Potential Kontinental Hockey League expansion
The potential of including addition franchises to the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) has been an ongoing topic since the league's inception. In June 2012, the league presented a plan that would see expansion to as many as 64 teams in up to 22 countries. It has later been stated that the league only can comprise 32 teams, because of problems with logistics with more teams.
Proposed pan-European league
United Hockey Europe was the first proposed pan-European ice hockey league. It was announced at the International Ice Hockey Federation's September 2009 congress by Alexander Medvedev, president of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
The proposed league would have consisted of two conferences split into four divisions. The current KHL would have made up one of the conferences. The other conference would have been composed of a Scandinavian division and a Central European division. The winners of the two conferences would have played each other for the overall championship.
The proposal of June 2012 at the International Hockey Forum in Barcelona was an updated version of this plan, that would see two conferences of 32 teams each, playing a 62-game regular schedule followed by five rounds of playoffs.
The KHL would essentially replace the current model of European hockey based on relegation and promotion within national systems, supplemented by an international tournament, most recently the Champions Hockey League, and replace it with a system of franchises much like that of the North American National Hockey League (NHL).
The Czech Republic's HC Energie Karlovy Vary signed letters of intent with the KHL in 2008 and hoped to begin playing in the 2009-10 season. However, they had to annul plans to join the league due to the financial crisis of 2007–2010.
German teams Eisbären Berlin and Kölner Haie have been approached by the KHL but are currently not considering joining the league. The KHL also wants to expand to Austria by affiliating EC Red Bull Salzburg. SKA Saint Petersburg General manager Barry Smith said that an affiliation may be possible in three or four years. Red Bull and team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, however, favours playing in the German Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
Italian hockey club Hockey Milano Rossoblu was slated to join the KHL in the 2012–13 season but the move was delayed due to a small arena, tight finances and the club being too underdeveloped. In October 2012, they indicated plans intending to join in 2013–14. There has been doubt about Milano's accession to KHL, as the negotiations has lasted for several years. However, both KHL and Milano are still positive to accession, concluded from a meeting in February 2014.
On 28 April 2009, it was reported that Swedish teams HV71, Linköpings HC, Färjestad BK, Frölunda HC and Djurgårdens IF (of which Färjestad and Frölunda have had offers previously from the KHL) had terminated their shareholders' agreements with Elitserien (now named the SHL). This caused speculation as to whether they wanted to join the KHL or create a new league as an expansion of the Nordic Trophy. None of the clubs officially said that they wanted to stop playing in the Elitserien, although the seven remaining clubs drew such conclusions. The quarrel was resolved on 16 November 2011, when the plans were officially put down. All clubs agreed to continue their operation in Elitserien.
It is possible that the KHL will have a new team from Vilnius, Lithuania. In Autumn 2009, KHL's SKA Petersburg and Bars Kazan played an exhibition game there, with more such games likely in the future. The main hurdles to be overcome for bringing a team there is funding, as well as the fact that basketball is a more popular sport in the region. The team would be called Vėtra Vilnius, and would be an expansion of the Sports Association Vėtra.
In November 2009, the KHL and AIK IF from Stockholm, Sweden (at that time playing in the HockeyAllsvenskan) signed a document inviting AIK to become a member of the KHL, and join the league beginning in the 2010–11 season, provided that AIK observed all the terms and conditions, and met all KHL admission criteria. AIK's interest was largely due to the club's serious financial problems at that time, however, in the end, AIK were unable to join after the plan was rejected by the Swedish Ice Hockey Association. Later during the 2009–10 season, AIK were promoted back to the top Swedish league, which stabilized their finances for the time being. In January 2016, Sweden Hockey Federation manager Mikael Lundström stated that they're stopping all Swedish teams from joining the KHL. According to Russia Today News, Finnish team Kärpät from Liiga was also interested. Another real candidate from Finland may be the Espoo Blues.
In March 2016, information reached media about plans to form a team in Sweden- the Crowns - that has applied to join KHL prior to the 2016-17 season. In the case of inclusion, the team will hold the matches in Malmö, Oslo, Copenhagen, Lillehammer and Stockholm.
The Belarus Ice Hockey Federation has announced that it plans to include up to four Belarusian teams in the KHL, with league VP Vladimir Shalaev confirming the prospect of adding a second Belarusian KHL team for the 2009-10 season. Of these, Yunost Minsk, along with HK Homiel (which may relocate to Babruysk due to arena complications) of the Belarusian Extraleague, are actively taking steps to join the KHL.
