Igor Larionov: «There are more games, more competition and games with unpredictable results»


On April 13, the KHL Board of Directors had a meeting.

We asked the General Director of HC Neftekhimik Igor Larionov to comment on this meeting.

– What do you thing about the return of Lada Togliatti?

– The return of Lada to the elite of Russian hockey is a significant event. The club from Togliatti has a rich history and traditions. This is the first non-Moscow team that became the champion of Russia; the local hockey school is famous for its players. This is a right decision.

It seems that other clubs that once played in the KHL will follow the pace of Lada. The presence of a team in the main league of the country is a huge incentive for the development of local hockey schools, increasing interest in the game of hockey from fans.

– For the next season, bonuses for hockey players will be included to the salary cap. Is it good for teams with not big budget? Will it improve the level of competition?

– The League has set the task of increasing competition between clubs, making the championship spectacular, increasing the games attendance, and this is being done step by step. The current hockey season, which is coming to an end, proves that these decisions are the right one. There are more games, more competition and games with unpredictable results.

The fact that now bonuses will be included to the salary cap, will benefit the competitiveness of the championship, just like raising the salary cap.

– In the next season, starting from the second stage, the playoffs will be crossed, i.e. teams of "West" and "East" will play against each other. There are opinions both pros and cons...

– Of course, this will add creativity at a certain stage in the battle for the Gagarin Cup, but it may eliminate the traditional confrontation between the "East" and "West" in the final stage of playoffs. However, I think that, as an experiment, it will be interesting.

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