Leafs, Swiss team sign development deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed a development agreement with the Zurich Lions of the Swiss Elite League, the NHL team announced Saturday.

‘We have a real solid two-way relationship with the Mannheim Eagles of the German Elite League and we are looking for the same results by adding Zurich as well," said Leafs president and GM Burke. "We’ve been able to exchange ideas in all areas of the game. The experience for the participating players and coaches over the past three years has been invaluable."

According to a press release, the informal exchange between the teams includes the areas of coaching, player development, roster management, social media, ticketing and security.

Zurich will also gather information from Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment for a potential new state of the art hockey arena in Zurich.

"This agreement is a huge step for Swiss hockey, and together with Toronto and Mannheim, we can further grow the sport of hockey in Europe," said Peter Zahner, CEO of the Zurich Lions.

“The agreement with Zurich further strengthens our working relationship with the Toronto Maple Leafs," said Mannheim General Manager Teal Fowler. "Zurich is not only one of Switzerland’s leading junior development programs but they are one of Europe’s best run hockey organizations. It’s a huge honour to be affiliated with an Original Six National Hockey League team."