn't make the roster will have to sit and watch the games because the major European hockey leagues take a break.
Four Nashville Predators are trying to compete for the Karjala Cup this week.
Team Finland rosters the most Predators players, which is two. Star NHL goalie Pekka Rinne will be between the pipes for his native country. Rinne's back-up will be Boston Bruins' goalie Tuuka Rask. The other Predator on the roster is Teemu Laakso, who left this summer to play for Severstal Cherepovets in the Kontinental Hockey League. It doesn't look like Laakso will be back in North America anytime soon, however.
It looks like Alexander Radulov will never return to the Predators organization as well, but he is still on the roster and under contract after General Manager David Poile gave him a qualifying offer in June. Radulov is playing in the KHL for CSKA Moscow, where he the league leader in points with 31 in 23 games going into the break. Of course, Radulov will be playing for Team Russia during the Euro Tour.
Patric Hornqvist was named onto Team Sweden's roster for at least the Karjala Cup. Hornqvist will step onto the ice wearing his country's colors just days after HC Red Ice of the Swiss National B-League, where he played during the lockout, announced that they will not re-sign the Predators forward for the month of November.
Finnish sportswriter Mattias Strozyk reported Monday that, "Patric Hornqvist payed for his own insurance so that he could join Team Sweden in this week's Euro Hockey Tour tournament in Finland." Hornqvist apparently wanted to play hockey badly, and he knew he couldn't find it in North America professionally.
Here is the schedule:
Russia vs Finland
Czech Republic vs Sweden
Sweden vs Russia
Finland vs Czech Republic
Czech Republic vs Russia
Finland vs Sweden
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