Kontinental Hockey League

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Template:Infobox sports league

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) (Template:Lang-ru) is an international professional ice hockey league founded in 2008. It comprises 29 member clubs based in Belarus, China, Croatia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia, and Slovakia and it is planned to expand to more countries. It is widely considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in Europe and Asia, and second in the world behind the NHL.[1][2]

The Gagarin Cup is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season. The title of Champion of Russia is given to the highest ranked Russian team.[3]



The league formed from the Russian Superleague (RSL) and the champion of the 2007–08 season of the second division, with 24 teams: 21 from Russia and one each from Belarus, Latvia, and Kazakhstan. The teams were divided into four divisions, based on the performance in previous seasons.Template:Citation needed

The start of the fourth season was overshadowed by the Yaroslavl air disaster on 7 September 2011 in which almost all members of the team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl lost their lives shortly after take-off for their flight to their season opening game in Minsk. The Opening Cup game in Ufa, which was already under way when news of the disaster arrived, was suspended. In memory of the disaster, 7 September remains a day of mourning on which no KHL regular season games are held.[4]

Team changes

Template:Main In the 2009–10 season, Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg joined the KHL and Khimik Voskresensk was transferred to a lower league. Next season, HC Yugra joined the league.

After several attempts by teams from Central Europe and Scandinavia to join the KHL, expansion beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union was finally realized in 2011. Lev Poprad, a newly founded team based in Poprad, Slovakia was admitted to the league. But after only one season, Lev was replaced by a team of the same name, Lev Praha, from Prague, Czech Republic, while Slovan Bratislava from Slovakia and Ukraine's Donbass joined the KHL as expansion teams.[5] Lev and Slovan qualified for the playoffs in their first KHL season. Template:Citation needed

In 2013, Medveščak from Croatia and Russian Admiral Vladivostok joined the league, thus expanding the league even further.[6] The league comprised 28 teams during the 2013–14 season, of which 21 are based in Russia and 7 more are located in the other countries.

In 2014, Finnish team Jokerit from Helsinki, Lada Togliatti (which previously played in the league), and newly created team HC Sochi joined the league.[7] However, HC Donbass is not playing in the league this season, due to the political instability in Ukraine, but intends to rejoin later.[8] Two other teams, Lev Praha and Spartak Moscow, also withdrew from the 2014–2015 season due to financial problems.[9][10]

Prior to the 2015–16 season, Atlant Moscow Oblast withdrew from the KHL, while Spartak Moscow returned.[11]

The Chinese club HC Kunlun Red Star were admitted for the 2016–17 season.[12]

Season structure

Template:Multiple image Since 2009, the league has been divided into East and West conferences. In the current season, the Western Conference includes 14 teams divided into two divisions, 7 teams per division. The Eastern Conference has 15 teams, divided into divisions of 7 and 8 respectively. In this season, each team played every other team once at home and once on the road, giving a total of 56 games (28 at home, 28 on the road), plus 4 additional games (2 at home, 2 on the road) played by each team against rival clubs from its own conference. Thus, each team played a total of 60 games in the regular season.[13]

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. In each round, the top seeded remaining team is paired with the lowest seeded team etc.[14]

In the 2012–13 season, the Nadezhda Cup (Cup of Hope) was introduced, a consolation tournament for the teams who did not qualify for the playoffs. The winning team in the tournament wins the first overall pick in the KHL Junior Draft. The tournament is intended to extend the season and help maintain interest in hockey in the cities of these teams, and help players of national teams prepare for upcoming World Championship.[15]


Template:KHL Western conference teams

Template:KHL Moscow Oblast teams

Template:KHL Eastern conference teams

Template:KHL teams organization


Though now not as restrictive in maintaining an exclusively Russian composition of players and teams, Russian teams are still not allowed to sign more than five foreign players, while non-Russian teams must have at least five players from their respective country. Foreign goaltenders on Russian teams have a limit regarding total seasonal ice time.[16]

Prior to the inaugural season, several KHL teams signed several players from the NHL.[17] 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),[18] leading to an investigation by the International Ice Hockey Federation.[19] On 4 October 2010, the conflict between the leagues was settled when both signed a new agreement to honor one another's contracts.[20]

The league set up rules for the NHL lockout which lasted from 16 September 2012 to 12 January 2013. According to the special regulations, each KHL team was allowed to add up to three NHL players to its roster, among them at most one foreign player.[21] More than 40 NHL players, the majority of them Russians, played in the KHL during the lockout.

