Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 12/09/13 at 11:20 AM ET
The IIHF and KHL have been pushing for a "Champions' League" that would include the NHL playing against Europe's respective professional hockey leagues' champions for an over-arching hockey championship trophy, but as the NHL isn't interested in suggesting that the Stanley Cup isn't hockey's ultimate prize, it appears that the IIHF and its European stakeholders have chosen to move forward without the NHL...
The Champions Hockey League, Europe’s new premium club competition, will start in August 2014 and will crown the continent’s club champion in February 2015.
Apart from the reigning national champions and the regular season winners from each of the six Founding Leagues, 26 Founding Clubs representing the top historic brands and most successful teams of their respective countries in the past and today will compete for the European Trophy. After a projected 149-game Champions Hockey League schedule the winner will be hoisting the cup, named after the competition the new C.H.L. emerged from.
In a unique structure for European ice hockey, the Champions Hockey League is a joint project between Europe’s professional clubs, their national leagues and the International Ice Hockey Federation.
The three principal stakeholders have formed a shareholder company based in Switzerland, where the clubs own 63 percent of the shares, the leagues 25 percent and the IIHF 12 percent.
As part of the projected number of 40 participating clubs in the inaugural season, the Champions Hockey League will include a number of Wild Card entries, who are top clubs from other European national leagues.
And the press release continues, but here's where things gets interesting, via the New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein--because the league that really was the IIHF's co-sponsor in its Champions' League push won't be involved with this endeavor:
The Russian Hockey Federation's historically stated that it hoped that the Gargarin Cup would eventually serve as the trophy won by the Champions league's best team, but I'm not sure why it's not participating--and no KHL participation yields the world's most prosperous oil and natural gas corporations (and some of the world's heaviest economic hitters) not taking part in sponsorship opportunities.
Especially given how very, very hard KHL president Alexander Medvedev has pushed for a revival of the Champions League format, it's absolutely baffling that the KHL is completely absent from this endeavor.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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