Kontinental Hockey League: Wikis


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Kontinental Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2009–10 KHL season
Kontinental Hockey League.svg
Formerly Russian Superleague
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 2008
Commissioner Alexander Medvedev
Motto Хоккей – наша игра! (Hockey is our game!)[1]
No. of teams 24
Country(ies)  Belarus (1 team)
 Kazakhstan (1 team)
 Latvia (1 team)
 Russia (21 teams)
Most recent champion(s) Ak Bars Kazan (1)
TV partner(s) KHL-TV (Russia (as part of the NTV Plus package), International (through KHL's website))
Russia 2 (Russia)[2]
Viasat (Finland, Sweden[2], Norway, Denmark, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia)[3]
Nova Sport (Czech Republic, Slovakia)[4][5][6]
Official website KHL.ru (English)
Related competitions Russian Championship
Minor Hockey League

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) (Russian: Континентальная Хоккейная Лига, Kontinentalʹnaya Khokkeĭnaya Liga) is an international professional ice hockey league in Eurasia founded in 2008. As of 2009, it is ranked as the strongest hockey league in Europe.[7][8]

The title of Champion of Russia, regardless of the nationality of the club, the KHL champion title and the Gagarin Cup, named after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, are awarded annually to the league champion, following a 16-team playoff at the end of the regular season. Two teams from the KHL were guaranteed qualification into the Champions Hockey League season.

The league was formed in 2008 from a predecessor organization, the Russian Superleague (RSL). The RSL, in turn, was a successor to the Soviet Championship League, which was founded in 1946 with only five teams. The KHL began its operations with 24 teams, 21 of which are based in the Russian Federation with the remaining 3 located in Belarus, Latvia, and Kazakhstan.

Russians constitute a large majority of the players in the KHL because of its origins as the Soviet & Russian national league. A minority of 26.4% of the players are from Eastern European, Northern European, and North American countries, with an increase in North Americans (4.2% in 2009–10) beginning to sign on with clubs as the league gains prominence. In 2009–10, there were 718 players in the league.[9]



Though now not as restrictive in maintaining an exclusively Russian composition of players and teams, Russian teams are still prevented from signing more than five foreign players and can suit up no more than four in any single game. Foreign goaltenders have an additional limit regarding total seasonal ice time.

Prior to the inaugural season, several KHL teams have signed several players from the NHL.[10] A dispute between the two leagues over some of these signings was supposed to have been resolved by an agreement signed on July 10, 2008, whereby each league would honor the contracts of the other, but the signing of Alexander Radulov was made public one day after the agreement (though it was actually signed two days prior to the agreement taking effect),[11] leading to an investigation by the International Ice Hockey Federation.[12]


Notable active players

The top five point scoring players in the 2008–09 season were Sergei Mozyakin, Jan Marek, Aleksey Morozov, Danis Zaripov and Kevin Dallman. The top goal scorers were Jan Marek and Pavel Brendl with 35 each, followed by Sergei Mozyakin and Danis Zaripov (34). The top plus-minus rating went to Alexei Tereshchenko who was a +41. The top goaltenders (by wins) were Georgi Gelashvili (30), Alexander Eremenko (27), Konstantin Barulin (24), Martin Prusek and Vitaliy Yeremeyev (22).

Active players by nation in 2009–10

A list of active players in the KHL.[13] There are a total of 15 nations with active players in the KHL, compared with the NHL's 23.[14]

Country Players active (2009–10) % of non-Russian % of total league
Russia Russia (21 teams in the KHL) 529 / 73.6%
Kazakhstan Kazahkstan (1 team in the KHL) 30 15.8% 4.1%
Belarus Belarus (1 team in the KHL) 26 13.7% 3.6%
Czech Republic Czech Republic 25 13.2% 3.4%
Canada Canada 25 13.2% 3.4%
Latvia Latvia (1 team in the KHL) 24 12.7% 3.3%
Slovakia Slovakia 20 10.6% 2.7%
Finland Finland 11 5.8% 1.5%
Sweden Sweden 9 4.7% 1.2%
Ukraine Ukraine 8 4.2% 1.1%
United States United States 6 3.1% 0.9%
Germany Germany 2 1.1% 0.2%
Norway Norway 1 0.5% 0.1%
Austria Austria 1 0.5% 0.1%
Switzerland Switzerland 1 0.5% 0.1%
TOTAL 718 (189 non-Russian) 100% 100% (26.4% non-Russian)

Season structure

During the regular season, each team plays 56 games: four games against each of the teams in their own division (for a total of 20 games) and two games against each of the other teams (for a total of 36 games).