KHL players are represented by the Kontinental Hockey League Players' Trade Union.[22]

Nationalities of players

During the current season, players representing 16 nations have played at least one game in the KHL.[23] A player's nationality is for various reasons 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".[24] For players born in former Soviet republics, the situation is often more complex due to dual citizenship and naturalization. Therefore, a list of players born in Ukraine gives case-by-case details for some of those players. In some cases, players can change their nationality registration with the league on a year-by-year basis, and their nationality with the league may not match that of their International Ice Hockey Federation registration. Non-Russians represent about 40% of the KHL players, and are mostly Central European, Nordic, and North American. In 2015–16, more than 950 players played in the league (see table below).Template:Citation needed

Country (current number of teams) Players active
Players active
Players active
Players active
Template:Flagicon Belarus (1 team) 33 40 45 38
Template:Flagicon Canada 36 69 56 41
Template:Flagicon Croatia (1 team) 3 2 2
Template:Flagicon Czech Republic 46 47 29 35
Template:Flagicon Denmark 1 2 4
Template:Flagicon Finland (1 team) 40 37 50 47
Template:Flagicon France 1 1
Template:Flagicon Germany 1 3 3 1
Template:Flagicon Italy 1
Template:Flagicon Kazakhstan (1 team) 30 29 28 36
Template:Flagicon Latvia (1 team)a 35 32 29 33
Template:Flagicon Norway 3 3 3 1
Template:Flagicon Russia (22 teams) 540 573 594 634
Template:Flagicon Slovakia (1 team) 51 43 32 27
Template:Flagicon Slovenia 2 4 4
Template:Flagicon Sweden 24 22 28 27
Template:Flagicon Ukraineb 11 12 3 3
Template:Flagicon United States 13 20 27 21
Total 863 909 936 956

Trophies and awards

The winner of the playoff 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[29] (Template:Lang-ru). The winners of the conference finals are awarded the Eastern Conference Champion Cup (Template:Lang-ru) and the Western Conference Champion Cup (Template:Lang-ru).[30]

The KHL presents annual awards to its most successful players. The KHL also awards the Opening Cup annually to the winner of the first game between the Gagarin Cup winner and the runner-up of the previous season. On September 10, 2011, three days after the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster, the KHL head office decided to honor the deceased in the 2011 Opening Cup.[31]

Seasons overview

Template:Unreferenced section Template:Clear

Season File:Gold medal icon.svg Gagarin Cup Winner File:Silver medal icon.svg Gagarin Cup finalist Final score Continental Cup Winner Top scorer
2008–09 Ak Bars Kazan Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 4–3 Salavat Yulaev Ufa* (129 points) Sergei Mozyakin (76 points: 34 G, 42 A)
2009–10 Ak Bars Kazan HC MVD 4–3 Salavat Yulaev Ufa (129 points) Sergei Mozyakin (66 points: 27 G, 39 A)
2010–11 Salavat Yulaev Ufa Atlant Moscow Oblast 4–1 Avangard Omsk (118 points) Alexander Radulov (80 points: 20 G, 60 A)
2011–12 Dynamo Moscow Avangard Omsk 4–3 Traktor Chelyabinsk (114 points) Alexander Radulov (63 points: 25 G, 38 A)
2012–13 Dynamo Moscow Traktor Chelyabinsk 4–2 SKA Saint Petersburg (115 points) Sergei Mozyakin (76 points: 35 G, 41 A)
2013–14 Metallurg Magnitogorsk HC Lev Praha 4–3 Dynamo Moscow (115 points) Sergei Mozyakin (73 points: 34 G, 39 A)
2014–15 SKA Saint Petersburg Ak Bars Kazan 4–1 CSKA Moscow (139 points) Alexander Radulov (71 points: 24 G, 47 A)
2015–16 Metallurg Magnitogorsk CSKA Moscow 4–3 CSKA Moscow (127 points) Sergei Mozyakin (67 points: 32 G, 35 A)
2016–17 SKA Saint Petersburg Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4–1 CSKA Moscow (137 points) Sergei Mozyakin (85 points: 48 G, 37 A)

*: In the first season, Salavat Yulaev Ufa was the winner of the regular season, but the Continental Cup was not yet awarded.

