AMSTERDAM – Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, hasn’t exactly been a hockey hotbed in the recent years. But this weekend some world-class players from past and present will come to the Ziggo Dome to participate in the ERU Prestige Amsterdam Icehockey Cup 2012.
For hockey fans in the metropolis this is more than good news. Only a few years ago they lost their home team the Tigers due to bankruptcy. A new team, the Amsterdam Capitals, was founded with only Dutch players on the roster one year ago, but it struggled in the country’s top league in the first season.
This weekend, however, fans can watch some renowned players and teams in Amsterdam at the ERU Prestige Amsterdam Icehockey Cup 2012.
The six-team event includes the Netherlands’ national team, a Dutch All-Star Team that includes former national team players, a Team Canada with Canadian players from around Europe, two German club teams: Uwe Krupp-coached Kölner Haie and Krefeld Pinguine with former Latvian NHL player Herberts Vasiljevs, and on top of that the Red Wings Alumni.
Among the former NHL players already confirmed to wear the Red Wings Alumni jersey are Randy Burridge, Ken Houston, Pat Rible and Jean-François Jomphe. This year’s alumni roster also includes other potential legends that could show up in Amsterdam but have not been confirmed so far, players such as Chris Chelios, Dino Ciccarelli, Chris Osgood and Igor Larionov.
One of the initiators of the event is former national team player and coach Tommie Hartogs, who is also the General Manager of the tournament.
“Hennie Jaspers and Tommie Hartogs came up with the idea approximately five years before the Ziggo Dome was built,” said Hester Klop from the tournament organization.
“They wanted to bring ice hockey under the attention of the Dutch public. It’s an international tournament, with great teams playing. We wanted to aim for greatness, to give it the proper atmosphere.”
Even cheerleaders will be there, said Klop, who expects 4,000 to 6,000 people to show up at the arena during the two day hockey festival in Amsterdam.