“Kunlun proved that money isn’t all that important”
Alexander Medvedev, a member of the KHL’s Council of Directors, gave an interview to Russian newspaper Sport Express in which he spoke about our team’s progress and the prospects of bringing more Asian teams in the league.
The regular season is coming to an end. One of the highlights has been Kunlun, which seems poised to make the playoffs. Would you agree?
It goes to prove once again that money isn’t all that important. Even though Kunlun has one of the smallest budgets, [head coach Vladimir] Yurzinov has put together an ambitious roster where players from different countries have demonstrated that within a year they can build a competitive team. I’m sure Kunlun will be a tough opponent for any team in the playoffs.
Are there any plans for further expansion of the KHL? Might there be more developments in the East?
I’m sure that in time we will see more than one Chinese team in the KHL. We might even see a Korean club. There’s an idea about setting up a Pacific Ocean division, featuring teams from Russia and abroad. I think that would be interesting. As we’ve seen in China, even though there isn’t a natural audience for hockey, crowds have steadily improved. We’re seeing more people at games in Beijing than we did in Shanghai, and with proper efforts to market the game, we will soon see full houses at Chinese arenas.