The finals of the European Trophy - the Red Bulls Salute - will be played from December 13th to December 16th, 2012 in Vienna and Bratislava. It will be the first time the Red Bulls Salute, an invitational tournament that became the final of the European Trophy in 2010, will not be played in Salzburg.
Pierre Pagé, head coach of the current European Trophy champion EC Red Bull Salzburg, is looking forward to a new chapter in European club hockey: “The victory in last years Red Bulls Salute was the biggest success on international level for our team. We saw unbelievable hockey during the entire European Trophy tournament which will expand even further in 2012. There is currently no bigger club competition in Europe which means that this tournament equals a European club championship.”
Besides Vienna as finals host city, the new venue for the final game in 2012 will be Bratislava (Slovakia). Maros Krajci, General Manager of Slovan Bratislava Hockey Club says: “Bratislava is looking forward to welcoming the final tournament of the most prestigious ice hockey club competition in Europe. The city proved to be a fine host of the last year´s IIHF World Championship in its modernized 10,000 seat arena. Bratislava will get another great opportunity to foster its international image and attractiveness on the background of a first-class sporting event. For me personally, hosting Europe´s best hockey clubs will be a first-class gift for our enthusiastic fans at the end of the year in which we celebrate the 90th anniversary of playing ice hockey in our city.”
The third edition of the European Trophy will be extended in 2012 again and will be played with 32 teams in four divisions welcoming Swiss participants back to the tournament. In the North Division one of the latest European Trophy joining teams, the Hamburg Freezers, will face off against 2010 champion Eisbären Berlin and 2011 champion EC Red Bull Salzburg. The East Division features the new Swedish member Brynäs IF as well as the Swiss teams SC Bern and HC Fribourg-Gottéron among others. The West Division will see the Helsinki derby between Jokerit and HIFK as well as new teams ERC Ingolstadt (Germany) and EV Zug (Switzerland) and comeback team ZSC Lions from Zurich. The South Division is lead by the hosts of the finals from Bratislava and Vienna and new Finnish European Trophy member JYP Jyväskylä.