MOSCOW, Russia -- Europe's best club will challenge an NHL team next year in the Victoria Cup.
The International Ice Hockey Federation said Tuesday the winner of the European Champions Cup will participate in the new tournament, which will also include an unidentified NHL team and at least one other European club.
IIHF president Rene Fasel said he hoped to get a team "with some history" for the inaugural tournament, which is scheduled for September 2008. The other European team could come from the tournament's host city.
Eventually, the IIHF aims for Stanley Cup champions facing their European counterparts each year.
"It will be good to see how both leagues stand up against each other," Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash said.
But Nash was concerned about extending the NHL season, which is much longer than the European season.
"It can take a toll on your body," Nash said.
Rick Nash is concerned about a longer season?
By the way, an "extended season" for Rick Nash is 80 games, a lofty game count he's managed to complete exactly once in four NHL seasons.
I'll tell you, if this new tournament is tough enough to take a toll on Rick Nash's body, it must be at least as strenuous as opening a really tough jar of mayonnaise, or operating a three-hole punch.
Also, not to harp on it too much, but when you have a quote about someone wanting a team with "some history," it's best not to type the words "Columbus" "Blue" and "Jackets" at a proximity any closer than four words apart. You know what has more history than the Columbus Blue Jackets?
As in, the garment.
Just for fun, I just hit the Blue Jackets site on Wikipedia, (so you can take it or leave it) and found this:
The term "Blue Jacket" is a reference to the uniform of the Union army in the American Civil War, to which the state of Ohio provided a large number of soldiers. A third team logo featuring a Union soldier hat and custom Union soldier paintings on goalie Pascal Leclaire's helmet supports this as the team's official explanation of the name. The Blue Jackets also use a jumbo-tron graphic that shows Union Soldiers morphing into Blue Jackets hockey players.
The Civil War lasted from 1861-1865, five years.
The Columbus Blue Jackets were founded in the year 2000, and have never made the playoffs. What this means is, if members of the Columbus Blue Jackets had actually fought for the Union during the Civil War, well, let's just say that nowadays, they might have had a considerably easier time keeping Anson Carter's contract under the salary cap.