On May 20, 2016, the Ice Hockey Museum based at the Park of Legends in Russia hosted a news conference with the World Legends Hockey League to summarize the results of its working group meeting.
Participants in the news conference included Vyacheslav Fetisov, Board Chairman of the Legends League; Pavel Bure, President of the Legends League; Dmitry Tugarin, Executive Director of the Legends League; Lanny McDonald, winner of the Stanley Cupand Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto; and hockey coach Mike Keenan, winner of the Stanley Cup, Gagarin Cup, and Canada Cup (two times).
At the beginning of the news conference, Legends League Executive Director Dmitry Tugarin summed up the results of the debut season and announced that next year one more team will play in the championship. Today, the working group signed a memorandum between all participating countries (now seven, including France). The earlier agreement with Switzerland remains in force. This European team will join the League and compete in the championship in one year.
In his welcoming address, Legends League President Pavel Bure thanked the American guests for their participation in the event and expressed hope that the meeting would promote further cooperation with North America. As noted earlier, Canada and the United States intend to join the competition in the 2017/2018 season.
“I would like to thank everybody who supported the idea to establish the Ice Hockey Museum in Moscow and made it happen. Thank you very much to TEN Group for the prompt and quality renovation of this building and its transformation into the Ice Hockey Museum,” said Vyacheslav Fetisov, Board Chairman of the Legends League. Speaking about sponsorship, Fetisov announced the general partner of Ice Hockey Day, Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest non-ferrous metal producer, which made it possible to host this remarkable event with the participation of truly outstanding hockey players of the past. “A personal thank you goes to Vladimir Potanin for bringing retired hockey out into the light. Mr Potanin is not just a genuine fan of this sport. He also enjoys playing hockey himself. Thank you for your support. We hope this cooperation will last,” Fetisov said.
“I’m really glad to be here on this wonderful day,” Stanley Cup winner Lanny McDonald told journalists as he was preparing to hit the ice as a member of the Legends League Stars team. “As president of the Hockey Hall of Fame, I would like to say that honouring the history of sports is a good tradition.”
McDonald also stressed that the word “legend” in the league’s title is very symbolic and emphasises that it is one of a kind because the league is represented by distinguished and merited players whose names have truly gone down in the world history of sports. The president of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto stressed that he is willing to cooperate and help with collecting exhibits for the Hockey Museum in Moscow.
Prominent coach Mike Keenan supported the idea of continuity of generations and said that the Legends League makes him proud of the history of hockey and hockey players who have been writing this history for many years. Keenan thanked Pavel Bure for the invitation to join the League’s coaching staff and stressed that events like this one strengthen friendship between everybody ‒ countries, players and fans. He also congratulated the league’s management on such a remarkable project that will undoubtedly help young players follow in the steps of the glorious predecessors.