this kind of decision, to end one’s career, is
terribly difficult, and requires serious reasons.
Roman had these reasons. He played over
nine hundred matches in the NHL and two
seasons with us. He was a captain, a leader.
His performance towards the end of last
season, when he participated in key matches
despite having a broken leg, only served to
prove his bond with the Vítkovice team, and
all of us greatly appreciate him.
How about new additions to
the Vítkovice lineup? Which new faces
can we look forward to seeing donning
the team’s jerseys?
First of all, I would like to mention that
these are not my decisions alone. Patrik
Rimmel, Aleš Pavlík—the owner of
the club—and I discuss roster updates.
We consult and evaluate all of our
options together. We managed to sign
the experienced defender Mikuš from
Pardubice and a pair of Americans,
Krieger, a striker, and Raskob, a defender.
Daniel Krenželok, from Třinec, will also
return to us. We will also be giving Puček,
a new talent from Vsetín, a shot. Finally,
our goalkeeping duo will be completed
with the addition of Klimeš, from Brno.
You dropped a bombshell on your fans
in early June. You acquired the American
striker Peter Mueller—the best foreign
player in Czech hockey…
We are ecstatic that we pulled this trade
off! Aleš Pavlík, the club’s owner, played
a substantial role in this endeavor, as he
increased our budget to allow for it. Peter
Mueller is the player to have for any team
right now, and we managed to sign him! He
collected over sixty points—fifty Canadian
points in the last two seasons alone. He is
a born striker and now he will be playing
under our banner, with the knight Vítek
on his jersey. Personally, I am delighted by
this, and I believe our fans, sponsors and
partners, without which this would not be
possible, will be, too.
Since you mentioned the importance of
sponsors and partners, how difficult is it to
maintain the cost of Extraleague hockey in
current economically trying times?
Anyone even slightly in the know can
see that sport has been underfinanced
in Czechia for a long time now. Without
help from our partners and sponsors,
we would not be able to carry on.
They continue to support us in spite of
current difficulties, and we all genuinely
appreciate that. For example, Ridera,
our club’s general partner, announced
an extension of our contract by another
two seasons well in advance of renewal.
Other key partners from a wide range
of influential companies in our region
also confirmed their participation in
multiannual contracts. We want to
maintain a stable list of long-term partners
while looking for new ones, as well.
How is that going for you?
We want to offer each of our partners
adequate services so that their connection
HC VÍTKOVICE RIDERA
Sports Director of
HC VÍTKOVICE RIDERA
to Vítkovice not only brings them sports
entertainment but also added market
Mueller is the player
to have for any team
right now, and we
managed to sign him!
value. Among other opportunities, we
offer partners the chance to take part
in club activities, such as the A-team’s
recent trip to the Lower Tatra mountains.
Essentially, we want each of our partners
to feel like they are part of our team.
Mr Šimíček, thank you for the interview.
POSITIV 2/2022 ǀ 101