European Champions League

melbournemartin

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 22, 2003
22,446
3,582
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Genève-Servette HC, Pittsburgh Pens
A cool concept got underway last night. 44 teams from the top leagues in Europe. Unfortunately there are no KHL teams because they could not come to an agreement (the KHL seems to be difficult to deal with full stop these days). Nevertheless, it's fantastic to see top teams from the Swedish, Finnish, Swiss, Czech, German and other leagues compete. Judging by the game I attended last night, teams are taking this very seriously and are not just using it as a warm-up for the respective national leagues.

The IIHF wanted the CHL winner to play against the Stanley Cup Champion, or at least a top NHL team. The last time the CHL was run was in 2008 where Zurich won. They then beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1, who whilst not being Stanley Cup Champions, went on to win the cup the following season.

Here is some information if anyone is interested: http://www.championshockeyleague.net/ You can also watch the games online if you're craving some hockey before the NHL starts.
 

Marns

I am the one who knocks
Sep 14, 2004
8,950
627
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Pittsburgh Penguins
Typical KHL not wanting to be involved. If they weren't run by dickheads, it'd be great to have them participate so you could get a real champion of Europe. It'd work for everyone. Each league gets a bit more exposure etc.
 

Marns

I am the one who knocks
Sep 14, 2004
8,950
627
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Pittsburgh Penguins
Typical KHL not wanting to be involved. If they weren't run by dickheads, it'd be great to have them participate so you could get a real champion of Europe. It'd work for everyone. Each league gets a bit more exposure etc.
 

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melbournemartin

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 22, 2003
22,446
3,582
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Genève-Servette HC, Pittsburgh Pens
Typical KHL not wanting to be involved. If they weren't run by dickheads, it'd be great to have them participate so you could get a real champion of Europe. It'd work for everyone. Each league gets a bit more exposure etc.
Honestly, I think we are getting the real champion of Europe :) Russia can fu** off.

(Apologies to Jokerit and co who play in the KHL)

The KHL has very little integrity. Prague was runners up last year yet cannot afford to field a team this season. The top teams have NHL-like salary caps yet the weakest have barely a couple of million. One team was about to move into it's brand new 5k arena, having played in a 2k arena beforehand. That's barely more than AIHL teams!
 

SonOfScray

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 7, 2002
5,650
3,793
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Bruins, Ice, Aces
Enjoying this comp.

Some big score lines so far, but its a good quality match up most games. I'm going to enjoy seeing my team Hammarby get up in the mix one day.
 

melbournemartin

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 22, 2003
22,446
3,582
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Genève-Servette HC, Pittsburgh Pens
Enjoying this comp.

Some big score lines so far, but its a good quality match up most games. I'm going to enjoy seeing my team Hammarby get up in the mix one day.
I think some teams are coming against styles that are much different/stronger to what they're used to and being thrown off at first. This can lead to some big scores. Also the home advantage is much stronger than it is in the domestic competitions.

It seems like the concept will be here to stay at least for a couple of years:

"MLADÁ BOLESLAV, Czech Republic/ZUG, Switzerland – Czech car manufacturer ŠKODA has signed a two-year agreement to become an Official Sponsor of the Champions Hockey League."
 

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