Champions Hockey League

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Champions Hockey League
Current season, competition or edition:
2014–15 Champions Hockey League
CHL logo 2014.png
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 2013
Inaugural season 2014
No. of teams 40
Country At least 8, in Europe
Qualification Top teams in first-tier leagues
TV partner(s) Europe: various
Founder IIHF
Official website ChampionsHockeyLeague.net

The Champions Hockey League is a European ice hockey tournament launched by 26 clubs, 6 leagues and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), which will start in the 2014–15 season. The tournament will feature several teams from the first-tier leagues of at least six countries in Europe.

Background

The IIHF launched a tournament with the same name in 2008 to coincide with the IIHF's 100th anniversary. The tournament's only season was played between 8 October 2008 and 28 January 2009, and was won by the ZSC Lions who got to play in the 2009 Victoria Cup game as a result. The IIHF planned to launch another season, but was ultimately forced to cancel the tournament due to problems with finding sponsors and failure to agree on a format. On 9 December 2013, the IIHF officially announced that they had launched a new tournament with the same name, born out of the European Trophy, starting in the 2014–15 season.1

2014–15 season

The 2014–15 season's regulation round will be played between 21 August 2014 and 7 October 2014. 40 clubs from nine different European countries will participate in the season and be divided into ten groups of four teams each. Each team will play a double round-robin in their group, for a total of 6 games per team. The ten group winners as well as the top six group runners-up will qualify for the playoffs, which will begin on 4 November 2014 and end with the final on 4 February 2015. The playoffs will be played as a single-elimination tournament. In total, 149 games will be played (including the regulation round and playoffs). A draw taking place in Minsk, Belarus on 21 May 2014 will determine the groups.12

Teams

40 clubs from the first-tier leagues of at least eight different European countries will participate each season. Teams can qualify for the tournament by obtaining either an A, B or C license.2

  • A license: The 26 founding clubs are granted an "A license", provided that they play in the first-tier league of their respective system.3
  • B license: Two teams—the top regular season team and the top playoff team in the previous season without an A license—from each of the founding leagues (EBEL, Extraliga, Liiga, DEL, NLA and SHL) will also participate.4 If these top teams are already founding clubs with A licenses, other teams from the league can take the B license spots. The order the B licenses will be handed out is:45
  1. National champion
  2. Regular season winner
  3. Runner-up, regular season
  4. Play-off finalist
  5. Best placed semifinal loser
  6. Worst placed semifinal loser
If the leagues after that still don't reach their guaranteed number of places (EBEL: 4; DEL, NLA and Extraliga: 5; SHL and Liiga: 6) the third and fourth placed team in the regular season also can be considered.6

Prize money

In the 2014–15 season, 40 teams will compete for a grand total of 1.5 million euros. However, the money distribution has not been announced.2

See also

  • European Trophy, a similar tournament played annually from 2006, disbanded after 2013

References

  1. ^ a b "New era dawns for Europe". International Ice Hockey Federation. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Ready for takeoff". International Ice Hockey Federation. 2014-02-27. 
  3. ^ "CHL: Ny era i europeisk klubbhockey". difhockey.se (in Swedish). Djurgårdens IF Hockey. 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  4. ^ a b Qualifikationskriterien für die Champions Hockey League
  5. ^ New clubs join CHL
  6. ^ "Sex nya lag klara för Champions League – så ser Växjös chanser ut" (in Swedish). Hockeysverige.se. 2014-03-26. 

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