Get To Know The New Champions Hockey League

On August 21st the new Champions Hockey League will kickoff with 15 games – the first of which will be a clash between the Czech side Viktovice and German team ERC Ingolstadt. It will be a great chance to see many of the best European teams battling to become the winner in what is yet another attempt to establish a serious European competition. This event comes five years after the only edition of the competition – with the same name – was run during the ’08-’09 season and won by the ZSC Lions. This year the tournament is much more ambitious and will feature 44 teams from six leagues and eight countries (there were only 12 teams in the 2008-09 season).

The most notable missing teams are of course KHL teams, but the tournament will surely be interesting either way as there are a lot of great teams represented. KHL teams decided not to participate as they could not reach an agreement with the league’s directorship, and the total money award of 1.5 million Euros might not be enough to attract them.

The 44 teams will be split into 11 groups of four teams each; those groups will play a double round-robin stage. Here is what the groups will look like:

Group A

  •  Karpat Oulu
  •  Kolner Haie
  •  Bili Tygri Liberec
  •  HC Kosice

Group B

  •  ZSC Lions Zurich
  •  Farjestadt
  •  Vienna Capitals
  •  Valerenga Oslo

Group C

  •  Frolunda HC
  •  Villach SV
  •  HC Geneve-Servette
  •  Briancon Diables Rouges

Group D

  •  PSG Zlin
  •  Fribourg Gotteron
  •  Eisbaren Berlin
  •  Djurgarden

Group E

  •  Tappara Tampere
  •  Ocelari Trinec
  •  SC Bern
  •  Stavanger Oilers

Group F

  •  HC Bolzano
  •  Linkoping HC
  •  HC Pardubice
  •  TPS Turku

Group G

  •  Sparta Prague
  •  Vaxjo Lakers
  •  Adler Mannheim
  •  KalPa Kuopio

Group H

  •  ERC Ingolstadt
  •  SaiPa Lappeenranta
  •  Vitkovice Ostrava
  •  EV Zug

Group I

  •  Red Bulls Salzburg
  •  Kloten Flyers
  •  JYP Jyvaskyla
  •  HV71

Group J

  •  Skelleftea AIK
  •  Krefeld Pinguine
  •  IFK Helsinki
  •  Sonderjyske Vojens

Group K

  •  Hamburg Freezers
  •  Lukko Rauma
  •  Lulea Hockey
  •  Nottingham Panthers

The group stage will kick off on August 21st and will end on October 8th. The winner of each group and the top five runners-up will participate in the 16-team play-off stage. The playoff stage will start on November 4th and will be a single game phase. The grand finale is scheduled for February 3rd, 2015.