International Ice Hockey Federation

Champions Hockey League

Champions Hockey League

Groups drawn for fresh start in European hockey

Published 21.05.2014 15:31 GMT+3 | Author Martin Merk
Champions Hockey League
MINSK, BELARUS - MAY 21: Champions Hockey League Draw. (Photo by 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 CHL's forerunners, the European Hockey League, with Farjestad Karlstad in 1997/1998.

The Champions Hockey League 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 as wild cards.

The draw at Minsk Arena took place 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, on Wednesday afternoon with representatives from the stakeholders and media in attendance.

It was not without some challenges 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 showing enthusiasm for the start of the new competition.

Following the draw media had the chance to put questions to 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. The parties couldn’t agree on having KHL teams in the league for 2014/2015 but are in discussions for the 2015/2016 season.

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In the meantime the clubs who are ready to battle for European club hockey supremacy have taken a big step towards 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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