Continental hockey league
|Full name||Kontinentalnaja Chokkejnaja Liga ( Russian Континентальная хоккейная лига )|
|Current season||KHL 2019/20|
Russia (19) People's Republic of China (1) Finland (1) Kazakhstan (1) Latvia (1) Belarus (1)
|Title holder||HK CSKA Moscow|
|Record champions||Ak Bars Kazan (3)|
|TV partner||Спорт-1, Rossija 2 Sportdigital|
The Continental Hockey League ( KHL for short ; Russian Континентальная хоккейная лига / Kontinentalnaja Chokkejnaja Liga , Russian КХЛ for short ; internationally marketed under the English name Kontinental Hockey League ) is the top division in Russia , where ice hockey teams from other Asian and European countries also play take part. At the end of the season, the KHL winner will receive the Gagarin Cup , named after the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin .
The league's president has been Dmitri Chernyshenko , who previously organized the Winter Olympics in Sochi , since December 2014 . The first president was Alexander Medvedev , who is also deputy chairman of the Russian energy company Gazprom and general director of the export company Gazprom Export . The CEO of the KHL is the entrepreneur Gennady Timchenko .
The participants are divided into four divisions , which are named after the Soviet ice hockey greats Vsevolod Bobrov , Anatoly Tarasov , Valeri Kharlamov and Arkady Chernyshev . In the first season, the divisions were equally staffed, since 2009 they have been formed regionally and are organized in two conferences.
The regular season begins with the opening game of the two previous year's finalists, known as the Locomotive Cup . By 2014, the 28 teams played twice against each of the 27 other teams, which meant that each team had to play 54 games. A new game plan was introduced for the 2014/15 season that takes regional aspects into account. In the regular season, the teams have since been divided into two conferences and four divisions of seven teams each. Each team has to play a total of 60 games:
- 24 games against the other six teams in the division (two home and two away games)
- 14 games (one home and one away game) against the teams in the other division of the conference
- 14 games against the teams from the other conference (7 home and 7 away games each)
- 4 further games against teams from the own conference and the other conference, taking regional and logistical aspects into account.
The team with the most points after the regular season wins the Continental Cup .
The play-offs follow after the regular season , for which the eight teams with the best points from both conferences qualify. The division winners take the first four positions on the seeding list. In the first two years, the first play-off round was played in best-of-five mode, the following three up to and including the final series then in best-of-seven mode . Since the 2010/11 season , all play-off rounds have been played in the best-of-seven mode. The winner of the final series wins the Gagarin Cup .
The KHL replaced the Super League for the 2008/09 season and extends to the Eurasian continent with the previous participating countries Kazakhstan , Croatia , Latvia , Russia, Slovakia , the Czech Republic , Finland , Ukraine and Belarus . The league started its premiere season in 2008 with 24 teams from four different countries.
The 24 participants in the premiere season consisted of the previous 20 teams in the Superliga, as well as Chimik Voskressensk and Barys Astana , who last played in the Vysschaya League and took first and second place in the past season. There were also HK Dinamo Minsk and Dinamo Riga . Instead of Voskressensk , Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg should start in the KHL. Shortly before the start of training in July 2008, however, Yekaterinburg was excluded from the league due to ongoing financial problems and replaced by the second division champions Chimik Voskressensk. Since Woskressensk also suffered financial problems during the season and salary payments were still outstanding at the end of the season, Woskressensk was taken out of the league for the 2009/10 season. Awtomobilist Yekaterinburg had meanwhile set up new financing and replaced Chimik as the 24th team.
Even before the start of the KHL in 2008, an expansion of the league to 30 teams was planned for the 2009/10 season . The teams that had been offered to participate included the Swedish Elitserien clubs Färjestad BK and Frölunda HC , the Finnish club Kärpät Oulu , the HC Energie Karlovy Vary from the Czech Republic, the Ukrainian team HK Sokol Kiev and Eisbären Berlin from the German ice hockey club League . After the start of the 2008/09 season, however, KHL managing director Vladimir Schalajew put the various expansion rumors into perspective . According to Schalajew, the league should be gradually increased to 26, then to 30 and finally to a maximum of 32 participants.
