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Asia League Ice Hockey 2004-2005

News Release

Asia League Ice Hockey 2005-2006 To Have 9 Participating Teams
Entry of 2 New Teams Virtually Decided
Jul. 22, 05

At the Executive Committee meeting held in a hotel in Tokyo on July 21, it was virtually decided that two new teams, the Nordic Vikings and the Kangwon Land, would participate in the Asia League Ice Hockey 2005-2006. Their home town will be Beijing, China, and Kangwon, Korea, respectively. The number of participating teams to the Asia League Ice Hockey, which has been decreased to seven due to the withdrawal of the Golden Amur from Russia after playing only one season in the League, will now be expanded to nine. The official decision on this matter is subject to approval of the Annual Congress to be held in September (date and place to be decided). Game schedule and a playing format will be adjusted aiming for the opening of the League on the 23rd or 24th of September, 2005.

From the left, Owe Andersson <Owner of Nordic Vikings Team>,Shoichi Tomita <Chairman of Asia League Ice Hockey>,Park Byeong Cheol <Manager of Kangwon Land Team>

Introduction of New Teams-1
Nordic Vikings Team

The managing company of the Nordic Vikings team is the Nordic Vikings Group, a financial and event company based in Sweden. The Nordic Vikings team will consist of young players from the Nordic region, such as Sweden, Finland and Norway, a few matured players and six Chinese players from Harbin and Qiqihar as an exchange player (see below for details).
Their home is supposed to be Beijing, China, and their participation is expected to contribute to the development of popularity and level of Asia League Ice Hockey.
The Asia League is going to accept the Nordic Vikings team as a special participant in order to improve and increase the value of the League as well as to level up Chinese teams being inferior in competitiveness.

Introduction of New Teams-2
Kangwon Land Team

The Kangwon Land team, having been playing in the Korean Ice Hockey League since the last season, is owned by Kangwon Land, a company which manages casinos, resort hotels, ski and golf resorts etc. in Kangwon Province, Korea.
The Kangwon Land team had expressed their interest in joining the Asia League starting from the 2005-2006 season, but withdrew it because the addition of players was not likely to complete as they originally planned.
After that, they managed to hire import players to meet the League requirements, then applied anew for entry to the Asia League 2005-2006. It is also going to be approved by the Asia League.
They will consist of players who used to play for Dongwon or Hyundai, both of the teams were disbanded, those players discharged from military service and up-to five import players.
The team will have a training camp in Canada from July 29 to Sep. 20, 2005 and play about 10 practice games with local teams to prepare for the season.

Harbin, Qiqihar and Nordic Vikings To Exchange Payers
The Nordic Vikings Group announced an exchange program of players, coaches and game officials with Harbin and Qiqihar to help the development of the Chinese teams.
In concrete terms, the Nordic Vikings Group will send three Nordic players, who are to be registered as an import player, a coach and a game official each to Harbin and Qiqihar teams. On the other hand, the Harbin and Qiqihar teams will send three players of Chinese nationality to the Vikings.
The Asia League is expecting the program to contribute to improving ice hockey in Asian region and is going to support it with a special rule.

Nordic Vikings Team To Play Pre-Season Game In August
The Nordic Vikings Team also announced that they are preparing a pre-season game against Harbin team in Beijing, China, scheduled for Sunday August 7, 2005.

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