Here we are, today is the day. Over 200 days after the last games – played behind closed doors… – the National League is back!

This is the moment we’ve been all waiting for. Ice hockey is back.

When it comes to us instead, as many of you already know, we won’t be part of this fantastic moment.

We never gave up even when we had hard times. We always pursued our dream of turning our passion into a profession. With a lot of passion. But it’s time to say “stop”. For several reasons.

But… there is a but.

When we announced on social networks that we’re closing, we received countless messages. Both privately and publicly. To all of you we say thank you from our heart.

We were saying anyway that there is a but… a “but” that we hadn’t considered back at the time.

Sometimes miracles happen and who knows, we might be back one day. Some people – that we thank in advance – want to help us and leave some hope for the return of Leading Sport in the future.

Let’s face it, we’re already thinking aout that. Therefore, don’t unfollow us for now. Over the next few months, we’ll let you kow if we can come back. Meanwhile, on our facebook and twitter channels, we’ll publish some trivia and some comment about the season.

That said, ice hockey is back and ready to give priceless emotions as usual.

We wish all the players, staff, clubs and fans a memorable season!

In this that is our last piece (for now…) we want to write our predicion for the upcoming season.

ZSC Lions (1st – 2nd)

It’s difficult to imagine Rikard Grönborg’s troops below the second place at the end of the regular season. The Lions are the most complete team around and are ready to start from where they finished last season… in other words, they’re the number one favorites!

EV Zug (1st – 4th)

Zug is about to start yet another title chase. The Bulls didn’t change much but they start this season self-confident and with lots of certainties… and that’s really something. Dan Tangnes’ troops promise to be one of the most spectacular teams to follow and promise to fight until the end to win the darn title.

HC Lugano (1st – 6th)

Lugano is likely to be the most difficult team to judge right now. The Bianconri, at this very moment, are second to no one in the league. The unknown are represented by the many changes compared to last season and by the short-term contract of few key players. To date, however, Serge Pelletier’s guys are to be considered among the best team of the league!

Genève Servette HC (2nd – 5th)

Also the Eagles changed a lot and became even stronger than last season. Moreover, equally important, the great performances delivered during last campaign certainly boosted the confidence of the whole club. We mean, Genève Servette is certainly a team that can go a long way.

EHC Biel-Bienne (3rd – 6th)

Most people think that Bienne is weaker compared to last season. And there is no denying that the retirements of Jonas Hiller and Mathieu Tschantré are difficult to digest both in terms of leadership and quality. The Seeländer, however, are working very well as usual and we’re pretty sure that they can be very competitive also this season.

SC Bern (2nd – 7th)

Bern is coming off a disappointing campaign. The club has a new coach and a new SD. Yet guys, Bern is always Bern. It would be very dangerous to underestimate the Bears. This season at the PostFinance Arena it seems like that the pressure isn’t high as usual… and perhaps this fact could be the real trump card for the most successful team of the playoff era in Switzerland!

HC Fribourg Gottéron (3rd – 8th)

When it comes to Fribourg Gottéron… it comes to pure emotions. Christian Dubé’s troops have all it takes to have a great season and can even count on a new fantastic arena. The Dragons can become the nicest surprise of the season or they can even disappoint. As usual, after all.

HC Davos (4th – 8th)

Davos wants to repeat the fantastic ride of last season. It will not be easy… but the Ibexes are ready for it. Christian Wohlwend proved that he can be a fantastic coach and the team has all it takes to confirm itself at the highest levels even though the average age and the defense can become a problem.

Lausanne HC (5th – 9th)

So many changes in Lausanne! The Lions Vaudois have the title in their mind and now they even have a more balanced team in our opinion. However… it will be crucial to bring back the emotions on ice after Ville Peltonen’s era. MacTavish’s troops can become an outsider and go a long way. Even though, in our opinion, they will have a difficult season.

SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers (8th – 12th)

Rappi surprised few last season despite the bottom of the table position. And now the team even has two National League seasons experience behind. In our opinion, Jeff Tomlinson’s guys can very well become the surprise of the season. Let’s face it, when we say “surprise of the season” we’re not saying that they can win the title… but if we’re talking about make the playoff (not the pre-playoff!), why not?

HC Ambrì-Piotta (9th – 11th)

Luca Cereda’s boys are very easy to “read” but terribly difficult to face. Ambrì-Piotta is back being a great family like the good old times and this can be seen on ice. It’s very rare, in fact, that the Biancoblù disappoint in terms of commitment regardless of the final score of the games. It will be difficult to avoid the pre-playoff… not impossible though, especially with Luca on the bench!

SCL Tigers (10th – 12th)

Dear Tigers, our heart weeps for you but we have to put you last place. Damn, on paper there is no denying that Langnau is the less competitive team of the league. And yet… perhaps really the fact that everybody seems to underrate the Tigers, could give Franzen’s troops the will to shock everybody! The Tigers have nothing to lose and play without pressure. These last two factors can work wonders at time.

Have a good season you all. And (hopefully) see you soon guys!