Kontinental Hockey League


Kontinental Hockey League
Kontinental Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2011–12 KHL season
Kontinental Hockey League.svg
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 2008
Commissioner Alexander Medvedev
Motto Хоккей – наша игра! Khokkei - nasha igra! (Hockey is our game!)[1]
No. of teams 23
Country(ies)  Russia (19 teams)
 Kazakhstan (1 team)
 Belarus (1 team)
 Latvia (1 team)
 Slovakia (1 team)[2]
Most recent champion(s) Russia Salavat Yulaev Ufa
Most titles Russia Ak Bars Kazan (2)
TV partner(s) KHL-TV (Russia (as part of the NTV Plus package), USA and Canada (part of ViaNetTV),[3] Latvia and international through KHL's website)
Russia 2 (Russia)[4]
Viasat (Finland, Sweden,[4] Norway, Denmark, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia)[5]
LTV7 (Latvia)
Nova Sport (Czech Republic, Slovakia)[6][7][8]
Sportdigital.tv (Germany)
Related competitions Russian Championship
VHL
Minor Hockey League
Official website KHL.ru (English)

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) (Russian: Континентальная хоккейная лига, Kontinental'naya khokkeynaya liga) is an international professional ice hockey league in Eurasia founded in 2008. As of 2009, it is ranked as the strongest hockey league in Europe.[9][10]

The title of Champion of Russia, regardless of which nation the club represents, and the Gagarin Cup, named after the first man to reach space and orbit the Earth, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, are awarded annually to the league champion following a 16-team playoff at the end of the regular season. Two teams from the KHL were guaranteed qualification into the sole Champions Hockey League season, which was played between 2008–09.

The league was formed in 2008, from a predecessor organization, the Russian Superleague (RSL). The RSL, in turn, was a successor to the Soviet Championship League, which was founded in 1946 with only five teams. The KHL began its operations with 24 teams. After minor changes in the composition of the Russian teams and even a reduction to 23 teams in the 2010–11 season, the league was scheduled to be back to 24 teams in the 2011–12 season. However, following the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash that claimed the lives of the entire team, the Yaroslavl club was forced to suspend its operations until the following year, and the KHL is currently a 23-team league, slated to increase for the 2012–13 season. Of the remaining KHL teams, 19 are based in the Russian Federation and 4 more are located in Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Slovakia.

Russians constitute a large majority of the players in the KHL because of its origins as the Soviet and Russian national league. Players not from Russia represent a minority of 30% of the KHL players, and are mostly Eastern European (16.1%), Scandinavian (4.6%), and North American (4.8%). In 2010–11, there were 670 players in the league.

Despite the word "Continental" traditionally being spelled with a C and not a K in the English language, the KHL transliterates the word with a K to distinguish it from numerous leagues that are abbreviated as CHL, such as the Canadian Hockey League and the Central Hockey League.

Contents

Players

Though now not as restrictive in maintaining an exclusively Russian composition of players and teams, Russian teams are still prevented from signing more than five foreign players and can suit up no more than four in any single game. Foreign goaltenders have an additional limit regarding total seasonal ice time.

Prior to the inaugural season, several KHL teams signed several players from the NHL.[11] A dispute between the two leagues over some of these signings was supposed to have been resolved by an agreement signed on July 10, 2008, whereby each league would honor the contracts of the other, but the signing of Alexander Radulov was made public one day after the agreement (though it was actually signed two days prior to the agreement taking effect),[12] leading to an investigation by the International Ice Hockey Federation.[13] On October 4, 2010, the conflict between the leagues was settled when both signed a new agreement to honor one another's contracts.[14]

Notable active players

The top four point scoring players in the 2010–11 season were Alexander Radulov (80 pts), Patrick Thoresen (65 pts), Roman Červenka and Sergei Mozyakin (61 pts each). The top goal scorers were Roman Červenka with 31, followed by Patrick Thoresen (29), Sergei Mozyakin (27), Ryan Vesce (25) and Igor Grigorenko with 24. The top plus-minus rating went to Alexei Morozov who was a +27. The top goaltenders (by wins) were Karri Rämö (33), Petri Vehanen (25), Dimitri Kotschnew (24), Dominik Hašek (23) and Bernd Brückler (22).

