The Viking Cup was a world ice hockey tournament in Camrose, Alberta. In 2002 there was a mix of international and Canadian junior leagues all-star teams but in 2004 there was only international junior teams. In 2006, the tournament was divided into two divisions: a junior division and a university division. The university tournament consisted of Augustana, the University of Lethbridge, and Guelph University.
Hosted by Augustana University College (formerly Camrose Lutheran College), the tournament attracted teams from Sweden, Finland, the former Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, the United States, Norway, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. The tournament was one of the first to attract the Soviet juniors to North America.
The players are billeted by local families, living with them for the 2 to 3 weeks the tournament occurs. The tournament enjoys great support from the community as many others volunteer to assist with the tournament.
Notable NHLers to have appeared in the tournament include Dominik Hasek, Petr Klima, Sergei Zubov, Milan Hejduk, and Darius Kasparaitis. Well over a hundred Viking Cup alumni have played in the NHL and many more have been drafted. It is popular amongst scouts because it brings together a large selection of undrafted European and North American players.
Problems developed in the late 1990s as the Canadian Jr. A teams, which were popular with fans, were allowed to play with some 20 year old players. This upset the European teams (which were all Under-18) and led to unbalanced games with the North American teams dominating their younger European opponents.
The Cup tournament is no longer run, the victim of high costs and lowered local interest.
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