White Tigers News
The Champions Hockey League season is here. It all starts on Thursday when at 8 PM CET, the White Tigers face Kärpät Oulu from Finland in the Tipsport Arena in Liberec. The tourney continues on Saturday when the Tigers meet Sharks from Cologne in the famous German city.
The Liberec White Tigers are just about to begin their 2014 pre-season which will include the Champions Hockey League and six additional games. The pre-season opener takes place in Třinec on July 31 and along the way, Liberec also meets Slavia Prague (twice), Sparta Prague, Hradec Králové and Volzhsk.
The Liberec White Tigers have started the second part of their summer training as they first took on the ice Monday evening. In the meantime, new players chose their jersey number while some others have changed them.
Liberec Under-20 goaltender Vítek Vaněček got drafted at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals and subsequently signed an entry-level contract with the team, but that won´t keep him from staying in the Czech Republic for another year. "Vítek will most likely spend one more year in the Czech Republic," said the general manager of Bílí Tygři Liberec, Ctibor Jech. "We still negotiate with the Capitals about the situation, but the likelihood is about 90 %. The plan for him is to our number-three goalie which means that he would spend the season playing for our farm team in Benátky nad Jizerou," added Jech.
Three of team´s Under-20 players have been drafted in the North American drafts. Goaltender Vítek Vaněček was selected 39th overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals and is currently getting ready to attend the team´s development camp. Meanwhile, forward Pavel Zacha was drafted first overall in the CHL Import Draft by the Sarnia Sting and defenseman Filip Pyrochta became the import pickup of the Victoriaville Tigres.
The team has finished the off-ice part of summer training on this day, June 26. That included loads of hard work, a camp in Giant Mountains and a couple of association football exhibition matches. The summer training will resume on July 21 when players jump on the ice for the first time.
The team has announced the schedule of their Champions Hockey League journey. It will begin on August 21 with home opener against Kärpät Oulu and end on October 8 in Finland. In the meantime, the Tigers also play a home game and an away game, one each against each Košice and Kölner Haie.
The Liberec White Tigers have brought in a defensive reinforcement in 34-year-old defenseman Martin Škoula. The Litoměřice native has a Stanley Cup ring from the 2001 NHL season and has inked a one-year contract with a one-year option. Last year, the all-round defenseman play for Slovan Bratislava of the KHL.
The Champions Hockey League draw took place in Minsk, Belarus, and the Liberec White Tigers were a part of it. The draw takes them to group A that will see them matched up with Kölner Haie, Kärpät Oulu and HC Košice. The newly-created competition begins in late August.
The Liberec White Tigers have signed forwards Lukáš Krenželok and Petr Jelínek to three years, respectively two years. The two players will join off-ice summer training with the team today.