Ukraine's Sokil Kiev has attempted to join, but financial issues have delayed a bid. They have a new 12,000 seat arena due in 2012 and are currently in negotiation with the KHL to join in the near future. President of the Hockey Federation of Ukraine, Anatoliy Brezvin, stated "I can not say under what brand it will be [...] Sokil, HC Kyiv or some other. But there is some agreement that the next season will be [a] team from Ukraine, with Ukrainian players in the KHL." Also from Kyiv, the expansion HC Budivelnyk had signed letters of intent and planned on joining the KHL for the 2010–11 season, but support fell through due to bureaucratic complications with the arena. Budivelnyk had even signed several players and personnel in order to ice a team for the coming season. HC Berkut has stated its goals are to build a new arena and join the KHL.
Russian team Krylya Sovetov were interested to join the league for the 2010–11 season; however, after 2011 they were not able to continue to operate as a professional hockey club and withdrew from the championship on all levels.
Kazzinc-Torpedo, currently playing in the Higher Hockey League, has been in negotiations to join the KHL. The club, formerly known as Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk, used to play in the highest division during the Soviet era. Torpedo has typically been the most dominant developmental club in Kazakhstan. Most Kazakh players who have reached the NHL trace their roots to Torpedo.
Former ice hockey player and member of the council of the Ice hockey Federation Viacheslav Fetisov, has expressed hopes of expanding the KHL into several countries in East Asia, including China, Japan, South Korea and even North Korea; and the development of a Far East division in KHL was discussed in a meeting with the board in July, 2014.
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is the largest city on the Island of Sakhalin, and prior to the 2014–15 season a newly created team from the city, the Sea Lions, is affiliated to the Asia League Ice Hockey. Moreover, HC Rys' of the Higher Hockey League is in negotiations to relocate the team there, and a new arena (Kristall Ice Palace) has been built under the auspices of Gazprom, it is likely that a team from the area, in some way, will be involved in KHL in the future.
Teams currently involved
|Genève-Servette HC||Geneva||National League A||Expressed hopes to join in the future.|
|Ilves Tallinn||Tallinn||Expansion||Had intentions to join prior to 2016–17 season.|
|Crowns||Malmö and Stockholm||Expansion||Had intentions to join prior to 2016–17 season; now possible for the 2017–18 season.|
|London Emperors||London||Expansion||Had intentions to join prior to 2016–17 season. Requires new arena.|
|ORG Star Ice Hockey Club||Beijing||Expansion||Expressed hopes to join in the future.|
|Vålerenga Ishockey||Oslo||GET-ligaen||Vålerenga discussed joining the KHL in 2014–15, and again in 2015–16.|
|Malmö Redhawks||Malmö||Swedish Hockey League||Expressed hopes to join in the future.|
|Stavanger Oilers||Stavanger||GET-ligaen||Expressed hopes to join in the future.|
|Rubin Tyumen||Tyumen||Supreme Hockey League||Requires new arena.|
|Hockey Milano Rossoblu||Milan||Elite.A (formally Serie A)||Have had partnership with the KHL since 2011. Unclear if and when the team will join the league.|
|Olivia Gdańsk||Gdańsk||Expansion||Applied for KHL expansion prior to 2013-14 season, but were not approved for financial reasons.|
|Huttwil Helvetics||Huttwil||Expansion||Planned to join league in 2015.|
|Teams that left the league prior to the 2014–15 season with intentions to return in the future|
|Lev Praha||Prague||Did not participate in the 2014–15 season, because of financial problems.|
|Donbass Donetsk||Donetsk||Withdrawn from KHL, due to the instability in Ukraine. Joined the Ukrainian Hockey Extra League from the 2015–16 season.|
- "KHL presents plan with 64 teams". IIHF. 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
- "У министра конструктивная позиция по легионерам". 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2014-04-24.
- "Eye on Europe: Supersized KHL?". TheHockeyNews.com. 2009-10-16.
- ЮРИН, Владимир (2008-05-16). ЧЕРЕЗ ГОД БУДЕМ ИГРАТЬ С "КАРЛОВЫМИ ВАРАМИ" (in Russian). Sport-Express.
- "Jaromír Jágr now world's best-paid hockey player". Prague Daily Monitor. 2008-09-03. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- КХЛ и "Энергия" (Карловы Вары) подписали протокол о намерениях (in Russian). KHL. 2008-10-10.
- "HC Energie Karlovy Vary | KHL se v Karlových Varech hrát nebude". Hokejkv.cz. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- Clark, Torrey (2009-05-18). "Published May 17, 2009, looked at May 19, 2009". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "KHL lockt Berlin — Verlassen die Eisbären die DEL?" (in German). 2008-08-12.
- "KHL - eine neue NHL-Ost?" (in German). 2008-08-28.
