On December 20, 2010, in Moscow the presidents of the Kontinental Hockey League and the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia (FHR), Alexander Medvedev and Vladislav Tretiak, signed off on a new agreement awarding the rights to conduct the Russian Ice Hockey Championship.
The three-year agreement covers the Federation's granting of rights to conduct the championship to the League as well as the realization of a series of joint projects between the KHL and FHR.
Alexander Medvedev, President of the Kontinental Hockey League:
“Today marked an important event in the lives of the KHL, the FHR, and all of professional hockey – both in Russia and throughout Europe. We completely met our timeline, under which a new agreement was to be signed by the end of 2010. I would also like to draw attention to the professional work done by the two working groups formed by the League and the Federation to handle the meticulous preparation of the agreement's terms. I don't think anyone, either in the KHL's leadership or the FHR's leadership, had any doubt about the need to sign this agreement. With a serious and important goal to achieve, we were able to create a document – despite some serious discussions on principle – that clearly spells out all of the terms for the League to get the rights to hold the Russian Championship, including the financial terms. The agreement also defines the process for discussing the most vital questions on the development of hockey – everything that is of concern to both the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and the Kontinental Hockey League. All matters will be discussed by specially formed professional working groups. These groups, in turn, will make proposals to the management of the KHL, which will make decisions within the framework of its authority, and the FHR, which has its own system for making decisions.
I would like to emphasize that the Federation and the League, in signing this agreement, have turned a new page in their relationship, and I am certain that we will do a great deal together for the development of hockey.
In addition to the rights to hold the championship, the agreement also covers the continuation of work on two projects that we had launched previously: the Vysshaya and Youth hockey leagues. Two teams of young players will travel to North America. The Russian national youth team will soon be competing for the world championship, while the Youth Hockey League's team, the Red Stars, will be playing against the best university and youth teams in North America. This is a truly great event. For the first time ever, two youth teams – one as part of an official competition and the other in a six-game series – will be playing very high-level games. An agreement has also been reached that the world's best youth teams will travel here to play in the World Cup for Youth Club Teams.
I'd like to note the successful development of the lower division VHL. As part of our integrated approach to developing and conducting professional games, the VHL was immediately able to demonstrate higher attendance and quality of play. Players competing abroad and in the KHL have noted that the level of play in the VHL has significantly improved. That provides a guarantee that our young players won't be forgotten and that they'll have the chance, if they aren't able to make it into the KHL immediately, to play in the VHL or the Youth Hockey League. That, in turn, means we'll have more talented hockey players.
Another two projects in addition to these are also being developed. We will establish a hockey academy and a methodological research center, making it possible to find proper use for our coaches' and players' experience. As part of the recent Channel One Cup, a Youth Hockey League coaching seminar was held, which demonstrated that in addition to talented players, we also have many capable and interested coaches who will soon be able to make their mark in high-level hockey. I believe that these three years will be celebrated for the successful realization of interesting and beneficial projects, and that for our national teams it will be a time of brilliant and memorable wins.
Vladislav Tretiak, President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia:
“On behalf of the Federation, I would like to congratulate everyone on the achievement of this new agreement. No one in the FHR had any doubts about handing over the rights to hold the Russian Championship to the Kontinental Hockey League. A significant leap forward in the development of hockey has been made over the past three years, and the sport's popularity has grown considerably. The enthusiasm people showed supporting the national team in the Channel One Cup and the crowds looking for extra tickets outside the game are a testament to the strength of the KHL. After all, it was the league's players who were in the tournament. Both the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and the Kontinental Hockey League are working to improve hockey in our country, for children, teens, young adults and of course, for our national hockey team, which has the support of the entire country. I would like to thank Alexander Ivanovich Medvedev for everything that has been done over these three years. The KHL has opened a new television channel and is operating professionally in a number of other fields, and we are very glad to be signing this agreement with the League. It shows that we are closely cooperating, that we have joint programs to support retired players, the quality of refereeing, and children's and youth hockey. There are major tasks ahead. We understand that as the teams in the Kontinental Hockey League become stronger, more good hockey arenas will be built, more competitions will be held at all levels, and more talented young players will emerge to bring glory to our country. I would like to congratulate not only the KHL and the FHR, but all hockey fans on the fact that our cooperation has been extended and is developing.