First and foremost you should be watching it because it's kick-ass hockey. You can see the NHL's top prospects and future super stars go head-to-head. These kids play hard and hit even harder. They are trying to make impressions on scouts, so they have something to prove and that means entertainment for us!
As Thrashers fans, you should be watching it because we actually have a prospect in the tournament. Jimmy Bubnick, the Thrashers round 6 pick (155 overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft, was traded to the Calgary Hitmen a little over half way through the season. In last night's exciting comeback for the Hitmen, Bubnick scored 2 assists to help Calgary over come a 3-0 deficit and go on to win the game 5-4.
We Americans don't get much of a chance to watch the Canadian Hockey League. I'm a bit new to it myself, last season was my first watching the Memorial Cup. This is an amazing opportunity for us to get to watch the CHL. For my friends that don't know much about the CHL or Memorial Cup, I've prepared a "Memorial Cup for Dummies." I'm sure no one needs this, but hey, I gotta fill some blog space, right? And, maybe someone will benefit.
What is the CHL?
The Canadian Hockey League is an umbrella organization that represents the three Canadian-based major junior ice hockey leagues for players 16 to 20 years of age. The CHL was founded in 1975 as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League.
There are 3 leagues within the CHL
- Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
- Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL or "The Q")
- Western Hockey League (WHL)
A championship trophy awarded to the CHL champion. The trophy was created to honour all soldiers who died fighting for Canada in any conflict.
How does the Memorial Cup Tournament work?
Every year there is a different host city selected. The Memorial Cup is a round robin tournament between the team of the host city and the champions of the OHL, QMJHL and the WHL.
This is the chance for you to see the future super stars of the NHL. Check out this list of Memorial Cup winners and the names you will recognize on their rosters:
2003 Kitchner Rangers
- David Clarkson (New Jersey Devils)
- Mike Richards (Philadelphia Flyers)
- Derek Roy (Buffalo Sabers)
- Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
- Josh Georges (Montreal Canadiens)
- Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks)
- Rob Schremp (New York Islanders)
- Alexander Radulov (Former Nashville Predator)
- Drew Paris (Gwinnett Gladiator)
- Angelo Esposito (Atlanta Thrashers prospect)
- Milan Lucic (Boston Bruins)
- Spencer Machacek (Thrashers prospect)
- Evander Kane (Atlanta Thrashers)
- Levko Koper (Thrashers prospect)
- Dustin Tokarski (Tampa Bay Lightning)
- Taylor Hall (the probable #1 draft pick of 2010)
So check it out, it's cool. Thanks to the NHL Network, many of us will get to see this tournament. Below is the schedule.