For the 2009–10 season, the play-off structure will be slightly adjusted, to reflect the splitting of the league into two conferences.[15] The eight top-ranked teams in each conference will receive playoff berths. Each conference will play quarterfinals, semifinals and finals before the two conference winner play against each other for the Gagarin Cup. The division winners are seeded 1 and 2 in each conference, based on their ranking relative to the other (like in the NHL). The first playoff round will be best-of-five series, and the final three rounds will be best-of-seven series. After each round, the top remaining seed will always be paired against the lowest remaining seed.

In the play-offs, overtime periods will last 20 minutes or until the sudden death goal. The number of overtime periods is not limited. Teams that failed to enter the playoffs will play their own tournament to determine the KHL junior draft first choice in 2010.

Current teams

For the 2009–10 season, the teams were geographically aligned to aid travel conditions. The league was divided into a western and an eastern conference, each containing two divisions of six teams. Khimik Voskresensk was replaced by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, keeping the number of teams at 24.

Division Team City/Area Arena Capacity Founded Joined[1] Team Captain
Eastern Conference
Chernyshev Amur Russia Khabarovsk Platinum Arena 7,100 1966 2006 Russia Alexei Kopeikin
Avangard Omsk Russia Omsk Omsk Arena 10,200 1950 1991 Russia Alexander Svitov
Barys Kazakhstan Astana Alatau Sports Palace 5,532 1999 2008 Canada Kevin Dallman
Metallurg Novokuznetsk Russia Novokuznetsk Kuznetsk Metallurgists SP 8,040 1949 1992 Russia Maxim Galanov
Sibir Russia Novosibirsk Ice Sports Palace Sibir 7,400 1962 2002 Russia Alexander Boikov
Salavat Yulaev Russia Ufa Ufa Arena 8,400 1957 1992 Russia Vladimir Antipov
Kharlamov Ak Bars Kazan Russia Kazan Tatneft Arena 10,000 1956 1992 Russia Aleksey Morozov
Neftekhimik Russia Nizhnekamsk SCC Arena 5,500 1968 1995 Russia Andrei Ivanov
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg Russia Yekaterinburg KRK Uralets 5,500 2006 2009 Russia Alexander Gulyavtsev
Lada Togliatti Russia Tolyatti Volgar Sports Palace 2,900 1976 1991 Russia Yuri Petrov
Metallurg Magnitogorsk Russia Magnitogorsk Magnitogorsk Arena 7,700 1950 1990 Russia Evgeny Varlamov
Traktor Chelyabinsk Russia Chelyabinsk Yunost Sport Palace 7,500 1947 2006 Russia Andrei Nikolishin
Western Conference
Tarasov Atlant Moscow Region Russia Mytishchi Mytishchi Arena 7,000 1953* Russia Sergei Mozyakin
HC MVD Russia Balashikha Balashikha Arena 6,000 1949* 2005 Russia Alexei Kudashov
Vityaz Chekhov Russia Chekhov Ice Hockey Center 2004 3,300 1998* 2005 Canada Chris Simon
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Russia Yaroslavl Arena 2000 9,000 1949 1987 Russia Ivan Tkachenko
Severstal Russia Cherepovets Ice Palace 6,000 1956 1989 Russia Alexander Shinin
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Russia Nizhny Novgorod Trade Union Sport Palace 5,500 1947 2007 Kazakhstan Alexei Troshchinskiy
Bobrov CSKA Moscow Russia Moscow CSKA Ice Palace 5,600 1946 Russia Konstantin Korneev
Dynamo Moscow Russia Moscow Luzhniki Small Sports Arena 8,700 1946 Ukraine Alexei Zhitnik
Spartak Moscow Russia Moscow LDS Sokolniki 5,000 1946 2007 Kazakhstan Dmitry Upper
SKA Saint Petersburg Russia Saint Petersburg Ice Palace 12,300 1946 1992 Russia Maxim Sushinski
Dynamo Minsk Belarus Minsk Minsk-Arena 15,000 2004 2008 Finland Ville Peltonen
Dinamo Riga Latvia Riga Arena Riga 10,300 2008 Latvia Sandis Ozoliņš

An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise relocation. See the respective team articles for more information.

