Current season, competition or edition:|
2017-18 KHL season
|Motto||- ? ?! Khokkey - nasha igra! Jääkiekko on meidän peli! (Hockey is our game!)|
|No. of teams||25|
|Ak Bars Kazan (3rd title)|
|Most titles||Ak Bars Kazan (3)|
The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) (Russian: ? (), Kontinental'naya hokkeynaya liga) is an international professional ice hockey league founded in 2008. It comprises 25 member clubs based in Belarus, China, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia, and Slovakia and it is planned to expand to more countries. It is widely considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in Europe and Asia, and second in the world behind the NHL. KHL has the third highest average attendance in Europe with 6,121 spectators per game in the regular season, and the highest total attendance in Europe with 5.32 million spectators in the regular season.
The league formed from the Russian Superleague (RSL) and the champion of the 2007-08 season of the second division, with 24 teams: 21 from Russia and one each from Belarus, Latvia, and Kazakhstan. The teams were divided into four divisions, based on the performance in previous seasons.
The start of the fourth season was overshadowed by the Yaroslavl air disaster on 7 September 2011 in which almost all members of the team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl lost their lives shortly after take-off for their flight to their season opening game in Minsk. The Opening Cup game in Ufa, which was already under way when news of the disaster arrived, was suspended. In memory of the disaster, 7 September remains a day of mourning on which no KHL regular season games are held.
After several attempts by teams from Central Europe and Scandinavia to join the KHL, expansion beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union was finally realized in 2011. Lev Poprad, a newly founded team based in Poprad, Slovakia was admitted to the league. But after only one season, Lev was replaced by a team of the same name, Lev Praha, from Prague, Czech Republic, while Slovan Bratislava from Bratislava, Slovakia and Ukraine's Donbass from Donetsk joined the KHL as expansion teams for the 2012-13 season. Lev and Slovan qualified for the playoffs in their first KHL season.
In 2013, Medveak from Zagreb, Croatia, previously playing in the Austrian Hockey League, and Russian expansion team Admiral Vladivostok joined the league, thus expanding the league even further. The league comprised 28 teams during the 2013-14 season, of which 21 were based in Russia and 7 located in the other countries.
In 2014, Finnish team Jokerit from Helsinki, Lada Togliatti (which previously played in the league), and newly created team HC Sochi joined the league. However, HC Donbass did not play in the league for the 2014-15 season, due to the political instability in Ukraine, but had intended to rejoin later. Two other teams, Lev Praha and Spartak Moscow, also withdrew from the 2014-15 season due to financial problems.
The newly created Chinese club HC Kunlun Red Star from Beijing was admitted for the 2016-17 season. Prior to the 2017-18 season, Medveak Zagreb withdrew from the league to rejoin the Austrian league and Metallurg Novokuznetsk was sent down to the VHL.
Because the National Hockey League refused to release its players to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 92 out of 300 total players participating at the Olympic hockey tournament were playing at the KHL.
Since 2009, the league has been divided into East and West conferences. In the current season, the Western Conference includes 14 teams divided into two divisions, 7 teams per division. The Eastern Conference has 15 teams, divided into divisions of 7 and 8 respectively. In this season, each team played every other team once at home and once on the road, giving a total of 56 games (28 at home, 28 on the road), plus 4 additional games (2 at home, 2 on the road) played by each team against rival clubs from its own conference. Thus, each team played a total of 60 games in the regular season.
The eight top-ranked teams in each conference receive playoff berths. Within each conference quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are played before the conference winners play against each other for the Gagarin Cup. The division winners are seeded first and second in their conference, based on their regular season record. All playoff rounds are played as best-of-seven series. In each round, the top seeded remaining team is paired with the lowest seeded team etc.
In the 2012-13 season, the Nadezhda Cup (Cup of Hope) was introduced, a consolation tournament for the teams who did not qualify for the playoffs. The winning team in the tournament wins the first overall pick in the KHL Junior Draft. The tournament is intended to extend the season and help maintain interest in hockey in the cities of these teams, and help players of national teams prepare for upcoming World Championships.
