A major hockey tournament is back after a two year absence.

The Senators Cup, which is organized by the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), has been cancelled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geoff Despins, director of urban services for the PAGC said they are happy to be bringing the tournament back after being away for two years.

“It’s exciting, I think everybody’s looking forward to it, it’s a weekend event, huge for Prince Albert,” he said.

This year the tournament will feature a total of 16 teams. Despins said this number of teams is a good one for them and the tournament.

Despins explained there are teams coming from a range of communities, including Norway House and Black Lake, with some even coming from Manitoba. He added there will be quite a bit of talent on display.

“A lot of good players, a lot of semi pros, maybe some ex NHLers,” he said.

All of the games will be played at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert. Play is set to get underway Friday morning with the first game going at 9 a.m. Opening ceremonies will be Saturday afternoon and involve PAGC leadership doing a ceremonial puck drop. The tournament championship will handed out Sunday night.

The team that wins the tournament will take home $20,000, the team which finishes second will get $12,000 with third place getting $8,000 and 4th taking home $4,000.

Despins said the PAGC staff who have been doing the work over the past few months to put the tournament together have been hearing from people asking about the event.

“We’re getting a lot of calls at the office, lot of calls on the cell, texts, when does the tournament start?” he said.

Admission is $10 for the day. People 65 and older along with those five and under can attend free of charge. Mask wearing will be mandatory for everyone in the arena except for coaches and players during games.

(PHOTO: Norway House is presented with the championship in 2019: File Photo)