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Source: Goaltender Marty Turco expected to join Canada's entry at Spengler Cup

Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 6:05 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Source: Goaltender Marty Turco expected to join Canada's entry at Spengler Cup

Marty Turco is eager to extend his working vacation in Europe.

The veteran goaltender helped Austrian team EC Red Bull Salzburg win a club team tournament over the weekend and is expected to join Canada's entry for the upcoming Spengler Cup, a source told The Canadian Press.

A few final details were still being ironed out on Tuesday night.

The Spengler Cup opportunity opened up when Nolan Schaefer informed Hockey Canada he'd be unable to participate in the tournament. Turco would join 21-year-old goaltender Jake Allen — a St. Louis Blues draft pick on loan from the American Hockey League — on the team.

Canada opens the tournament in Davos, Switzerland with a game against Czech team HC Vitkovice Steel on Dec. 26.

The 36-year-old Turco spent last season with the Chicago Blackhawks and didn't receive any contract offers over the summer. But he hasn't given up hope of playing in the NHL again.

Turco appeared in 538 career games for Dallas and Chicago, winning 30 or more games in six consecutive seasons from 2002-03 to 2008-09. The native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was also part of two Canadian world championship teams and the 2006 Olympic squad.

A trip to the Spengler Cup allowed at least one veteran goalie to prolong his career in the past. Curtis Joseph was unsigned when he played at the event in 2007 — helping the Canadian team to victory — and later received a free-agent deal with the Calgary Flames. He played another season in Toronto before retiring.

Canada's Spengler Cup team is comprised largely of European-based pros, many of whom boast NHL experience — albeit none to the extent of Turco.

Six teams will compete in the six-day tournament. Canada has appeared in nine tournament finals since 2000, last capturing the championship in 2007.

The Spengler Cup has been held in the picturesque mountain town of Davos since 1923 and is considered the oldest professional hockey tournament in the world.

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I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie