ZURICH – The first-ever Champions Hockey League draw will take place on Friday, April 25th at IIHF headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Conducted by IIHF President René Fasel, the draw will determine the make-up of the Group Stage of the Champions Hockey League to debut in October, 2008. Representatives of the clubs as well as their National Associations, Leagues and media will be in attendance.
Click for an extensive Q & A interview with IIHF President René Fasel where he, among other things, talks about the Champions Hockey League, the upcoming 72nd IIHF World Championship in Canada, the impending election at the IIHF General Congress, the relations with the NHL and the future of international hockey in general.
The 12 clubs from Europe's Top-7 national leagues will be drawn into four groups of three teams in each. In order to balance the groups, the 12 clubs will be divided into 3 different pots, organised as follows:
Pot I: The national champions from nations ranked 1-4 in the special IIHF 2008 League Ranking*:
Salavat Yulayev (Russia)
Karpat Oulu (Finland)
Slavia Prague (Czech Republic)
HV71 Jonkoping (Sweden)
Pot II: The national champions from nations ranked 5-7*:
Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia)
ZSC Lions, Zurich (Switzerland)
Eisbaren Berlin (Germany)
and winner of the CHL qualifying tournament** between the second entrants from these nations (one of HC Kosice, Slovakia, SC Bern, Switzerland or Sinupret Ice Tigers Nuremberg, Germany).
Pot III: The second qualifying clubs from nations ranked 1-4*:
Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Russia)
Espoo Blues (Finland)
Mountfield Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic)
Linkopings HC (Sweden)
**The single round-robin Champions Hockey League Qualifying Tournament will take place on September 12, 13 and 14th. Schedule and venue to be determined.
Ultimately, each Champions Hockey League Group (A, B, C, and D) will contain one team from each pot. No two clubs from the same national association may be drawn into the same group.
Click here to see how the teams qualified for the Champions Hockey League.
The result of the draw and the ensuing playing schedule will be posted on IIHF.com. The draw will be filmed and the footage will be accessible through Eurochannel.
Media is welcome to cover the draw on site. Mail to: email@example.com if you wish to attend.
Click here for the 2008 IIHF Club Rankings
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