Dear Alexander Ivanovich,

You celebrate your 57th birthday as the head of one of the strongest leagues in world hockey – a league into which you have put your heart, soul and a huge amount of labor to create. And now, as we approach the fifth season of the KHL, we can confidently say that our league has become one of the most successful projects in all of modern sport, attaining such a level that other sporting organizations now turn to the KHL when in search of an example to follow.

We know how much energy you put in so that five years ago you could prove to a legion of skeptics that our league, in bringing together hockey clubs from many nations, is the only possible way to enable European hockey to keep its integrity and unique character as it strives to rival the NHL. As interest in the Kontinental Hockey League Championship continues to grow each year, there at least one thing on which the multitudes of fans on both sides of the ocean can agree: the KHL provides today’s discerning hockey spectator with the product he demands.

On this day, your 57th birthday, we at the KHL sincerely wish you the best of health, continued success both at home and at work and, of course, many more victories on the hockey rink. May your boundless energy continue to drive your most audacious and ambitious projects as you further the progress and development of world hockey.

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