The team made up of Swedish students will play in the LNHH and help support the development of ice hockey in Spain starting this season. The players will study in Spain during the season and play for the Nordic Vikings, which will have their home base at the Dreams Arena in Majadahonda in the Madrid region.
The RFEDH has modified its regulations to welcome the team as normally only three foreign players are allowed per team in the league. However, they will not be able to compete in the playoffs and for the Copa de SM el Rey.
Hockey fans may have heard the name Nordic Vikings before. In a similar project the Vikings were based in Beijing, China to compete in the Asia League in 2005/2006 finishing fifth out of nine teams.
“I am very excited to be able to start this project with Spanish ice hockey, in a country with a wide margin of improvement in terms of sports development,” said Per-Erik Holmstrom, president of the Nordic Vikings Madrid.
“Spain is in a similar situation to the one we already experienced in China in 2005, and on that occasion we achieved a great result by adapting its way of approaching sport. We would like to generate interest among the Spanish fans, and work together with the RFEDH in the development of ice hockey, so that it can take a leap forward and level up in the coming years.”
The idea is to have a co-operation between the associations from Spain and Sweden for several years and that in the future Swedish players could also be integrated into the existing club teams. The agreement also foresees camps and a potential player exchange between the countries also in women’s hockey.
The LNHH has been expanded from five to eight teams for the upcoming season with the inclusion of the Nordic Vikings as well as CH Huarte and Logrono Panthers. The Logrono Panthers will also be made up of foreign players – coming from North America – and not be eligible for the playoffs and Cup competition.
The five previous teams are defending champions Barca Hockey Gel (the ice hockey team of FC Barcelona), CG Puigcerda, Txuri-Urdin Donostia-San Sebastian, CH Jaca and Hockey Hielo Majadahonda.