TheHockey Club Lugano presented the 2022/23 season to sponsor and the media late this afternoon.
The traditional event was held at the Ciani Restaurant, in the heart of the City of Lugano. Certainly not a casual location because, as stated by president Vicky Mantegazza, in the more than eighty years of its history the HCL has always been in the hands of luganesi and the bond with the territory has always been a guiding value. The closeness to Lugano finds further confirmation this year in the design of the third jersey with the shield LVGA, in the collaboration with Lugano Region and in the choice of the new exclusive partner for the catering at the Cornèr Arena: the Gabbani Group, a true Lugano DOC company. Closing her remarks, Vicky Mantegazza announced the retirement of Julien Vauclair's number 3 jersey for the debut game on Friday, September 16 against Ajoie.
CEO Marco Werder first recalled HCL's medium-term goals enunciated last year:
- Have one-third of the players, staff grown and/or trained within the club;
- commit that within the next three years, Financial Fair Play will be introduced in National League ;
- To win the Swiss championship title in the medium term.
While the sporting goal obviously remains alive, to date, more than 50 percent of HCL employees have grown or been trained in the organization itself. Efforts to introduce Financial Fair Play into National League continue, and it is precisely the club's leadership bianconero on this issue has generated an interpellation in Parliament to revise the Cartel Law.
On the financial side, the shareholders' meeting will be held in October. The sports budget remains unchanged, but it should not be forgotten that over the next two seasons, as part of the 4.8 million francs credit received to deal with the consequences of the pandemic, the HCL will have to return 3.3 million francs to the federal government. Improving the fan experience at Cornèr Arena and expanding the infrastructure were the other central points of Werder's words.
With the new food trucks, fans will have more gastronomic choices and at the same time be able to move freely between the different sectors of the rink. The surface right granted in June by the City of Lugano for the construction of two new floors in the central body of the rink will allow the club to expand the space available to the sports sector and to bring together the administrative offices of the first team and the Youth Section.
GM Hnat Domenichelli presented the profiles of the eight new players completing the roster: goalkeeper Mikko Koskinen, defensemen Oliwer Kaski and Calle Andersson, and forwards Markus Granlund, Marco Müller, Kris Bennett, Jeremi Gerber and Stephan Patry.
The sporting goal for the upcoming season, taking into account the new situation in National League, will be direct qualification to the playoff stage.
Julian Walker will unfortunately have to have surgery on his left leg again after fracturing his tibia last March and will be absent for 4-6 months.
Daniel Carr was examined in Zurich and it turned out that he is still suffering from the after-effects of covid: a kind of long covid. The situation is not worrisome, but needs to be monitored day by day.
In this context,Hockey Club Lugano thus decided to sign with a contract valid until the end of the 2022/23 season Canadian wing "right" Brett Connolly (191 cm. x 90 kg.), born 02.05.1992 in Campbell River.
Connolly made his mark at the youth level in the WHL with the Prince George Cougars and with the Canadian U18 and U20 National Teams and was drafted in 2010 in the first round (sixth player overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Between 2011 and 2022 he played a total of 578 NHL games (109 goals, 97 assists, 206 points) in the jerseys of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2017/18, Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks. In the last championship he wore the colors of the Rockford Ice Hogs in the AHL (37 games, 35 points).