Nationalities of players

In the current season, players representing 13 nations have played at least one game in the KHL.[15][16] A player's nationality is for various reason sometimes ambiguous. For the table presented below, the nationality "is determined based on the last country that the player represented in international competition. If a player has never played for a national team, usually the country of birth is chosen as the player nationality, unless there is strong evidence indicating otherwise."[17] For players born in former Soviet republics, the situation is often more complex. Therefore, lists of players born in Latvia and born in Ukraine give case-by-case details for those players.

Country Players active
(2011–12)
Russia Russia (19 active teams) 392
Czech Republic Czech Republic 34
Finland Finland 27
Latvia Latvia (1 team) 26a
Slovakia Slovakia (1 team) 26
Canada Canada 25
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan (1 team) 23
Belarus Belarus (1 team) 19
Sweden Sweden 17
United States United States 6
Ukraine Ukraine 4b
Germany Germany 2
Norway Norway 1
Austria Austria 1
TOTAL 602

a - For further information, see: List of Latvians in the KHL

b - For further information, see: List of Ukrainians in the KHL

Season structure

During the regular season, each team plays 56 games: four games against each of the teams in their own division (for a total of 20 games) and two games against each of the other teams (for a total of 36 games).

The eight top-ranked teams in each conference receive playoff berths. Within each conference quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are played before the conference winners play against each other for the Gagarin Cup. The division winners are seeded first and second in their conference, based on their regular season record. All playoff rounds are played as best-of-seven series.[18] In each round, the top seeded remaining team is paired with the lowest seeded team etc. This playoff structure is very similar to the current format of the NHL playoffs. In the playoffs, overtime periods last 20 minutes (or until a goal is scored). The number of overtime periods is not limited.

This playoff format does not allow the strongest teams to take the topmost positions in the KHL final standings when these teams are from the same conference. This is because the format makes the conferences equally represented in top two, four, eight and sixteen spots of the final standings, regardless of the relative strength of the conferences.[18]

Higher rank within the entire league after the regular stage of the championship does not give home ice advantage for a Gagarin Cup finalist, when the team have lower seed within their conference, than their opponent from the other conference.[18]

The second top seed before the play-offs within each conference, affecting home ice advantage, is given to a team that played only two games against the conference leader, even if scored less points than lower-seeded one or more teams, that played four games each against the conference leader.[18]

Teams in 2011–12

Division Team City/Area Arena Capacity Founded Joined[1] Team Captain
Eastern Conference
Chernyshev Barys Astana Kazakhstan Astana Alatau Sports Palace 5,532 1999 2008 Canada Kevin Dallman
Amur Khabarovsk Russia Khabarovsk Platinum Arena 7,100 1966 2006 Russia Alexander Krysanov
Metallurg Novokuznetsk Russia Novokuznetsk Kuznetsk Metallurgists Sports Palace 8,040 1949 1992 Russia Sergei Brylin
Sibir Novosibirsk Russia Novosibirsk Ice Sports Palace Sibir 7,400 1962 2002 Latvia Georgijs Pujacs
Avangard Omsk Oblast Russia Omsk Omsk Arena 10,318 1950 1991 Russia Alexei Kalyuzhny
Salavat Yulaev Ufa Russia Ufa Ufa Arena 8,400 1957 1992 Russia Viktor Kozlov
Kharlamov Traktor Chelyabinsk Russia Chelyabinsk Yunost Sport Palace 7,500 1947 2006 Russia Vladimir Antipov
Ak Bars Kazan Russia Kazan TatNeft Arena 10,000 1956 1992 Russia Aleksey Morozov
Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk Russia Khanty-Mansiysk Arena Ugra 5,500 2006 2010 Kazakhstan Evgeny Blokhin
Metallurg Magnitogorsk Russia Magnitogorsk Magnitogorsk Arena 7,700 1950 1990 Russia Sergei Fedorov
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk Russia Nizhnekamsk SCC Arena 5,500 1968 1995 Russia Maxim Pestushko
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg Russia Yekaterinburg KRK Uralets 5,500 2006 2009 Russia Andrei Subbotin
Western Conference
Tarasov Vityaz Chekhov Russia Chekhov Ice Hockey Center 2004 3,300 1998* 2005 Russia Danny Markov
Severstal Cherepovets Russia Cherepovets Ice Palace 6,000 1956 1989 Russia Evgeny Ketov
Dinamo Minsk Belarus Minsk Minsk-Arena 15,000 2004 2008 Slovakia Jaroslav Obšut
Atlant Moscow Oblast Russia Mytishchi Mytishchi Arena 7,000 1953* Kazakhstan Dmitry Upper
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod Russia Nizhny Novgorod Trade Union Sport Palace 5,500 1947 2007 Russia Evgeny Varlamov
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl [1] Russia Yaroslavl Arena 2000 9,000 1949 1987
Bobrov CSKA Moscow Russia Moscow CSKA Ice Palace 5,600 1946 Russia Nikolai Pronin
Dynamo Moscow Russia Moscow Luzhniki Minor Arena 8,700 2010 Russia Alexei Kudashov
Spartak Moscow Russia Moscow LDS Sokolniki 5,000 1946 2007 Russia Oleg Piganovich
Lev Poprad Slovakia Poprad Tatravagónka Arena 5,000 2010 2011 Slovakia Lubos Bartecko
Dinamo Riga Latvia Riga Arena Riga 10,300 2008 Latvia Sandis Ozoliņš
SKA Saint Petersburg Russia Saint Petersburg Ice Palace 12,300 1946 1992 Russia Vitaly Vishnevski

