swiss-image.ch/Photo Andy Mettler

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.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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