Nelson’s Geoff Kinrade plays for Team Canada
Kinrade moved during the mid-season to SC Bern of the Swiss Nationaliga.“Considering my situation when I left two seasons ago, being restricted to Ottawa, and the current situation with the NHL lockout, I think my decision was a very good one,” Kinrade said.The smooth skating rearguard got his start in the game playing in Nelson Minor Hockey.He played a few seasons with the Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League earning a shot at Junior A with Cowichan of the BCHL.Kinrade honestly believed his career was on a downer until lighting it up during a BCHL Allstar game.That propelled the Kinrade to a very good second season with the Capitals before Michigan Tech called with a scholarship offer.Kinrade played four seasons for the Huskies.After graduating he played ten games with the Norfolk Admirals and made his NHL debut on April 9, 2009 for Tampa against the Washington Capitals.On July 10, 2009 he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Ottawa Senators.Team Canada’s roster announced Friday by Hockey Canada includes the likes of Ryan Smith of the Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa’s Jason Spezza, Boston’s Patrice Bergeron as well as Kinrade’s teammates, Byron Ritchie and John Tavares.This year’s Spengler Cup includes Canada’s National Men’s Team, Adler Mannheim (Germany) and HC Davos (Switzerland), the host team, playing in the Cattini Group, and HC Fribourg-Gottéron (Switzerland), HC Vitkovice Steel (Czech Republic) and Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russia) playing in the Torriani Group.Canada, 11-time winner of the tournament, opens the tournament Boxing Day against Adler Mannheim (Germany). The game is on TSN2 beginning at 11 a.m. Pacific Time. Geoff Kinrade grew up spending time during the Christmas holidays watching Canadian hockey teams in action on television at major tournaments in Europe.Now Kinrade will be front and center on one of those teams as the Nelsonite suits up as a member of Team Canada at the Spengler Cup, December 26-31 in Davos, Switzerland.“No time,” Kinrade told The Nelson Daily Friday when asked about holiday plans, “I’m playing for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup during the holidays.”The Spengler Cup, originating in 1923, is an annual ice hockey tournament held in Davos and is considered the oldest invitational ice hockey tournament in the world.Team Canada consists of currently on teams playing in Europe, as well as others available due to the NHL lockout.Kinrade, 27, is in his second season with SC Bern of the Swiss League.“The season is going well,” the six-foot, 195-pound defenceman said, adding SC Bern is looking for a little redemption after losing last season in the league final.“We are (a few) points out of first place. Our team is playing well together which makes my job easier. . ..I’m happy with the ways things are going.”This is Kinrade’s second season in Europe after he spent two seasons in the AHL with the Binghamton Senators, the farm team of the Ottawa Senators.Kinrade was a mainstay on the Baby Sens blueline, and was a key cog in Binghamton’s run to the Calder Cup title in 2011.However, Kinrade felt he would not get a fair shake with Ottawa Senator management so he bolted for Europe, first signing with HC Plzen 1929 of the Czech Extraliga.