The Zurich ice hockey club, the ZSC Lions, have signed a partnership deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL).
In a statement published this weekend, the ZSC Lions said it’s the first agreement of its kind between a Swiss hockey club and a team from the world’s top professional league.
The deal, signed on November 8, sees both teams cooperating on player development and scouting. The ZSC Lions management also said it hopes to benefit from the Toronto club’s experience building and operating a modern ice hockey arena.
A new arena in Zurich is still in the planning stage, but the Swiss club foresee construction beginning in 2015, with the complex opening two years later.
“The cooperation deal with a Canadian team that has a long-tradition of success is very important to us. The Leaf’s management is considered highly competent and success-orientated,” said ZSC Lions CEO, Peter Zahner.
The ZSC Lions last won the Swiss championship in 2008. A year later, the club defeated Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the European Champions Hockey League final, despite being the underdogs.
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