An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise relocation. See the respective team articles for more information.

^ 1. Due to the plane crash that killed the majority of the team, Lokomotiv will play the 2011-12 season in the VHL, though still has a franchise spot in the KHL.[19]



Seasons

2008–09 season

The first KHL season began on 2 September 2008 with 24 teams: 21 from Russia and one each from Latvia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Winner of the regular season was Salavat Yulaev Ufa with 129 points from 56 games. Top scorer was Atlant's Sergei Mozyakin with 76 points (34 goals and 42 assists). The play-offs produced a major surprise as the 16th placed team, Avangard Omsk defeated top seed Ufa in the first round. The first Gagarin Cup was won by Ak Bars Kazan who defeated Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in a seven game play-off final.

2009–10 season

The second season saw several organizational changes, most notably the introduction of the two conferences (East and West) and the re-alignment of the divisions according to geographical criteria to reduce travel distances. The number of teams remained the same, but Khimik Voskresensk was replaced by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. The regular season was again won by Salavat Yulaev Ufa with 129 points from 56 games. For this they were awarded the first Continental Cup. Top-scorer, as in the previous season, was Sergei Mozyakin with 66 points (27 goals and 39 assists). Ak Bars Kazan successfully defended their title by defeating Western conference winners HC MVD in a seven game play-off final.

2010–11 season

For the third KHL season, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk entered the KHL, while Lada Togliatti dropped out of the league, and HC MVD was merged with Dynamo Moscow to form UHC Dynamo. This left 23 teams to play the 54-game regular season which was won by Avangard Omsk with 118 points. The top scorer was Alexander Radulov, setting a new KHL record with 80 points (20 goals and 60 assists). Salavat Yulaev Ufa won the title by beating Western conference winners Atlant Moscow Oblast 4–1 in the play-off final series.

2011–12 season

For its fourth season, the KHL expanded beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union by admitting Lev Poprad from Slovakia.[2] The start of the season was overshadowed by the Yaroslawl plane tragedy, where the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team (except for one coach who stayed behind in Yaroslavl) were killed. Three days later, Lokomotiv withdrew from the 2011–12 KHL season[20] and the start of the season was postponed to 12 September.[21]

Statistics

Single season records

Regular season[22]

Record Name Season
Points 80 Russia Alexander Radulov (Ufa) 2010–11
Goals 35 Czech Republic Jan Marek (Magnitogorsk)
Czech Republic Pavel Brendl (N. Novgorod)
Slovakia Marcel Hossa (Riga)
2008–09
2008–09
2009–10
Assists 60 Russia Alexander Radulov (Ufa) 2010–11
Shots on goal 225 Canada Kevin Dallman (Astana) 2010–11
Plus/minus +45 Norway Patrick Thoresen (Ufa) 2009–10
Penalty minutes 374 Canada Darcy Verot (Chekhov) 2009–10
Wins (goaltender) 33 Finland Karri Rämö (Omsk) 2010–11
Shutouts 9 United States Robert Esche (St. Petersburg) 2008–09

Playoffs[22]