Season Opening Cup Winner Nadezhda Cup Winner Gold Stick Award (MVP)
2008–09 Salavat Yulaev Ufa Nadezhda Cup not yet introduced Danis Zaripov
2009–10 Ak Bars Kazan Alexander Radulov
2010–11 Dynamo Moscow Alexander Radulov
2011–12 Salavat Yulaev Ufa Alexander Radulov
2012–13 Dynamo Moscow Dinamo Riga Sergei Mozyakin
2013–14 Dynamo Moscow Avangard Omsk Sergei Mozyakin
2014–15 Metallurg Magnitogorsk Cancelled due to economic reasons Alexander Radulov
2015–16 CSKA Moscow Not contested Sergei Mozyakin


Single season records

Template:Col-begin Template:Col-2 Regular season[32]

Record Name Season
Points 85 Template:Flagicon Sergei Mozyakin (Magnitogorsk) 2016–17
Goals 48 Template:Flagicon Sergei Mozyakin (Magnitogorsk)
Assists 60 Template:Flagicon Alexander Radulov (Ufa) 2010–11
Shots on goal 251 Template:Flagicon Geoff Platt (Minsk) 2013–14
Plus/minus +46 Template:Flagicon Jan Kovář (Magintogorsk) 2013–14
Penalty minutes 374 Template:Flagicon Darcy Verot (Chekhov) 2009–10
Wins 33 Template:Flagicon Karri Rämö (Omsk) 2010–11
Shutouts 13 Template:Flagicon Alexei Murygin (Yaroslavl) 2015–16

Template:Col-2 Playoffs[32]

Record Name Season
Points 33 Template:Flagicon Sergei Mozyakin (Magnitogorsk) 2013–14
Goals 15 Template:Flagicon Evgenii Dadonov (SKA) 2014–15
Assists 20 Template:Flagicon Sergei Mozyakin (Magnitogorsk) 2013–14
Shots on goal 82 Template:Flagicon Evgeny Kuznetsov (Chelyabinsk) 2012–13
Plus/minus +16 Template:Flagicon Dominik Graňák (Dynamo Msc) 2012–13
Penalty minutes 69 Template:Flagicon Grigori Panin (Kazan) 2008–09
Wins 16 Template:Flagicon Alexander Eremenko (Dyn. Moscow)
Template:Flagicon Vasily Koshechkin (Magnitogorsk)
Template:Flagicon Mikko Koskinen (SKA)
Shutouts 6 Template:Flagicon Anders Nilsson (Kazan) 2014–15


Career records

Template:Col-begin Template:Col-2 Regular season[32]

Record Name Years
Points 597 Template:Flagicon Sergei Mozyakin (Mytishchi, Magnitogorsk) 2008–2017
Goals 284 Template:Flagicon Sergei Mozyakin (Mytishchi, Magnitogorsk) 2008–2017
Assists 323 Template:Flagicon Alexander Radulov (Ufa) 2008–2016
Games played 491 Template:Flagicon Anton Glinkin (Chelyabinsk, Kazan)
Template:Flagicon Dmitri Semin (Yaroslavl, Atlant, Omsk Ufa, N. Novgorod)
Plus/minus +194 Template:Flagicon Alexander Radulov (Ufa) 2008–2016
Penalty minutes 900 Template:Flagicon Evgeny Artyukhin (SKA, Atlant, CSKA, Novosibirsk) 2010–2017
Wins 199 Template:Flagicon Vasily Koshechkin (Togliatti, Magnitogorsk, Cherepovets) 2008–2017
Shutouts 56 Template:Flagicon Vasily Koshechkin (Togliatti, Magnitogorsk, Cherepovets) 2008–2017

Template:Col-2 Playoffs[32]

