MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Chinese ice hockey club Red Star Kunlun, which seeks membership in the Russia-led Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), will be staffing its team with the main accent on the draft of Russian players, a senior Russian hockey official told TASS on Wednesday.
In mid-March, President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation Vladislav Tretiak, Chairman of the KHL Board of Directors Gennady Timchenko and Chairman of Beijing-based Red Star Kunlun board of directors Ngok Yan Yu signed an agreement of intentions on the admission of the first-ever Chinese hockey club to the KHL.
In an interview with TASS, Roman Rotenberg, the vice president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RHF), said that "the Chinese club will draft as many as possible Russian players and will also focus on hiring Russian specialists to the club’s coaching staff."
"It was a proposal from the Russian side considering our vast experience and accumulated knowledge in the sport of ice hockey," Rotenberg said adding that "undoubtedly Chinese players will be playing in the club as well."
The decision on the accession of the Chinese hockey club to the KHL will be made on June 15 at a session of the league’s Board of Directors.
In line with the earlier submitted application documents, China’s Kunlun Red Star will be headquartered in Beijing and playing home matches at the MasterCard Center, which is the premier multi-function arena in the Chinese capital.
During the 2015/2016 season a total of 28 clubs played in the KHL, including Barys from Astana (Kazakhstan), Dinamo from Minsk (Belarus) and Dinamo from Riga (Latvia), Jokerit from Helsinki (Finland), Medvescak from Zagreb (Croatia) and Slovan from Bratislava (Slovakia).
The Kontinental Hockey League is an international league set up to promote ice hockey in Russia and other European and Asian states. KHL organizes matches of the Russian ice hockey championships.