Record Name Season
Points 22 Czech Republic Josef Vašíček (Yaroslavl) 2010–11
Goals 10 Russia Gleb Klimenko (Magnitogorsk) 2010–11
Assists 15 Czech Republic Josef Vašíček (Yaroslavl)
Slovakia Pavol Demitra (Yaroslavl)
Norway Patrick Thoresen (Ufa)
Russia Alexander Radulov (Ufa)
2010–11
2010–11
2010–11
2010–11
Shots on goal 77 Russia Sergey Mozyakin (Mytishchi) 2010–11
Plus/minus +15 Czech Republic Josef Vašíček (Yaroslavl) 2009–10
Penalty minutes 69 Russia Grigori Panin (Kazan) 2008–09
Wins (goaltender) 15 Finland Petri Vehanen (Kazan)
Sweden Erik Ersberg (Ufa)
2009–10
2010–11
Shutouts 9 Russia Georgi Gelashvili (Yaroslavl) 2008–09

Career records

Regular season[22]

Record Name Years
Points 203 Russia Sergei Mozyakin (Mytishchi) 2008–2011
Goals 88 Russia Sergei Mozyakin (Mytishchi) 2008–2011
Assists 125 Russia Alexander Radulov (Ufa) 2008–2011
Plus/minus +97 Russia Alexander Radulov (Ufa) 2008–2011
Penalty minutes 724 Canada Darcy Verot (Chekhov) 2008–2011
Wins (goaltender) 65 Russia Georgi Gelashvili (Yaroslavl, Magnitogorsk) 2008–2011
Shutouts 18 Russia Vasily Koshechkin (Togliatti, Magnitogorsk, Cherepovets) 2008–2011

Playoffs[22]

Record Name Years
Points 50 Czech Republic Josef Vašíček (Yarolslavl) 2008–2011
Goals 19 Russia Alexander Galimov (Yaroslavl) 2008–2011
Assists 32 Czech Republic Josef Vašíček (Yarolslavl) 2008–2011
Plus/minus +24 Czech Republic Josef Vašíček (Yarolslavl) 2008–2011
Penalty minutes 101 Russia Grigori Panin (Kazan) 2008–2011
Wins (goaltender) 34 Russia Georgi Gelashvili (Yaroslavl, Magnitogorsk) 2008–2011
Shutouts 7 Russia Georgi Gelashvili (Yaroslavl, Magnitogorsk) 2008–2011

All-time team records

Since its foundation in 2008, 26 clubs have played in the KHL. Only three of the current teams have not yet played in the play-offs. The table gives the final regular-season ranks for all teams, with the play-off performance encoded in colors.

Club 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ak Bars Kazan 2 8 4
Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 1 2
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 3 7 3
Atlant Moscow Oblast 5 6 8
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 6 3 5
HC MVD 18 4
UHC Dynamo* 7 5 6
HC Spartak Moscow 9 10 12
Avangard Omsk 16 11 1
Dinamo Riga 10 13 13
HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 14 9 15
SKA Saint Petersburg 8 2 7
HC CSKA Moscow 4 12 19
Barys Astana 15 14 14
Traktor Chelyabinsk 12 18 18
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 11 15 17
HC Lada Togliatti 13 22
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 19 20
Severstal Cherepovets 17 16 9
Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk 10
HC Sibir Novosibirsk 19 20 11
HC Dinamo Minsk 22 17 16
Vityaz Chekhov 23 23 21
Amur Khabarovsk 20 21 22
Metallurg Novokuznetsk 21 24 23
Khimik Voskresensk 24
Lev Poprad
Color code Result
Gold Gagarin Cup Winner
Silver Runner-up
Green Conference finalist
Blue Conference semi finalist
Purple Qualified for play-offs
White not qualified for play-offs

 * includes record of Dynamo Moscow before the merger with HC MVD in 2010

Trophies and awards

The winner of the play-off is awarded the Gagarin Cup, the KHL Champion title and the Russian Champion title, regardless of the country the club represents. The team ranked first in the standings after the regular season, i.e. the winner of the regular season, is awarded the Continental Cup[23] (Russian: Кубок Континента, Kubok Kontinenta). The winners of the conference finals are awarded the Eastern Conference Champion Cup (Russian: Кубок Победителю конференции Восток, Kubok Pobeditelyu konferentsii Vostok) and the Western Conference Champion Cup (Russian: Кубок Победителю конференции Запад, Kubok Pobeditelyu konferentsii Zapad).[24]

The KHL presents annual awards to its most successful players. In 2010, a total of 20 trophies in various categories were awarded. Among the winners were Alexander Radulov (regular season MVP), Ilya Nikulin (play-off MVP) and Anatoli Nikontsev (rookie of the year).[25]

The KHL also awards the Lokomotiv Cup annually to the winner of the first game between the Gagarin Cup winner and the runner-up of the previous season. The Cup, originally known as the Opening Cup, was renamed in the wake of the plane crash that killed 36 Lokomotiv players and staff in 2011.

