In the final CHL pre-season Press Conference, all five Swedish competitors in the 2019/20 season stated their desires to win the competition!
The Press Conference was held at the Quality Globe Hotel in Stockholm, a stone's throw away from the famous arena bearing the same name.
CHL CEO Martin Baumann gave an address to all five teams and the media members in attendance. Baumann was delighted to reveal that in 2018/19, there was a 13% increase in Swedish attendance at CHL games.
After the CEO's speech, representatives from the five Swedish teams gave their thoughts on the upcoming campaign.
Ryan Lasch (Forward): The learning experience we had leading up to the CHL Final was important. It is always exciting to do it all over again but we know that it’s a tough league. It will be interesting to play against Mountfield HK, but I look forward to facing the Cardiff Devils.
Roger Rönnberg (Head Coach): We had a lot of luck and there were many matches that we won thanks to penalties or additional time. It is a tough league. When we lost against Luleå Hockey it made us hungrier to win this tournament. All the away-matches are harder as it’s a different way to play hockey in terms of routine. Then we will also have to go back home and play our matches in Sweden. The CHL gives the club a lot and supports the team’s development. We learn a lot by playing the Group Stage so early in the season.
Linus Johansson (Captain): It was cool to play in Europe when I was a part of Djurgården, it helps with development when you face opponents who are not your usual competitors. I would like to continue playing in the same way that got me to the place where I was awarded the captaincy. We would like to go to the Final and win, just like all the other teams.
Johan Pennerborn (Head Coach): We had a target to establish ourselves in Europe and it is good to be back after two years. Ice hockey is getting more popular around Europe and it is positive that young girls and boys see hockey live and on TV. We started researching our rivals whilst in the train on the way here, we have a tough group but hopefully we’ll go through.
Oscar Engsund (Defenceman): To win or be in the Semi-Finals is something that we always look forward to. It was great to be on the national team and then on CHL and meet other top teams from Europe and see how you can manage in this kind of hockey. I look most forward to the match against the Belfast Giants. It will be fun to go there and play.
Henrik Stridh (Assistant Coach): I have been for two years in Luleå and now it’s time to play in the CHL on international ground. We think that we have been better and better in the last two seasons and we have a good team on paper, and we played really well in the previous season. We have not checked our rivals yet as we have focused on ourselves, but it is great to be able to go to Northern Ireland and play hockey there.
Jacob Josefson (Captain): It was great to play in CHL for the first time, it is fast hockey. I look forward to this season and hopefully we’ll be better than last year. It is cool to see many different places and meet teams from other countries. It is great that Sweden is a strong country in this field. The match against GKS Tychy will be a good start for this season.
Robert Ohlsson (Head Coach): All we need this year is one point more. We started well but lost it throughout the season. I don’t know so much right now about the other teams in the group but I know that they are good rivals. It is important for us to be established in Europe so it really is something that we would like to pursue.
Joakim Lindström (Forward): We have two tough matches against SC Bern and Grenoble in the opening weekend. We must have a good start to the tournament. There are many tough groups in this competition and we have to play at our maximum capability. I think that European hockey is progressing in the last years, it is very impressive to see.
Tommy Samuelsson (Head Coach): It was a disappointment when we lost last year. This season we would like to go all the way. Kärpät Oulu are very good so it will be a tough challenge against the other three teams. We have two tough weeks now with the Swiss and French teams. Bern is one of the best teams in terms of players and supporters. We have a pretty good scouting on the Swiss League. I coached in Austria and Germany and it’s fantastic that in the CHL, you can compare yourself to other teams in Europe. I hope that I have enough knowledge about the other three teams in order to do well in this competition.