PHOTO — John Tavares Skating for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup

tavaresspenglerPicture credit: @Buc07

Not only are the World Junior Championships kicking off this week, but one of the oldest hockey tournaments around gets going as well.

Today is the opening day of the Spengler Cup, which will turn 90-years old next year. It features six teams that will play a round robin before a mini-tournament later in the week. The touranment takes place in Davos, Switzerland and is hosted by HC Davos from the Swiss ‘A’ League. Davos is the reigning camp, having defeated Dinamo Riga last year. They’re going to have stiff competition from John Tavares (pictured above left), Tyler Seguin (above right) and Team Canada, who feature nearly a dozen NHLers and should make a good run at winning it all. SportsNet breaks down the NHLers in action:

Tavares, Spezza, Duchene, Gagner, Seguin, and Bergeron are a potent top-six, with Smyth providing leadership and a scoring presence on the third line. Canada hasn’t won the tournament since 2007, but will have a strong chance with this powerhouse team.

They’re not the only team taking advantage of the lockout. Switzerland’s HC Davos already has Joe Thornton and Rick Nash on the roster, though Nash will likely miss the tournament while rehabbing his recent injury. They are adding Patrick Kane, who is currently playing for EHC Biel in Switzerland and Damien Brunner, who is currently leading the Swiss NLA in scoring with 53 points in 30 games and signed with the Detroit Red Wings during the off-season.

The other Swiss team in the tournament, HC Fribourg-Gottéron, has also loaded up, adding Cory Schneider in net and forwards Maxime Talbot, Patric Hörnqvist, and Bruno Gervais to David Desharnais who is already in the lineup.

Germany’s Adler Mannheim already has Marcel Goc, Jason Pominville, Jochen Hecht, and Dennis Seidenberg on their roster and are adding Luca Sbisa and Nick Bonino.

Team Canada is facing off in their first game right now against Adler Mannheim from Germany. Tavares is playing left wing on an all-star caliber line centered by Ottawa’s Jason Spezza and opposite Edmonton’s Sam Gagner on the right side.

If you’re in Canada, you can catch the action on TSN and as far as I know this isn’t televised in the US.You can check out the full schedule of games here.

The lockout is introducing us to all kinds of non-NHL hockey we never paid attention to before. The more you know…