In the summer of 2009 there were renewed statements that an extension was being considered. In the end, only the Russian club Awtomobilist Yekaterinburg , which had been excluded from the 2008/09 season due to financial difficulties, was included in the 2009/10 season . The second division champions HK Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk showed interest, but was not re-added until the 2010/11 season. For the 2010/11 season, the hockey departments of HK Dynamo Moscow and HK MWD Balaschicha merged and will now play under the new name OHK Dynamo . In addition, the HK Lada Tolyatti was excluded from the league due to financial problems. Second division champions HK Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk took over one of the vacant starting positions. The acceptance of HK Budiwelnik from the Ukrainian capital Kiev failed due to the lack of a KHL-compatible stadium.
In November 2009, the Swedish second division AIK Stockholm announced that they wanted to play in the KHL from the 2010/11 season, but received no approval from the Swedish association. However, announced or rumored foundations of KHL clubs in Leipzig (under the name Torpedo ), The Huttwil Falcons ( Helvetics ) and the Swedes ( Swedish Crowns ) did not materialize. The Italian second division Hockey Milano Rossoblu also expressed their intention in May 2011 to want to participate with a team in the KHL for the 2012/13 season. However, in the absence of sufficient finances, this plan was never implemented.
In 2010 the newly founded team HC Lev Hradec Králové from the Czech Republic should play in the KHL. After the team was not released by the Czech Association, she played the 2011/12 season as HC Lev Poprad in Slovakia Poprad . Lev was the first KHL club outside of the former Soviet Union. In 2012 the team moved to Prague in the Czech Republic and was dissolved again in 2014 for financial reasons.
The 2012 Slovak champions, HC Slovan Bratislava , and the Ukrainian club HK Donbass Donetsk took part in the competition from the 2012/13 season . For the 2013/14 season , the league was expanded to include KHL Medveščak Zagreb from Croatia and the newly founded Club Admiral Vladivostok to 28 teams.
For the 2014/15 season , the KHL was expanded to include the six-time Finnish champion Jokerit from Helsinki, whose home stadium Hartwall Areena was partially taken over in June 2013 by the President of SKA Saint Petersburg , Gennadi Timtschenko , as well as Boris and Arkadi Rotenberg . In addition, with HK Sochi, a team was placed in the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the former KHL team HK Lada Tolyatti returned to the KHL. In June 2014 HK Donbass Donetsk (due to the political situation in eastern Ukraine) and HK Spartak Moscow - for financial reasons - initially withdrew from gaming for one year.
In May 2015, Atlant Moskovskaya Oblast closed the game due to financial problems. HK Spartak Moscow returned to the KHL after a one-year break and resumed playing for the 2015/16 season . From the 2016/17 season , the KHL expanded to China. In Beijing went Red Star Kunlun to the start and already achieved in their first season, the play-offs.
Financial problems and downsizing
After the 2016/17 season, the KHL Medveščak Zagreb withdrew from the league and Metallurg Novokuznetsk was excluded from the league because of his financial problems. In addition, the KHL board planned to reduce the league strength to 24 participants from 2018, as the Russian participants would be financed to more than 50% by the Russian state and this situation "cannot be tolerated". The clubs are selected according to a point system in which, among other things, sporting performance, expenses, stadium utilization and funding from public bodies are included. The salary cap should be reduced to 600 million rubles by 2020/21 . Despite the downsizing, European and Asian clubs are to continue to be included, with up to two existing clubs being excluded per year according to the point system.
In March 2018, the board of the KHL decided to exclude HK Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk and HK Lada Tolyatti (based on the points list) from the KHL. This step was justified primarily with a lack of sporting results, a high financing rate by the KHL itself, a lack of TV ratings and low audience numbers at home games. Both clubs were then included in the Wysschaja Hockey League . Severstal Tscherepowez escaped exclusion, as he was competitive in the 2017/18 season and showed significant increases in audience ratings.
After the 2018/19 season, HC Slovan Bratislava withdrew from the KHL for financial reasons. In April 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia , Admiral Vladivostok lost his two main donors - the regional government and the port of Vladivostok - and withdrew from the KHL for financial reasons. This reduced the number of participants to 23 clubs.