See also

  • Kontinental Hockey League All-Star Game
  • Russian Major League
  • Minor Hockey League
  • Potential Kontinental Hockey League expansion
  • Ice Hockey Federation of Russia
  • Russian Elite Hockey Scoring Champion
  • Russian Elite Hockey Goal Scoring Champion
  • List of current KHL team rosters
  • 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash

References

  1. ^ "Новый игровой ролик КХЛ "Пробка"" (in Russian). khl.ru. http://www.khl.ru/video/1295/. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  2. ^ a b "Back to 24". khl.ru. 2011-05-09. http://en.khl.ru/news/2011/5/9/24094.html. 
  3. ^ "Crossing the Atlantic". khl.ru. 2010-04-20. http://en.khl.ru/news/2010/4/20/23845.html. 
  4. ^ a b "Kontinental Hockey League And TV Channel Sport Ratified An Agreement On KHL Championship Games Broadcast In 2009/2010 Season". en.khl.ru. http://en.khl.ru/news/2009/8/25/13755.html. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Kontinental Hockey League Signed An Agreement With Viasat". khl.ru. http://en.khl.ru/news/2009/3/31/13551.html. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  6. ^ "Nova Sport je blízko k uzavření kontraktu na hokejovou KHL". DigiZone.cz. http://www.digizone.cz/aktuality/nova-sport-je-blizko-k-uzavreni-kontraktu-na/. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  7. ^ "Jágr a KHL budou v televizi. Práva koupil Nova sport". Týden.cz. http://www.tyden.cz/rubriky/sport/hokej/kontinentalni-liga/jagr-a-khl-budou-v-televizi-prava-koupil-nova-sport_130407.html. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  8. ^ "KHL Games Broadcast In The Czech Republic And Slovakia". khl.ru. http://en.khl.ru/news/2009/7/24/13717.html. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  9. ^ KHL to match NHL in five years RT, 2009-05-15
  10. ^ "Russian league tops first CHL ranking". http://www.iihf.com/en/home-of-hockey/news/news-singleview/browse/3/article/russian-league-tops-first-chl-ranking-1.html. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  11. ^ Emery signs one-year deal with Russian team - tsn.ca
  12. ^ Radulov on His Return to Russia - NHL FanHouse
  13. ^ Predator inks debatable deal - iihf.com
  14. ^ "NHL signs agreement with KHL". ESPN.com. 2010-10-04. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5649236. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  15. ^ "KHL Totals by Nationality – 2011-12 Stats". quanthockey.com. http://www.quanthockey.com/khl/nationality-totals/khl-players-2011-12-stats.html. 
  16. ^ "KHL Totals by Nationality – 2011-12 Goalie Stats". quanthockey.com. http://www.quanthockey.com/khl/nationality-totals/khl-goalies-2011-12-stats.html. 
  17. ^ "QuantHockey FAQ: How is player nationality determined?". quanthockey.com. http://www.quanthockey.com/faq.php. 
  18. ^ a b c d Structure and terms for the second stage of 2011-12 KHL championship - Russian Open Ice Hockey Championship (Russian)
  19. ^ "На совещании в Кремле решили: "Локомотив" с декабря начнёт играть в ВХЛ" (in Russian). Sovetsky Sport. 2011-09-12. http://www.sovsport.ru/news/text-item/480336. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  20. ^ "The Future of Lokomotiv". khl.ru. 2011-09-13. http://en.khl.ru/news/2011/9/13/24161.html. 
  21. ^ "New season postponed". khl.ru. 2011-09-08. http://en.khl.ru/news/2011/9/8/24154.html. 
  22. ^ a b c d "Kontinental Hockey League Records". http://www.quanthockey.com/khl/records.php. 
  23. ^ "Ufa’s first trophy". khl.ru. http://en.khl.ru/news/2010/3/5/23808.html. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Новые трофеи Лиги". khl.ru. http://www.khl.ru/news/2010/3/4/26511.html. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  25. ^ "Все золото Лиги" (in Russian). KHL.ru. 2010-05-26. http://www.khl.ru/news/2010/5/25/27488.html. 

External links


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