Slovakian hockey team Slovan Bratislava has recruited former Avangard Omsk coach Rostislav Cada as the club seeks to join the KHL next season as an expansion team.
Cada replaces Jan Neliba, who led the team to the Slovakian championship last month in a temporary role after coach Stefan Mikes left in January.
Slovan has applied to the KHL in a move that would ensure the league retains a presence in Slovakia after the country’s only team, Lev, announced plans to relocate to the Czech Republic.
“In Rostislav Cada, a top hockey expert is coming to HC Slovan with valuable experience of the KHL, which places emphasis on a disciplined game,” Slovan said in a statement on its website late Wednesday.
Cada will be free to appoint his own staff, the club said.
Cada earlier coached Slovan in 2006, but was fired after a string of poor results. He has extensive coaching experience with Swiss National League team Ambri-Priotta and has won two Slovakian titles with HC Kosice.
Slovan plays its home games at the Ondrej Nepala Arena in Bratislava, which hosted the final of last year’s world championships.
The KHL is already assured of representation in a new country next year after granting a place to Ukrainian team Donbass Donetsk, KHL president Alexander Medvedev said earlier this month.
The management of Slovakia’s HC Poprad has said the club wants to join the KHL and is keen to take over Lev’s former fanbase, but the KHL has not said it has received an application.
Italian team Milano Rossoblu has put its plans to join the league on hold due to concerns about the team’s financial stability and relatively small home arena, Ilya Kochervin, the KHL’s vice-president for commerce and communications, said last week.