|Current season, competition or edition:|
2020–21 KHL season
|Motto||Хоккей – наша игра! Khokkey – nasha igra! Jääkiekko on meidän peli! (Hockey is our game!)|
|No. of teams||24|
|Avangard Omsk (1st title)|
|Most titles||Ak Bars Kazan (3)|
The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL; Russian : Континентальная хоккейная лига (КХЛ), romanized: Kontinental'naya khokkeynaya liga) is an international professional ice hockey league founded in 2008. It comprises member clubs based in Belarus (1), China (1), Finland (1), Latvia (1), Kazakhstan (1), and Russia (18) for a total of 23. It is widely considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in Europe and Asia, and the second strongest in the world behind North America's National Hockey League. The KHL has the third-highest average attendance in Europe with 6,121 spectators per game in the regular season, and the highest total attendance in Europe with 5.32 million spectators in the regular season.
The Gagarin Cup is awarded annually to the league's playoff champion at the end of each season. The title of Champion of Russia is given to the highest-ranked Russian team.
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.[ 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 remained a day of mourning on which no KHL regular season games took place,until after the 2017–18 KHL season.
Journalist Vsevolod Kukushkin acted as the first press secretary for the league, after it evolved from the Superleague.
In the 2009–10 season, Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg joined the KHL and Khimik Voskresensk was transferred to a lower league.
In the 2010-11 season, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk 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 Bratislava, Slovakia and Ukraine's Donbass from Donetsk joined the KHL as expansion teams for the 2012–13 season.Lev and Slovan qualified for the playoffs in their first KHL season.
In 2013, Medveščak from Zagreb, Croatia, previously playing in the Austrian Hockey League, and Russian expansion team Admiral Vladivostok joined the league, thus expanding the league even further.The league comprised 28 teams during the 2013–14 season, of which 21 were based in Russia and 7 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.However, HC Donbass did not play in the league for the 2014–15 season, due to the political instability in Ukraine, but had intended to rejoin later. Two other teams, Lev Praha and Spartak Moscow, also withdrew from the 2014–15 season due to financial problems.
Prior to the 2015–16 season, Atlant Moscow Oblast withdrew from the KHL due to financial issues, while Spartak Moscow returned after a one-year hiatus.
The newly created Chinese club HC Kunlun Red Star from Beijing was admitted for the 2016–17 season.
Prior to the 2017–18 season, Medveščak Zagreb withdrew from the league to rejoin the Austrian league and Metallurg Novokuznetsk was sent down to the VHL.
After the end of the 2018–19 season, HC Slovan Bratislava withdrew from the KHL due to financial issues to rejoin the Slovak Tipsport Liga.
Since 2009, the league has been divided into East and West conferences. In the current season, both conferences include 12 teams divided into two divisions of 6 teams. Each team plays four games against each division opponent (20), three games against each non-division conference opponent (18), and two games against each non-conference opponent (24) for a total of 62 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. In each round, the top seeded remaining team is paired with the lowest seeded team etc.
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 Championships.
|Bobrov||Jokerit Helsinki||Helsinki||Hartwall Arena||13,349||1967||2014||Lauri Marjamäki||Vacant|
|SKA Saint Petersburg||Saint Petersburg||Ice Palace||12,300||1946||2008||Vacant||Vacant|
|HC Sochi||Sochi||Bolshoy Ice Dome||12,000||2014||Yevgeni Stavrovsky||Vacant|
|Spartak Moscow||Moscow||Megasport Arena||12,126||1946||2008||Boris Mironov||Vacant|
|HC Vityaz||Podolsk||Vityaz Ice Palace||5,500||1996||2008||Yuri Babenko||Vacant|
|Tarasov||CSKA Moscow||Moscow||CSKA Arena||12,100||1946||2008||Sergei Fedorov||Vacant|
|Dinamo Minsk||Minsk||Minsk-Arena||15,086||2004||2008||Craig Woodcroft||Vacant|
|Dinamo Riga||Riga||Arēna Rīga||10,300||2008||Sergei Zubov||Lauris Dārziņš|
|Dynamo Moscow||Moscow||VTB Arena||10,495||1946||2008||Alexei Kudashov||Vadim Shipachyov|
|Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||Yaroslavl||Arena 2000||9,070||1959||2008||Andrei Skabelka||Vacant|
|Severstal Cherepovets||Cherepovets||Ice Palace||5,583||1956||2008||Andrei Razin||Vacant|
|Kharlamov||Ak Bars Kazan||Kazan||TatNeft Arena||8,895||1956||2008||Dmitri Kvartalnov||Vacant|
|Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg||Yekaterinburg||KRK Uralets||5,545||2006||2009||Bill Peters||Vacant|
|Metallurg Magnitogorsk||Magnitogorsk||Arena Metallurg||7,704||1950||2008||Ilya Vorobiev||Vacant|
|Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk||Nizhnekamsk||SCC Arena||5,500||1968||2008||Oleg Leontyev||Vacant|
|Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod||Nizhny Novgorod||Trade Union Sport Palace||5,500||1947||2008||David Nemirovsky||Vacant|
|Traktor Chelyabinsk||Chelyabinsk||Traktor Ice Arena||7,500||1947||2008||Vacant||Vacant|
|Chernyshev||Admiral Vladivostok||Vladivostok||Fetisov Arena||5,500||2013||Sergei Vostrikov||Vacant|
|Amur Khabarovsk||Khabarovsk||Platinum Arena||7,100||1966||2008||Vladimir Vorobyov||Vacant|
|Avangard Omsk||Omsk (Balashikha)||Balashikha Arena||5,678||1950||2008||Vacant||Vacant|
|Barys Nur-Sultan||Nur-Sultan||Barys Arena||11,502||1999||2008||Yuri Mikhailis||Vacant|
|Red Star Kunlun||Beijing ( Mytishchi)||Mytishchi Arena||7,000||2016||Vacant||Vacant|
|Salavat Yulaev Ufa||Ufa||Ufa Arena||8,070||1957||2008||Tomi Lämsä||Vacant|
|Sibir Novosibirsk||Novosibirsk||Ice Sports Palace Sibir||7,420||1962||2008||Andrei Martemyanov||Vacant|
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 countries. Foreign goaltenders on Russian teams are subject to a limit regarding their total seasonal ice time.
