Ten teams have been added to the Champions Hockey League pool, bringing the total up to 4o teams.
According to the IIHF, the new clubs were brought in as wild cards after league play in their respective countries. The new clubs consist of VSV Villach and the Bolzano Foxes from Austria’s EBEL, Lukko Rauma and SaiPa Lappeenranta from Finland, Geneve-Servette and the Kloten Flyers from the Swiss NLA, Skelleftea AIK and Vaxjo Lakers from Sweden, Ocelari Trincec and either PSG Zlin or Kometa Brno from the Czech Extraliga and the Hamburg Freezers as well as Kölner Haie or Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams from Germany.
The first and only edition of the CHL was played with only 12 teams from the top seven leagues in Europe, with the Swiss club ZSC Lions taking home the championship. Following their win, the team took on the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks in the Victoria Cup, and surprisingly, the NHL superstars were defeated in the final. The Champions League was cancelled shortly after, with hope that the NHL would participate in the future, but that never was the case.
Current team list (IIHF):
- Austria (EBEL): Red Bull Salzburg, Vienna Capitals.
- Czech Republic (Extraliga): Bili Tygri Liberec, HC Pardubice, Sparta Prague, Vitkovice Ostrava.
- Finland (Liiga): IFK Helsinki, JYP Jyvaskyla, KalPa Kuopio, Karpat Oulu, Tappara Tampere, TPS Turku.
- Germany (DEL): Adler Mannheim, Eisbaren Berlin, ERC Ingolstadt, Krefeld Pinguine.
- Switzerland (NLA): SC Bern, Fribourg-Gotteron, ZSC Lions Zurich, EV Zug.
- Sweden (SHL): Djurgarden Stockholm, Frolunda Gothenburg, Farjestad Karlstad, HV71 Jonkoping, Linkopings HC, Lulea Hockey.
According to the IIHF:
The Champions Hockey League will commence its inaugural season on 21 August 2014 and will play a 149-game schedule culminating with the final game on 3 February 2015. The draw for the group stage is planned on 21st May in Minsk, Belarus, where the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be held.
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