ZURICH – The IIHF has determined the ranking of the European leagues for the purpose of seeding the teams from the Top-7 European leagues into four groups for the 2008-2009 Champions Hockey League. The seeding will be conducted by a draw. The date of the draw will be announced later.
NOTE: Only teams from the Top-7 leagues (see below) will make up the 12 teams that will participate in the inaugural 2008-2009-season.
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The ranking is based on judging the strength of the best club teams in each league, as well as the overall strength of leagues (sportive parity and depth, infrastructure, economic stability, market dimension etc.). The sportive criteria that have been taken into consideration are primarily the results in the European Champions Cup (2005-2008) and the last three years’ participation in the Continental Cup.
The ranking 8-22 (which will be relevant for seeding the Qualification 1 stage prior to the 2009-2010-season) will be adjusted after the 2008-2009 season taking into consideration the results from the 2008-2009 Continental Cup.
The 2008 IIHF League Ranking for CHL seeding.
(In brackets is the number of game wins in the European Champions Cup 2005-2008)
1-4 Two teams guaranteed in the 2008-2009 CHL
1. Russia (12)
2. Finland (7)
3. Czech Republic (4)
4. Sweden (1)
5-7 One team guaranteed in the 2008-2009 CHL + one possible qualifier.
5. Slovakia (2)
6. Switzerland (2)
8-22 Teams from these leagues for Qualification Round 1 for 2009-2010
21. Great Britain
Potential stand-by leagues
Please note that the ranking of the countries/leagues placed 8-22 (which will be relevant for seeding of the Qualification 1 stage prior to the 2009-2010 season) will be adjusted after the 2008-2009 season, primarily considering the results from the 2008-2009 Continental Cup. So the ranking of teams 8-22 in this attachment is not definite but is added as an early indication where those leagues/nations stand.Click here for basic information on the Champions Hockey League.
Click here for the current playoff development in the Top-7 leagues in Europe.
This is how the 12-team 2008-2009 CHL will be stocked:
- Four countries, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden, will each have two teams in the CHL: the national champion (playoff winner) and the winner of the regular season (league standing).
- Three countries, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland will each have one team on the CHL. One additional team from one of the three countries will reach the CHL through the qualification tournament to be played in September 2008.
- Basic formula: If the national champion and the regular season winner is the same team, then the second team in the regular season standings will earn a spot in the CHL. Example: If Swedish regular season winner HV71 Jonkoping also wins the Swedish league playoffs then the second placed team in the regular season (Linkopings HC or MODO Ornskoldsvik) will be the second Swedish representative in the CHL.
There will be two exceptions from the above formula in the inaugural 2008-2009 CHL season.
1. Finland will be represented by the two finalists in the 2008 Finnish SM-Liiga playoffs.
2. Russia’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk is directly qualified to the 2008-2009 CHL as the reigning European club champion (winner of the 2008 European Champions Cup). The second Russian club will either be the national champion or the regular season winner.
Both countries’ leagues will comply with the principle representation rules starting in 2009-2010.
- The national champions from Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland will earn direct qualification to the CHL while the regular season winner from these countries will earn a place in the qualification. If the national champion and the regular season winner is the same team, then the same rule as above applies. Example: If regular season winner SC Bern also wins the Swiss national championship then SCB is directly qualified to the CHL, while the team which finished second in the regular season (Servette Geneva) goes to the qualification tournament.
Date and venue for the qualification tournament will be determined when the participating clubs will be known after the conclusion of the respective regular seasons in the three countries. The latest date for a final playoff game in any of Europe’s top-7 leagues is April 22.
Qualification format: Round-robin, one game per day on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. The first placed team will earn a spot in the 2008-2009 Champions Hockey League. Example of schedule: Friday: GER-SVK, Saturday: SVK-SUI, Sunday: SUI-GER.