^ 1. Indicates when the club most recently ascended to the top level of ice hockey in Russia


2008–09 season

The first KHL season began on 2 September 2008. Winner of the regular season was Salavat Yulaev Ufa with 129 points from 56 games. Top scorer was Atlant's Sergei Mozyakin with 76 points (34 goals and 42 assists). The play-offs produced a major upset as the 16th placed team, Avangard Omsk defeated top seed Ufa in the first round. The Gagarin Cup was won by Ak Bars Kazan who defeated Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in a seven games play-off final.

2009–10 season

The second season saw several changes, most notably, the division were aligned according to geographical criteria and Khimik Voskresensk was replaced by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. The regular season was again won by Salavat Yulaev Ufa with 129 points from 56 games. They were awarded the first Continental Cup. Top-scorer, as in the previous season, was Sergey Mozyakin with 66 points (27 goals and 39 assists).

Trophies and awards

The winner of the play-off is awarded the Gagarin Cup, the KHL champion title and the Russian Champion title, regardless of the country the club represents. The team ranked first in the standings after the regular season, i.e. the winner of the regular season, is awarded the Continental Cup[16] (Russian: Кубок Континента, Kubok Kontinenta). The winners of the conference finals are awarded the Eastern Conference Champion Cup (Russian: Кубок Победителю конференции Восток, Kubok Pobeditelyu konferentsii Vostok) and the Western Conference Champion Cup (Russian: Кубок Победителю конференции Запад, Kubok Pobeditelyu konferentsii Zapad).[17]

The KHL presents annual awards to its most successful players. In 2009, a total of 23 trophies in various categories were awarded. Among the winners were Danis Zaripov (regular season MVP), Alexei Morozov (play-off MVP) and Ilya Proskuryakov (rookie of the year).[18]

The KHL also awards Opening Cup annually to the winner of the first game between the Gagarin Cup winner and the runner-up of the previous season.

See also


  1. ^ "КХЛ ТВ". khl.ru. http://www.khl.ru/tv/. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Kontinental Hockey League And TV Channel Sport Ratified An Agreement On KHL Championship Games Broadcast In 2009/2010 Season". en.khl.ru. http://en.khl.ru/news/2009/8/25/13755.html. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "Kontinental Hockey League Signed An Agreement With Viasat". khl.ru. http://en.khl.ru/news/2009/3/31/13551.html. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  4. ^ "Nova Sport je blízko k uzavření kontraktu na hokejovou KHL". DigiZone.cz. http://www.digizone.cz/aktuality/nova-sport-je-blizko-k-uzavreni-kontraktu-na/. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  5. ^ "Jágr a KHL budou v televizi. Práva koupil Nova sport". Týden.cz. http://www.tyden.cz/rubriky/sport/hokej/kontinentalni-liga/jagr-a-khl-budou-v-televizi-prava-koupil-nova-sport_130407.html. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  6. ^ "KHL Games Broadcast In The Czech Republic And Slovakia". khl.ru. http://en.khl.ru/news/2009/7/24/13717.html. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  7. ^ KHL to match NHL in five years RT, 2009-05-15
  8. ^ "Russian league tops first CHL ranking". http://www.iihf.com/en/home-of-hockey/news/news-singleview/browse/3/article/russian-league-tops-first-chl-ranking-1.html. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  9. ^ http://forums.internationalhockey.net/showthread.php?t=8318
  10. ^ Emery signs one-year deal with Russian team - tsn.ca
  11. ^ Radulov on His Return to Russia - NHL FanHouse
  12. ^ Predator inks debatable deal - iihf.com
  13. ^ http://forums.internationalhockey.net/showthread.php?t=8318
  14. ^ http://www.khl.ru
  15. ^ KHL Board Of Directors Approved Championship Structure
  16. ^ "Ufa’s first trophy". khl.ru. http://en.khl.ru/news/2010/3/5/23808.html. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "Новые трофеи Лиги". khl.ru. http://www.khl.ru/news/2010/3/4/26511.html. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  18. ^ Kontinental Hockey League Awarded Laureates Of 2008/2009 Season khl.ru, 2009-05-15

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