- "Russische KHL will Salzburg" (in German). Suedtirol online. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- Эксклюзив. Александр Медведев: я как Лукашенко (in Russian). Pressball. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- "Milano Rossoblu set to join KHL in 2012". Eurohockey.com. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
- "Milan's big league aspirations". Iihf.com. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "Hockey Milano Rossoblu incontra la K.H.L.". hockeymilano.it. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- "KHL team in Switzerland?". Eurohockey.com. 2011-12-23. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "Gdansk is ready to land in KHL". Eurohockey.com. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- "Чернышенко: до 15 сентября замораживаем трансферы трёх клубов КХЛ". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
- "Elitserieklubbar vill starta liga med KHL" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "LHC lämnar elitserien?". Östgöta Correspondenten. 2009-04-28.
- Pettersson Kymmer, Peter (2011-11-16). "Skippar Europaligan". Göteborgsposten (in Swedish). gp.se. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Svenska planer på Europaliga läggs ned". Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (in Swedish). hockey.expressen.se. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Merk, Martin (2009-10-14). "Going East and West". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
- Grellet, Jared (31 October 2009). "A second KHL team for the Baltics?". Baltic Reports. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- Swede dreams. en.khl.ru, November 19, 2009
- Grefve, Daniel (2010-02-23). "AIK får inte spela i KHL". Sportbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Russian league set to rival NHL (Television News Production). YouTube. 2008-04-10.
- Александр Медведев: "Всех ждет драфт отказов" (in Russian). Sport Express. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- "Next season in the KHL, you may receive a club from Sweden". 14 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "ХОККЕЙ - С ШАЙБОЙ - КХЛ". Archived from the original on March 14, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
- 26.04.2008 02:47 (2008-04-26). ""Юность" хочет участвовать в КХЛ - Газета.Ru | Новости". Gazeta.ru. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- Сергей Гапшенко, iSport.ua. "Сокол будет в КХЛ?". iSport.ua. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "ПХЛ выходит на старт". ПХЛ выходит на старт. HCDonbass.com. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Хоккей на AllHockey.Ru - "Крылья Советов" планируют через год играть в КХЛ". Allhockey.ru. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "Torpedo". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "Young Kazakhs gaining international experience - NHL.com - Across the Pond". NHL.com. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- Farid Bektemirov, Gazeta.ru. "Russian hockey goes east | Russia Beyond The Headlines ASIA". Rbth.asia. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "Состоялись заседания руководящих органов КХЛ". 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
- "Asia League Ice Hockey, 2014–15 season, eliteprospects". Retrieved 2014-07-07.
- "Александр Третьяк формирует команду для участия в Азиатской Лиге". 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
- "Ice Palace opened in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk". 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
- http://www.championat.com/hockey/article-255602-prezident-khl-chernyshenko--o-sovete-direktorov-dolgah-klubov-i-kunlune.html. Retrieved 9 September 2016. Missing or empty
- http://slapshot.ch.sportalsports.com/sportch/generated/article/eishockey/2016/09/03/50492100000.html. Retrieved 9 September 2016. Missing or empty
- "Tallinnan Ilves ei pelaa KHL:ssä ensi kaudella". 3 April 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "Who can really join the KHL?". Eurohockey. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- "Legendarer leder svenskt KHL-lag". 13 April 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Uppgifter: Malmö kan få ett KHL-lag snart". 26 February 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "Шведский клуб "Краунс" в ближайшем сезоне в КХЛ выступать не будет - Кобылянский". rsport.ru. May 18, 2016.
- KHL vill ha två lag i Kina, Retrieved May 14, 2016
- "Vålerenga Ishockey er ett steg nærmere en plass i KHL". Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- "Vålerengas KHL-drøm lagt på is til 2015/16". Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- Daniel Hultqvist (2013-12-15). ""Malmö är intressant om KHL vill utöka" | Malmö | Allsvenskan | Sverige | Hockey | Sportbladet | Aftonbladet". Aftonbladet.se. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- Robert Pettersson firstname.lastname@example.org (2013-02-10). "Norskt lag mot KHL-spel?". Hockeysverige.se. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
- "Владимир Шалаев: Серьезно рассматриваем только "Югру" и "Будевельник"". Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- "Presentata la partnership tra Hockey Milano e KHL" (in Italian). 23 June 2011.
- "KHL: Gdaňsk podal oficiálnu prihlášku - KHL - aktuálne - Rusko". Webhokej24.sk. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- "Smutné očekávání potvrzeno! Pražský Lev nepřežil klinickou smrt, v příští sezoně KHL bude chybět". 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
- "Donbass to miss 2014-15 season". 2014-06-19. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
- "www.hel.net.ua". Retrieved 8 January 2016.