Record Name Years
Points 93 Template:Flagicon Sergei Mozyakin (Mytishchi, Magnitogorsk) 2008–2015
Goals 40 Template:Flagicon Sergei Mozyakin (Mytishchi, Magnitogorsk) 2008–2015
Assists 56 Template:Flagicon Patrick Thoresen (Ufa, St. Petersburg) 2009–2015
Games played 108 Template:Flagicon Ilya Gorokhov (Yaroslavl, Ufa, Atlant, Dynamo Msc) 2008–2015
Plus/minus +40 Template:Flagicon Ilya Gorokhov (Yaroslavl, Ufa, Atlant, Dynamo Msc) 2008–2015
Penalty minutes 182 Template:Flagicon Fedor Fedorov (Nizhnekamsk, Magnitogorsk, Atlant, SKA) 2008–2013
Wins 44 Template:Flagicon Alexander Eremenko (Ufa, Dynamo Msc) 2008–2014
Shutouts 9 Template:Flagicon Petri Vehanen (Kazan, Prague)
Template:Flagicon Alexander Eremenko (Ufa, Dynamo Msc)


All-time team records

Since its foundation in 2008, 35 different clubs have played in the KHL, and 32 of them have at least once qualified for the playoffs. Of the current 29 teams, only Metallurg Novokuznetsk have never qualified for the playoffs yet. The table gives the final regular-season ranks for all teams, with the playoff performance encoded in colors. The teams are ordered by their best championship results.

Template:Col-begin Template:Col-break

Club 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Ak Bars Kazan 2 8 4 6 2 4 4 12 7
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 6 3 5 4 7 2 6 8 3
Dynamo Moscow[a] 7 5 6 3 4 1 3 6 4
Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 1 2 8 9 8 14 9 15
SKA Saint Petersburg 8 2 7 2 1 3 2 10 2
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl[b] 3 7 3 8 15 10 2 5
CSKA Moscow 4 12 19 18 6 12 1 1 1
Traktor Chelyabinsk 12 18 18 1 5 19 15 19 10
Avangard Omsk 16 11 1 5 3 20 8 5 6
Atlant Moscow Oblast 5 6 8 9 17 17 16
Lev Praha 15 5
HC MVD Balashikha 18 4
Sibir Novosibirsk 19 20 11 20 12 13 7 7 19
Jokerit Helsinki 5 3 12
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 14 9 15 17 14 25 22 16 20
Donbass Donetsk 18 6
Spartak Moscow 9 10 12 19 23 23 21 26
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 11 15 17 7 20 9 12 11 9
Barys Astana 15 14 14 10 10 7 11 17 13
Dinamo Riga 10 13 13 15 24 10 21 22 28
Severstal Cherepovets 17 16 9 11 11 18 17 27 23
Dinamo Minsk 22 17 16 13 19 26 9 18 8
Sochi 13 4 14
Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk 10 14 16 22 25 23 25
Amur Khabarovsk 20 21 22 12 25 28 28 25 22
Slovan Bratislava 13 21 26 15 17
Admiral Vladivostok 16 19 13 16
Medveščak Zagreb 11 23 20 24
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 19 20 22 26 14 18 14 21
Lada Togliatti 13 22 24 26 27
Vityaz Podolsk 23 23 21 23 22 24 20 24 11
Kunlun Red Star Beijing 18
Metallurg Novokuznetsk 21 24 23 16 21 27 27 28 29
Lev Poprad 21
Khimik Voskresensk 24


Color Result
Red Gagarin Cup Winner
Yellow Runner-up
Green Conference finalist
Light Blue Conference semifinalist
Blue Qualified for playoffs
Purple Nadezhda Cup Winner
Light Gray Not qualified for playoffs
Gray Did not play in the season

Template:Col-end  [a]: Includes record of Dynamo Moscow before the merger with HC MVD in 2010

 [b]: Did not participate in the 2011–12 season due to the deadly air disaster on September 7, 2011, that killed the entire team

Attendance statistics

Total and average attendance in seasons.[33][34][35][36][37]

Season Total Attendance Average Attendance
2008–09 3,883,947 5,298
2009–10[38] 4,219,305 5,474
2010–11 4,288,666 5,785
2011–12[34] 4,321,518 5,891
2012–13 4,775,366 6,106
2013–14 4,596,836 6,081
2014–15 5,395,035 6,422

All-Star Game

Template:Main The Kontinental Hockey League All-Star Game is an exhibition game held annually in the midway point (usually January or February) of the season, with the league's star players playing against each other. Previously played Russian players versus the "rest of the world", now it is Eastern versus Western Conference.

See also

Template:Start box Template:Succession box Template:End box



External links

Official KHL
Third party

Template:Kontinental Hockey League Template:Navboxes
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