The timer counting down the days remaining until the commencement of the 75th IIHF World Championship in Bratislava and Košice will show exactly 77 days and four hours at the time the first Slovakia Cup face-off takes place. For the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation and the 2011 IIHF World Championship Organizing Committee February’s Bratislava tournament is the perfect test of ‘people and places’ prior to the start of the largest sporting event in the history of independent Slovakia.
The international 2001 Slovakia Cup will be specific from many points of view: This is the first time an international tournament has taken place in over four years (the last being the December 2006 Loto Cup); the Slovakia Cup 2011 venue is the reconstructed Bratislava Ondrej Nepela stadium and Canadian trainer Glen Hanlon will make his tournament debut in front of the Slovak public (having only lead the national team for two warm-up games in Skalica).
A successful Slovakia Cup test run on both the organizational and sporting level would be the ultimate fine tuning for putting the finishes to the final preparations for the jubilee 75th IIHF World Championship in Bratislava and Košice (29.4.-15.5.2011).
With less than three months remaining until the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Bratislava and Košice, Glen Hanlon has some idea of the cards he would like to play at the event. “Of course, I would like to have the largest amount of quality NHL players, but the situation is changing every day and the basic line up still has to play a lot of games. I personally think from the selection that is going to play at the Slovakia Cup, about 80% will make the championship.” emphasised Hanlon, adding that: “Having the what is possibly the strongest European selection for the Slovak Cup is a plus regarding the world Championship. The players will be able to live with the gameplan I prefer for the national team. Another plus is that they will be able to get acquainted with the environment and grounds at the Bratislava arena in which the championship games will be played out.
Slovak hockey received the support of a strong partner before the start of the tournament: METRO Cash & Carry Slovakia - which became the official SIHF and national team partner for the 2010/2011 season.