Champions Hockey League

Groups drawn for new start in European club hockey

Minsk Arena Minsk  Belarus

Draw of the groups for the new Champions Hockey League. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images

On a day off before the quarter-finals at Minsk Arena, the groups for the Champions Hockey League with 44 clubs from 12 European countries were drawn.

Jaroslav Spacek, who participates at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship as assistant coach of the Czech national team, was performing the draw of the new competition. The 40-year-old played in one of the forerunners, the European Hockey League, with Farjestad Karlstad in 1997/1998.

The Champions Hockey League was founded and is owned by the founding clubs, six domestic leagues (AUT, CZE, FIN, GER, SUI, SWE) and the International Ice Hockey Federation. Teams from additional countries joined with wild cards.

The draw at Minsk Arena in the hospitality area of Infront Sports & Media, which does not only serve as the marketing partner for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship but also won the tender process for the Champions Hockey League, took place on Wednesday afternoon with representatives from the stakeholders and media in attendance.

It was not without challenge to assign the 44 clubs into 11 groups with four teams apiece because there may not be two teams of the same country in the same group. However, after moves foreseen in the bylaws the draw ended smoothly and with the participants’ enthusiasm for the start of the new competition.

Following the draw media had the chance to ask the CHL and club representatives. One question especially from local and Russian journalists was the participation of KHL teams. The Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League did not join the other European leagues in the founding process of the Champions Hockey League and the parties couldn’t agree on having KHL teams in the league for 2014/2015 but are in discussion for the 2015/2016 season.

In the meantime the clubs who are ready to battle for European club hockey supremacy have done another step before the start of the competition in a little more than three months from now.

The ZSC Lions Zurich enter the competition as reigning European club champion after winning the “old” Champions Hockey League in 2009 when they beat Russian powerhouse Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the home-and-away final.


Champions Hockey League 2014/2015

Group A
Karpat Oulu (FIN)
Kolner Haie (GER)
Bili Tygri Liberec (CZE)
HC Kosice (SVK)

Group B
ZSC Lions Zurich (SUI)
Farjestad Karlstad (SWE)
Vienna Capitals (AUT)
Valerenga Oslo (NOR)

Group C
Frolunda Gothenburg (SWE)
Villacher SV (AUT)
Geneve-Servette (SUI)
Briancon Diables Rouges (FRA)

Group D
PSG Zlin (CZE)
Fribourg-Gotteron (SUI)
Eisbaren Berlin (GER)
Djurgarden Stockholm (SWE)

Group E
Tappara Tampere (FIN)
Ocelari Trinec (CZE)
SC Bern (SUI)
Stavanger Oilers (NOR)

Group F
HC Bolzano (ITA)
Linkopings HC (SWE)
HC Pardubice (CZE)
TPS Turku (FIN)

Group G
Sparta Prague (CZE)
Vaxjo Lakers (SWE)
Adler Mannheim (GER)
KalPa Kuopio (FIN)

Group H
ERC Ingolstadt (GER)
SaiPa Lappeenranta (FIN)
Vitkovice Ostrava (CZE)
EV Zug (SUI)

Group I
Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)
Kloten Flyers (SUI)
JYP Jyvaskyla (FIN)
HV71 Jonkoping (SWE)

Group J
Skelleftea AIK (SWE)
Krefeld Pinguine (GER)
IFK Helsinki (FIN)
SonderjyskE Vojens (DEN)

Group K
Hamburg Freezers (GER)
Lukko Rauma (FIN)
Lulea HF (SWE)
Nottingham Panthers (GBR)



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