Today, at 12:00 CET in Bratislava a new club joined the Kontinental hockey League. At a specially convened briefing the president of the KHL, Alexander Medvedev, announced the acceptance of Lev (Lion) of Poprad, Slovakia, as a competing club in the KHL.
“We’ve waited a long time for this moment. We faced many obstacles along the way. The club meets in full all of the League’s requirements. I believe the participation of Lev in the KHL will add a new dimension to the competition. We also hope that having Lev competing in the KHL will help to raise Slovakia’s standing in world hockey,” said Medvedev.
“The rules of the IIHF are quite simple. If a team from Slovakia wishes to play in the KHL, that team needs approval from its national federation. If approval is given, the IIHF has no objection,” added IIHF president René Fasel.
“Last season there were 23 clubs in the League, with one division comprising of five clubs instead of six. Now Lev will fill this vacancy,” Medvedev continued.
“When asked about the make-up of the club before the start of the season, Lev's general manager Roman Slavchev replied: “In two weeks’ time we’ll have a press conference, where we’ll present the head coach and the team roster. Our budget will be comparable in size to that of Dinamo Riga; Czech and Slovak players will make up 70% of the team.”
“The Poprad hockey club will continue to play in Slovak championship,” Slavchev added. “It will be practically a farm club for Lev. As for the youth team, we will put one together over the coming year.”
It was also announced that Lev’s youth team, named the Tatras Wolves, will join the Youth Hockey League for season 2012/2013.