The press conference devoted to the start of the season of Higher Hockey League was
The Director Executive of Russian Ice-Hockey Federation, Chairman of the Board of non-commercial partnership “HHL” Valeery Fesyuk, CHL Vice-President, Chairman of General Assembly of non-commercial partnership “HHL” Vladimir Shalaev and Director Executive of con-commercial partnership “HHL” German Skoropupov took place in it.
Vladimir Shalaev took the floor:
- We can easily say that the League established itself, and together with Russian Ice-Hockey Federation we were able to create the product of full-value. At the moment there is a defined vertical line in Russian hockey - Continental Hockey League, Youth Hockey League - a very important place belongs to Higher Hockey League in this vertical line. This is the second league in Russia as by the strength so as by the significance, and if it will continue to develop with such speed, it can possibly create competition to CHL. The previous Championship was held on the highest organizational level, the further levels of development will be considered as perfection only. We can easily state that our League doesn’t yield to North-American AHL. The game opening the season will be held on September 10th in Tyumen. It will be held between the local “Rubin” and “Neftyanik” from Almetyevsk. The winner will be awarded with the new prize - Crystal Shield. Also all the referees have signed 2-years contracts in between the seasons.
- Yes, I can only repeat: HHL is really a solid league. There are some hockey players who according to their professional skills can strive for the HHL clubs in order to be able to progress and develop. The Federation has always had the principle: strong league, strong players - strong National Team. And hockey players are the foundation of this system. This year we are studying the possibility to create the team from the players, playing in HHL using the principles of the composition of the National Team that will be able to play at the International Tournament so that to stress the level of the importance of the League. RIHF together with CHL will continue their fruitful cooperation, everything is under control, we are moving to the new season.
- Before the start of the first season of HHL we had the following aim: there should be conversations and publications about the League, and we are satisfied with the
development that it received. We were working laboriously during the whole summer, we organized the seminars with press services, statisticians, also had the camps of the highest possible level with the referees. There are serious steps forward as the aspect of refereeing is very important. For instance, from now on there will be no bullets in play-off games. We have visited all the clubs and were following them so that to understand what has changed during the past season. We were very glad for the clubs that have started the reconstruction of their home arenas, we express our gratitude to the governors of the regions, to all of those who have heard, didn’t stay aside and helped. As for the TV broadcasts we plan to cover the games of 50% of all the clubs, the work in this direction has been already done. I would also mark separately the rookies from Donetsk - they have organized a very representative tournament with the participation of the clubs of CHL - the games were very interesting, the level that Donets Basin showed was very solid - they proved that they are not whipping boys.
While answering the questions of the journalists RIHF Director Executive marked that 2011 is the year of 65th anniversary of domestic ice-hockey, a lot of solemn events have been held within its frames already. The culmination of it will be the celebration in honor of veterans during the Cup of the First Channel. CHL has already composed the plan of awards together with the regions.
“Our motto: Everybody should be remembered.” Every region will host solemn ceremonies. Along with the elaboration of festive emblems, memorable gifts we have
the agreement with CHL about the celebration in honor of veterans during the games of Regular Championship. According to the agreement with the Top Executives of the League the festive logo will be placed at the uniforms of the referees and players.” - said Valery Fesyuk.