Participants of the 2020/21 season
|Barys Nur-Sultan||Nur-Sultan||Barys Arena||12,000||1999||2008|
|Amur Khabarovsk||Khabarovsk||Platinum Arena||7,100||1966||2008|
|HK Awangard Omsk||Omsk||Balashikha Arena||5,525||1950||2008|
|Kunlun Red Star||Beijing||Mytishchi Arena||7,000||2016||2016|
|Salawat Yulayev Ufa||Ufa||Ufa arena||8,500||1957||2008|
|Awtomobilist Ekaterinburg||Ekaterinburg||Yekaterinburg Sports Palace||5,500||2006||2009|
|Ak Bars Kazan||Kazan||Tatneft arena||11,900||1956||2008|
|HK Metallurg Magnitogorsk||Magnitogorsk||Arena Metallurg||7,500||1950||2008|
|Neftechimik Nizhnekamsk||Nizhnekamsk||SKK Neftechimik||5,500||1968||2008|
|HK Sibir Novosibirsk||Novosibirsk||Ice Sports Palace Sibir||7,500||1949||2008|
|HK tractor Chelyabinsk||Chelyabinsk||Ice sports arena tractor||7,500||1947||2008|
|Yaroslavl locomotive||Yaroslavl||Arena 2000||9,070||1959||2008 1|
|HK Dinamo Minsk||Minsk||Minsk Arena||15,000||2004||2008|
|HK CSKA Moscow||Moscow||CSKA arena||12,100||1946||2008|
|Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod||Nizhny Novgorod||KRK Nagorny||5,500||1948||2008|
|HK Sochi||Sochi||Bolshoi Ice Palace||12,000||2014||2014|
|HK Vitjas||Podolsk||Vityaz Ice Palace||5,500||1996||2008|
|Jokerit Helsinki||Helsinki||Hartwall Arena||13,349||1967||2014|
|HK Dynamo Moscow||Moscow||VTB arena||10,800||1946||2008|
|HK Spartak Moscow||Moscow||CSKA arena||12,100||1946||2008 2|
|Dinamo Riga||Riga||Riga Arena||11,000||2008||2008|
|SKA Saint Petersburg||St. Petersburg||Ice Palace Saint Petersburg||12,300||1946||2008|
|Severstal Cherepovets||Cherepovets||Cherepovets Ice Palace||6,046||1956||2008|
Teams of the Continental Hockey League in the 2020/21 seasonLarge map: Russia
West conference with the Bobrov ( ) and Tarasov ( ) divisions
East conference with the Kharlamov ( ) and Chernyshov ( ) divisions
Small map: China
1 Avangard Omsk plays its home games in Balashikha , Moscow Oblast from
2 Kunlun Red Star plays its home games in the season 2020/21 in the Mytishchi Arena from
The KHL awards various trophies for the champion, the winner of the regular season and for the winner of the cup competition of the teams not qualified for the play-offs. In addition, a number of player trophies are awarded, including for the most valuable player .
|season||Gagarin Cup||Continental Cup||Nadezhda Cup|
|2008/09||Ak Bars Kazan||not forgiven||not carried out|
|2009/10||Ak Bars Kazan||Salawat Yulayev Ufa||not carried out|
|2010/11||Salawat Yulayev Ufa||HK Awangard Omsk||not carried out|
|2011/12||OHK dynamo||HK tractor Chelyabinsk||not carried out|
|2012/13||HK Dynamo Moscow||SKA Saint Petersburg||Dinamo Riga|
|2013/14||HK Metallurg Magnitogorsk||HK Dynamo Moscow||HK Awangard Omsk|
|2014/15||SKA Saint Petersburg||HK CSKA Moscow||not carried out|
|2015/16||HK Metallurg Magnitogorsk||HK CSKA Moscow||not carried out|
|2016/17||SKA Saint Petersburg||HK CSKA Moscow||not carried out|
|2017/18||Ak Bars Kazan||SKA Saint Petersburg||not carried out|
|2018/19||HK CSKA Moscow||HK CSKA Moscow||not carried out|
In the 2008/09 premiere season, Ak Bars Kazan was the first champion of the newly created KHL. With three championships won, the team is also a record winner. HK Dynamo Moscow , who competed as OHK Dynamo in the 2011/12 season, HK Metallurg Magnitogorsk and SKA Saint Petersburg are the other teams that have won the Gagarin Cup several times. The first non-Russian team to qualify for the Gagarin Cup final was HC Lev Prague in the 2013/14 season . They lost the final series 3: 4 against HK Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
The Continental Cup has been awarded to the team with the highest points in the main round since the 2009/2010 season. In the first three years, teams from the Eastern Conference were able to win. Afterwards only western conference participants. The record winner of the Continental Cup is HK CSKA Moscow (4 wins).