|Bobrov||Dinamo Minsk||Minsk||Minsk-Arena||15,000||2004||2008||?ubomír Pokovi?||Alexei Kalyuzhny|
|Dinamo Riga||Riga||Arena Riga||10,300||2008||?irts Ankip?ns||Gints Meija|
|Jokerit Helsinki||Helsinki||Hartwall Arena||13,349||1967||2014||Erkka Westerlund||Peter Regin|
|SKA Saint Petersburg||Saint Petersburg||Ice Palace Saint Petersburg||12,300||1946||2008||Andrei Nazarov||Ilya Kovalchuk|
|Slovan Bratislava||Bratislava||Ondrej Nepela Arena||10,115||1921||2012||Vladimír Országh||Marek Viedenský|
|Spartak Moscow||Moscow||Luzhniki Minor Arena||8,700||1946||2008||German Titov||Maksim Potapov|
|Tarasov||CSKA Moscow||Moscow||CSKA Ice Palace||5,600||1946||2008||Dmitri Kvartalnov||Denis Denisov|
|Dynamo Moscow||Moscow||VTB Ice Palace||12,000||1946||2008||Harijs V?toli||Yuri Babenko|
|Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||Yaroslavl||Arena 2000||9,000||1959||2008||Alexei Kudashov||Ilya Gorokhov|
|Severstal Cherepovets||Cherepovets||Ice Palace||6,000||1956||2008||Václav Sikora||Andrei Shefer|
|Sochi||Sochi||Bolshoy Ice Dome||12,000||2014||Sergei Zubov||Andrei Pervyshin|
|Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod||Nizhny Novgorod||Trade Union Sport Palace||5,500||1947||2008||P?teris Skudra||Vadim Khomitsky|
|Vityaz Moscow Oblast||Podolsk||Vityaz Ice Palace||5,500||1998*||2008||Oleg Orekhovsky||Slava Solodukhin|
|Kharlamov||Ak Bars Kazan||Kazan||TatNeft Arena||10,000||1956||2008||Zinetula Bilyaletdinov||Alexander Svitov|
|Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg||Yekaterinburg||KRK Uralets||5,500||2006||2009||Andrei Razin||Sergey Gusev|
|Lada Togliatti||Tolyatti||Lada Arena||6,600||1976||2014 a||Sergei Svetlov||Andrei Nikitenko|
|Metallurg Magnitogorsk||Magnitogorsk||Arena Metallurg||7,700||1950||2008||Mike Keenan||Sergei Mozyakin|
|Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk||Nizhnekamsk||SCC Arena||5,500||1968||2008||Vladimir Krikunov||Maxim Rybin|
|Traktor Chelyabinsk||Chelyabinsk||Traktor Sport Palace||7,500||1947||2008||Andrei Nikolishin||Stanislav Chistov|
|Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk||Khanty-Mansiysk||Arena Ugra||5,500||2006||2010||Pavel Yezovskikh||Andrei Ivanov|
|Chernyshev||Admiral Vladivostok||Vladivostok||Fetisov Arena||7,500||2013||Alexander Andrievsky||Oskars B?rtulis|
|Amur Khabarovsk||Khabarovsk||Platinum Arena||7,100||1966||2008||Sergei Shepelev||Dmitri Tarasov|
|Avangard Omsk||Omsk||Omsk Arena||10,318||1950||2008||Evgeny Kornoukhov||Denis Kulyash|
|Barys Astana||Astana||Barys Arena||12,000||1999||2008||Yerlan Sagymbayev||Brandon Bochenski|
|Salavat Yulaev Ufa||Ufa||Ufa Arena||8,400||1957||2008||Igor Zakharkin||Igor Grigorenko|
|Sibir Novosibirsk||Novosibirsk||Ice Sports Palace Sibir||7,400||1962||2008||Andrei Skabelka||Alexei Kopeikin|
|Red Star Kunlun||Beijing||Cadillac Arena||14,000||2016||Vladimir Yurzinov Jr.||Janne Jalasvaara|
aLada Togliatti formerly played in Kontinental Hockey League from 2008/09 to 2009/10.
An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise relocation. See the respective team articles for more information.
Though now not as restrictive in maintaining an exclusively Russian composition of players and teams, Russian teams are still not allowed to sign more than five foreign players, while non-Russian teams must have at least five players from their respective country. Foreign goaltenders on Russian teams have a limit regarding total seasonal ice time.
Prior to the inaugural season, several KHL teams signed several players from the NHL. 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), leading to an investigation by the International Ice Hockey Federation. On 4 October 2010, the conflict between the leagues was settled when both signed a new agreement to honor one another's contracts.
The league set up rules for the NHL lockout which lasted from 16 September 2012 to 12 January 2013. According to the special regulations, each KHL team was allowed to add up to three NHL players to its roster, among them at most one foreign player. More than 40 NHL players, the majority of them Russians, played in the KHL during the lockout.
