Co-Owner and president of the Bratislava Capitals, Mag. Dusan Pasek, explains the plan of the club to participate in the Austrian Hockey League EBEL.
Dusan, many thanks for your time to make this interview. If you can imagine, after the message “Bratislava Capitals” want to go in EBEL 2020-21 follows a big discussion in Austria. So my first question, what’s up there?
“First, thanks you give me the chance to answer about this plan. Well, the EBEL is a high quality league, with a good marketing, excellent teams and many spectators in the arenas. For us is the option to play there very interesting, so we will try to play in this league. In Bratislava we don’t have now lot of spectators, we think, we can bring some more to the games. It’s good for Bratislava and to the Slovakian hockey, and that can be a very good step for our Club.”
At the beginning of the current season we had a conversation and that was the goal: the Extra League. Is the EBEL now a plan “B” if the plan “A”, the promotion, is unsuccessful.
“At the moment in the actual is EBEL plan “A”, because the reasons are what I told you. We will do our best to get the entrée in the EBEL.”
Some voices are means it is a “political decision” between Slovan and the Capitals to try to play in EBEL, and how is the general relationship between Slovan and the Capitals? You play the games and have practice in the same arena.
“It’s doesn’t matter, we don’t have any problems, we have a normal, professional relationship with Slovan and it not a political solution. Because we can go back to the beginning of the story: as we bought the former club, HC Bratislava, Slovan in this time said, the will play in KHL. So we think Bratislava needs a Team and its good for Bratislava Hockey and put one team in the Slovak Extra League. But now the situation was changed, so that’s the reason we are looking for this option EBEL, because it will be good for Hockey at all – Slovan play in Extra League and the second team, us the Bratislava Capitals, play in EBEL.”
If the entry into the EBEL is successful, the clubs have to agree here for the time being? In the past there were withdrawals from the league with Zagreb and Ljubljana due to their finances. Are the sponsors secured for the coming season? Is the budget not higher than in Slovakia, and is that guaranteed?
“The situation at our Club is follow: with me the Bratislava Capital shave two owners. The second is the Owner of the “iClinic” company. He is also the main shareholder and main sponsor of the club. So our financial situation is very stabil. That’s what I can say.”e si
With Sebastian Piche and Matt Climie are two former EBEL players on the team. Based on their experience, would these players be helpful in passing the EBEL? Also with Eric Selleck and Ryan Martinelli, strong Canadians, the Slovaks Karol Sloboda, Goalie Hamrlik and Marek Slovak with a lot of experience can also be found in the team, or are still being upgraded.
“There will be many rumours at the players, but we have to talk with the players. In the moment we play in the Slovak Hockey League, it’s the 2nd League in Slovakia, and our goal is to win this league. And I think all of the players in our team can play in the EBEL.”
I’m going back a year now – last season the team played as HC Bratislava in the “Vladimir Dzirullu” ice rink in Ruzinov. If the ice rink change did not take away the “home advantage”?
“Yes, but the rink in Ruzinov is not in a good shape and needs to be renovated for Extra League and also maybe for EBEL. The standard des ice rink in Ruzinov is much lower like as in this arena. Also the comfort for the spectators, away teams, equipments, etc.. That’s the reason why we move to the Ondrej Nepla Arena and play here.”
You think there will more fans to the games in EBEL as actual? The interest of the audience is still limited (between 300-600 visitors).
“We hope, there is new for Bratislava and the Hockey fans, so we hope and think the like to see teams as KAC, Vienna Capitals, Salzburg, and the other teams. We will see if we successful in this work to interest for the other.
Is there a long-term goal for the Capitals? I am now putting the KHL into the discussion or is that a challenge that is too great.
“No, right now the focus is only the entrance into the EBEL. We don’t think about KHL, its very expensive, definitely no”.
In the current season, the Capitals are safely at the top of the table in the League – the Slovak league, place one seems certain, which also means the home advantage for the play-offs. The games against Martin and Topolcany were mostly tight decisions. Is the title spotted among these “big three” or is there still a secret favorite that is still to be expected, because Play-Offs is another story.
“Yes, right now we are first, but the Play-Offs are really a different competition. Its start from zero, and I belive we have a good team. All of the players are fit and will play with 100% to win this League. Example Martin and Topolcany got new players before its closing the transfer window. This are strong teams with a high quality and we will our best to go as champion in the EBEL.”
Dusan, many thanks for your time and all the best for the rest if the season and good luck for the EBEL.