The Nadezhda Cup was played in 2013 and 2014 between the teams that did not qualify for the play-offs.
|Sergei Mosjakin||Atlant, Metallurgist Mg||8th||427||236||276||512||+150||116|
|Alexander Radulov||Salawat Yulayev, CSKA||8th||391||169||323||492||+149||678|
|Danis Saripov||Ak Bars, Metallurg Mg||8th||420||183||223||406||+144||262|
|Vadim Schipachev||Severstal, SKA||8th||395||111||225||336||+61||195|
|Brandon Bochenski||Barys Astana||6th||311||137||182||319||+74||247|
|Kevin Dallman||Barys Astana , SKA||8th||402||114||198||312||+55||360|
|Alexei Morozov||Ak Bars, CSKA||6th||294||125||162||287||+71||144|
|Matt Ellison||Dinamo Riga, MWD, Torpedo, Medveščak, Dinamo Minsk||8th||368||123||162||285||−25||358|
|Alexander Pereshogin||Salawat Yulayev, Avangard||8th||429||143||140||283||+116||289|
|Patrick Thoresen||Salawat Yulayev, SKA||6th||292||117||165||282||+132||256|
Status: end of the 2015/16 season
|Sergei Mosjakin||Atlant, Metallurgist Mg||8th||107||51||67||118||+22||12|
|Danis Saripov||Ak Bars, Metallurg Mg||8th||109||40||52||92||+39||74|
|Alexander Radulov||Salawat Yulayev, CSKA||7th||92||24||65||89||+26||104|
|Patrick Thoresen||Salawat Yulayev, SKA||6th||98||27||56||83||+38||87|
|Niko Kapanen||Ak Bars, Lev, Jokerit||8th||111||20th||44||64||+15||75|
|Alexei Morozov||Ak Bars, CSKA||6th||75||28||33||61||+20||30th|
|Jan Kovář||Metallurgist Mg||3||54||18th||40||58||+26||42|
|Igor Grigorenko||Salawat Yulayev , CSKA||8th||88||34||24||58||+25||44|
|Tony Mårtensson||Ak Bars, SKA||6th||94||21st||35||56||+33||51|
|Roman Červenka||Awangard, SKA||4th||64||24||30th||54||+12||26th|
Status: end of the 2015/16 season
As in the last two seasons of the Superliga, the 24 KHL teams must adhere to the salary cap . The limit in the first season is 562.5 million rubles (about 15.3 million euros ) and is divided as follows:
- 400.0 million rubles (about 10.9 million euros) for 21 players
- 162.5 million rubles (about 4.4 million euros) for four outstanding players
The teams each have a squad of 25 players, five of which are non-Russian citizens. For the teams from Kazakhstan, Latvia and Belarus, the same rules apply to their respective home countries, but they may sign and use an unlimited number of foreign players in the first season.
Each team can choose three of the four outstanding players from the 25 players. The fourth player is automatically determined if he meets the following requirements:
- Completed more than 40 games (20 games for goalkeepers) in the last season of the National Hockey League
- Junior players with Canadian or American origin, younger than 20 years and in the first three rounds of the NHL Entry Draft selected
- Players from a European league, which at the last World Cup or the last Winter Olympics took part
The KHL is also introducing a new contract system that is divided into three different types.