This article needs to be updated.(November 2017)
During the current season, players representing 16 nations have played at least one game in the KHL. A player's nationality is for various reasons sometimes ambiguous. For the table presented below, the nationality "is determined based on the last country that the player represented in international competition. If a player has never played for a national team, usually the country of birth is chosen as the player nationality, unless there is strong evidence indicating otherwise". For players born in former Soviet republics, the situation is often more complex due to dual citizenship and naturalization. Therefore, a list of players born in Ukraine gives case-by-case details for some of those players. In some cases, players can change their nationality registration with the league on a year-by-year basis, and their nationality with the league may not match that of their International Ice Hockey Federation registration. Non-Russians represent about 40% of the KHL players, and are mostly Central European, Nordic, and North American. In 2015-16, more than 950 players played in the league (see table below).
|Country (current number of teams)||Players active
|Belarus (1 team)||33||40||45||38|
|Croatia (1 team)||-||3||2||2|
|Finland (1 team)||40||37||50||47|
|Kazakhstan (1 team)||30||29||28||36|
|Latvia (1 team)a||35||32||29||33|
|Russia (22 teams)||540||573||594||634|
|Slovakia (1 team)||51||43||32||27|
The winner of the playoff 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 (Russian: ?, Kubok Kontinenta). The winners of the conference finals are awarded the Eastern Conference Champion Cup (Russian: ? , Kubok Pobeditelyu konferentsii Vostok) and the Western Conference Champion Cup (Russian: ? , Kubok Pobeditelyu konferentsii Zapad).
The KHL presents annual awards to its most successful players. The KHL also awards the Opening Cup annually to the winner of the first game between the Gagarin Cup winner and the runner-up of the previous season. On September 10, 2011, three days after the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, the KHL head office decided to honor the deceased in the 2011 Opening Cup.
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|Season||Gagarin Cup Winner||Gagarin Cup finalist||Final score||Continental Cup Winner||Top scorer|
|2008-09||Ak Bars Kazan||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||4-3||Salavat Yulaev Ufa* (129 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (76 points: 34 G, 42 A)|
|2009-10||Ak Bars Kazan||HC MVD||4-3||Salavat Yulaev Ufa (129 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (66 points: 27 G, 39 A)|
|2010-11||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||Atlant Moscow Oblast||4-1||Avangard Omsk (118 points)||Alexander Radulov (80 points: 20 G, 60 A)|
|2011-12||Dynamo Moscow||Avangard Omsk||4-3||Traktor Chelyabinsk (114 points)||Alexander Radulov (63 points: 25 G, 38 A)|
|2012-13||Dynamo Moscow||Traktor Chelyabinsk||4-2||SKA Saint Petersburg (115 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (76 points: 35 G, 41 A)|
|2013-14||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||HC Lev Praha||4-3||Dynamo Moscow (115 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (73 points: 34 G, 39 A)|
|2014-15||SKA Saint Petersburg||Ak Bars Kazan||4-1||CSKA Moscow (139 points)||Alexander Radulov (71 points: 24 G, 47 A)|
|2015-16||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||CSKA Moscow||4-3||CSKA Moscow (127 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (67 points: 32 G, 35 A)|
|2016-17||SKA Saint Petersburg||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||4-1||CSKA Moscow (137 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (85 points: 48 G, 37 A)|
|2017-18||Ak Bars Kazan||CSKA Moscow||4-1||SKA Saint Petersburg (138 points)||Ilya Kovalchuk (63 points: 31 G, 32 A)|
|Season||Opening Cup Winner||Nadezhda Cup Winner||Gold Stick Award (MVP)|
|2008-09||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||Nadezhda Cup not yet introduced||Danis Zaripov|
|2009-10||Ak Bars Kazan||Alexander Radulov|
|2010-11||Dynamo Moscow||Alexander Radulov|
|2011-12||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||Alexander Radulov|
|2012-13||Dynamo Moscow||Dinamo Riga||Sergei Mozyakin|
|2013-14||Dynamo Moscow||Avangard Omsk||Sergei Mozyakin|
|2014-15||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||Cancelled due to economic reasons||Alexander Radulov|
|2015-16||CSKA Moscow||Not contested||Sergei Mozyakin|
|2016-17||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||Sergei Mozyakin|
|2017-18||SKA Saint Petersburg||Justin Azevedo|
|Match time||Date||Match||Home||Visitor||Result||Overtime goal scorer|
|142.09||22.3.2018||5. Conference Semi-Finals||CSKA||Jokerit||1-2||Mika Niemi|
Since its foundation in 2008, 35 different clubs have played in the KHL, and 32 of them have at least once qualified for the playoffs. Of the 24 founding teams, only Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Khimik Voskresensk had never qualified for the playoffs (both are no longer in the league). The table gives the final regular-season ranks for all teams, with the playoff performance encoded in colors. The teams are ordered by their best championship results.
[b]: Did not participate in the 2011-12 season due to the deadly air disaster on September 7, 2011, that killed the entire team
Total and average attendance in seasons, including play-off.
|Season||Total Attendance||Average Attendance|
The Kontinental Hockey League All-Star Game is an exhibition game held annually in the midway point (usually January or February) of the season, with the league's star players playing against each other. Previously played Russian players versus the "rest of the world", now it is Eastern versus Western Conference.
| Kontinental Hockey League