Canada captured the Spengler Cup hockey championship on Dec. 31, defeating HC Davos 7-2. Among those celebrating at centre ice of Valliant Arena in Davos, Switzerland was Brett McLean of Comox.
He was part of a team laden with top-line NHL talent who were available for the tournament due to the NHL lockout.
Canada got off to a rough start at the six-team affair, losing their Dec. 26 opener 2-1 in overtime to Adler Mannheim, the top team in the German league.
Undeterred, the Canadians bounced back big time on Dec. 27 to blank host HC Davos 5-0.
That win put Canada into the semifinals on Dec. 30, where they skated to a 5-1 win over HC Fribourg-Gotteron of Switzerland.
The championship final was all Canada as they led 3-0 by the midway point of the first period and scored the only two goals of the second stanza to go up 5-1 after 40 minutes of play on the defending tourney champs.
McLean, a 34-year-old forward who wore #15 at this year’s Spengler, has represented Canada on several occasions, including the 1998 IIHF World Junior championship.
This was his fourth Spengler Cup appearance and he finished with no points in two games played.
McLean is playing for HC Lugano of Switzerland this season where he has 23 points (7g, 16a) through 33 games. In 2010-11 he was with SC Bern when they won the NLA championships.
After a productive junior career with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (that included an appearance at the 1997-98 West second all-star team) McLean was selected with the sixth last pick, 242nd overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars.
The ensuing years saw “The Royston Rocket” rack up frequent flyer miles as played for the Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks as well as the minor league affiliates of the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames and an invite to the Tampa Bay Lightning training camp in 2009-10.
His first taste of European hockey came in 2004-05 with Malmo of Sweden. He played with SC Bern in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
In July 2011 McLean signed a two-way contract with the Blackhawks. Unable to stick with the ‘Hawks out of training camp, McLean was assigned to their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.
Upon reaching the midpoint of the 2011–12 season without a recall, McLean sought his release and returned to the Swiss NLA, signing and later extending for a further season with HC Lugano in March 2012.