- Standard one-way contracts (exclusively for the KHL)
- Two-way contracts (for the KHL and the farm team )
- Junior contracts
The standard one-way contracts can be signed by any player older than 17 years. However, for young players who sign their first professional contract, the rule applies that the contract must have a term of four years. The two-way contracts, which also apply to the farm teams, can only be signed from the age of 16. The rookie salary is a maximum of 500,000 rubles (about 13,700 euros). If the player was selected in the first round of the draft, the maximum salary in the first year is 300,000 rubles (about 8,200 euros), but increases in the following three years of the contract initially by 20, then by 30 and finally by 50 percent of the basic salary.
One major difference between KHL and NHL, however, is the treatment of so-called restricted free agents . While a restricted free agent without a contract can leave the NHL without problems, this is not possible in the KHL. The transfer rights of an NHL restricted free agent only apply to the league, whereas those of the KHL, which interprets this more strictly, apply worldwide. Thus it is not possible for a restricted free agent from the KHL to leave the league.
The farm teams will play in a separate league organized by the Russian Ice Hockey Federation FHR .
Draft and transfers
The first draft was held in Moscow on June 1, 2009 , after the 2008-09 season ended . In the so-called Junior Draft , the teams have the opportunity to acquire the rights to European and North American talent. Each team can choose up to three players from their own junior team. The teams that select a player from a competitor's junior pool during the draft must pay compensation to them. For a player in the first round, the amount of compensation is 3.0 million rubles (about 82,200 euros), for a player in the second round it is 2.0 million rubles (about 54,800 euros), etc.
In addition, there is a waiver draft before the start of the season , against which each team can protect 18 field players and two goalkeepers. The unprotected players can then be selected by the other teams without compensation. Players with two-way contracts are excluded from selection. The order of the draft results from the reverse order of the final ranking of the previous season, whereby the weakest team can vote first.
The transfer market is also following the example of the NHL. In contrast to the European modalities of handling transfers with transfer fees, the players should primarily be exchanged between the teams, which means that their current contracts also remain in place. The last day on which the teams can swap players for the current season is January 15, 2009.
Transfer agreement with the National Hockey League
In the run-up to the start of the KHL league , the participants had repeatedly threatened to try to poach top players from the 30 National Hockey League franchises due to their great financial strength, as this had also been a common practice of the NHL compared to the Super League in previous years was, both leagues and the National Hockey League Players' Association NHLPA reached a transfer agreement at a congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation IIHF in Zurich on July 10, 2008.
In it, the NHL, KHL and other European leagues guaranteed mutual respect for valid player contracts. First of all, another meeting was scheduled in New York for September 4, 2008 , in which more concrete plans are to be made, after Russia had declared the old agreement null and void in 2005 and a further six European leagues had taken this step in June 2008.
Just over a week after the drafting of a new agreement became known, the IIHF announced on July 18, 2008 that they were reviewing the contractual status of six players, namely Alexander Radulow , Nikita Filatow , Tomáš Mojžíš , Jason Krog , Wiktor Tichonow and Fjodor Fjodorow will, since contracts or commitments for both leagues on the part of the players existed. For the time of the investigation, the players were suspended from international transfers and competitions. In the period up to September 2008, other players who had a valid KHL contract signed contracts with various NHL franchises. At a meeting of several national associations and the IIHF, the KHL waived their complaints to the IIHF for some players, whereupon the suspensions were lifted. In the cases of Alexander Radulow, Vyacheslav Woinow , Maxim Majorow and Andrei Loktionow , however, no agreement could be reached, so that they were decided before an arbitration tribunal.
The problem continued in the summer of 2009, although both leagues had promised to respect existing contracts. However, there were different views on the treatment of so-called restricted free agents on both sides . After Jiří Hudler had turned down an offer from his club Detroit Red Wings and went to the court of arbitration , he had signed a contract with HK Dynamo Moscow on July 8, 2009 , which guaranteed him more salary than he could have earned in the NHL. The NHL then intervened with the IIHF regarding the legality of the contract. The KHL then postponed contract registration until the end of July.
- Following the example of the NHL and in contrast to the Super League, the home team must compete in dark jerseys, the away team in white or light jerseys.
- The coaching staff must also dress in accordance with the statutes of the league regulations and wear suit combinations.
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