Dear Valued Fan,
First of all, I would like to thank you for your loyal and continued support of GSHC.
As the 2017 season starts to unfold and within the context of the new communications initiatives of the Club, I would like to share with you some information regarding GSHC and our various ongoing projects.
As officially announced by the Club on September 5, 2016, our CEO Christophe Stucki will be leaving us at the end of November. This departure follows his wish to pursue new professional ventures. Christophe actively participated in the development of the Club throughout the last five years. He demonstrated a great deal of passion and enthusiasm in his role. On behalf of the entire staff and the Board of Directors of the Club, and of our fans and partners, I would like to thank Christophe for his valuable contribution and wish him every success for the future of his professional career.
We are entering a new phase in the development of the Club and to that end I have decided to strengthen our governance and expertise by surrounding ourselves with experienced professionals in all areas of our activities.
It is in this spirit that Mike Gillis and Peter Gall were asked to join the Board of Directors. Mike has had major success in the NHL on both the sporting and the administrative sides and in managing a new rink facility. He was elected him as the best manager of the year in the NHL, a recognition that says a lot about his competencies. Peter, a renowned Canadian lawyer, has legal experience advising senior NHL and team directors, general managers, coaches and players, and brings an impressive network of investors for our new arena project.
The new arena project, on the Trèfle-Blanc site in the commune of Lancy, took a significant step forward following the meeting with government representatives on September 16, 2016. We presented a strong investor group who not only have the financial means and motivation to invest, but who have knowledge and experience in designing, building and operating rinks of all sizes. We will continue to work closely with the government in the process of realizing this important project for Geneva and the future of the Club, and hope we will be able to communicate by the end of the season the date we will be able to play our first game in the new rink.
We are moving forward in all areas of our activities, from our communications to the improvement of our infrastructure and gameday experience for all fans. We have surrounded ourselves with the leading experts in each domain, in order to provide you with the best possible hockey experience in Geneva.
With the addition of Lorne Henning and Mike Gillis we have reinforced our senior hockey operations management team. They will assist Chris McSorley and all our coaching and support staff in our quest to win the first of what we hope will be many Swiss titles, and to continue the significant progress we have made in our academy.
Mike and Lorne combine over 80 years of NHL experience, winning 4 Stanley Cup titles and every team and individual NHL honor. Our player recruitment and development has been strengthened, and I have the pleasure to inform you that several players have signed contract extensions that we will be announcing officially in the coming days.
Thanks to the recent and historic agreement between the 4 youth hockey associations in Geneva our elite youth hockey academy, Genève Futur Hockey Association, will benefit from a coordinated and positive development of all young hockey players in the Canton of Geneva. This will bring forward an increasing number of young players for our first team, and help develop all our players to be well-rounded individuals as they prepare for their adult lives. We are proud that 6 junior aged players significantly contributed to Tuesday night's Swiss Cup first round victory in Guin, tallying a total of 5 points.
More than ever, our ambition is that GSHC remains an important part of the Geneva community. We wish to continue to contribute in a positive and meaningful manner to the development and wellbeing of our city, our Canton and our region.
The Club, and I, will be communicating on a more regular basis to keep you informed of the development of the Club and the new rink project. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you on Saturday for our next home game against Lausanne!
In the name of all players, coaches, staff and office members, I thank you again for your loyalty and continued support. You are an important and valued member of GSHC!