Prior to the inaugural season, several KHL teams signed several players from the NHL.A dispute between the two leagues over some of these signings was supposed to have been resolved by an agreement signed on 10 July 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), leading to an investigation by the International Ice Hockey Federation. On 4 October 2010, the conflict between the leagues was settled when both signed a new agreement to honor one another's contracts.
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.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.
This article needs to be updated.(November 2017)
During the current season, players representing 16 nations have played at least one game in the KHL. [ citation needed ] Russian teams are limited to a maximum of 5 foreign players per squad. limit on foreigners in the KHLA 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". 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 30-35% 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).
|Country (current number of teams)||Players active|
|Belarus (1 team)||35||46||50||43||40||38||34||49||50|
|China (1 team)||–||–||–||–||3||–||2||–||–|
|Finland (1 team)||40||37||50||47||51||40||42||44||53|
|Kazakhstan (1 team)||35||36||34||42||34||30||25||24||19|
|Latvia (1 team)||35||32||29||33||32||31||28||35||33|
|Russia (19 teams)||539||569||592||631||662||643||579||570||637|
The winner of the playoff is awarded the Gagarin Cup. The highest placed Russian team is awarded the title of the Russian champion. The team ranked first in the standings after the regular season, i.e. the winner of the regular season, is awarded the Continental Cup : 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).(Russian
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 10 September 2011, three days after the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, the KHL head office decided to honor the deceased in the 2011 Opening Cup.The League gives the Andrey Starovoytov Award annually to its referees of the year, also called the "Golden Whistle".
|Season||Teams||Gagarin Cup Winner||Gagarin Cup finalist||Final score||Continental Cup Winner||Top scorer|
|2008–09||24||Ak Bars Kazan||Lokomotiv Yaroslavl||4–3||Salavat Yulaev Ufa* (129 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (76 points: 34 G, 42 A)|
|2009–10||24||Ak Bars Kazan||HC MVD||4–3||Salavat Yulaev Ufa (129 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (66 points: 27 G, 39 A)|
|2010–11||23||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||Atlant Moscow Oblast||4–1||Avangard Omsk (118 points)||Alexander Radulov (80 points: 20 G, 60 A)|
|2011–12||23||Dynamo Moscow||Avangard Omsk||4–3||Traktor Chelyabinsk (114 points)||Alexander Radulov (63 points: 25 G, 38 A)|
|2012–13||26||Dynamo Moscow||Traktor Chelyabinsk||4–2||SKA Saint Petersburg (115 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (76 points: 35 G, 41 A)|
|2013–14||28||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||HC Lev Praha||4–3||Dynamo Moscow (115 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (73 points: 34 G, 39 A)|
|2014–15||28||SKA Saint Petersburg||Ak Bars Kazan||4–1||CSKA Moscow (139 points)||Alexander Radulov (71 points: 24 G, 47 A)|
|2015–16||28||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||CSKA Moscow||4–3||CSKA Moscow (127 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (67 points: 32 G, 35 A)|
|2016–17||29||SKA Saint Petersburg||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||4–1||CSKA Moscow (137 points)||Sergei Mozyakin (85 points: 48 G, 37 A)|
|2017–18||27||Ak Bars Kazan||CSKA Moscow||4–1||SKA Saint Petersburg (138 points)||Ilya Kovalchuk (63 points: 31 G, 32 A)|
|2018–19||25||CSKA Moscow||Avangard Omsk||4–0||CSKA Moscow (106 points)||Nikita Gusev (82 points: 17 G, 65 A)|
|2019–20||24||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic||CSKA Moscow (94 points)||Vadim Shipachyov (65 points: 17 G, 48 A)|
|2020–21||23||Avangard Omsk||CSKA Moscow||4–2||CSKA Moscow (91 points)||Vadim Shipachyov (66 points; 20 G, 46 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||Priceless Player (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|
|2016–17||Metallurg Magnitogorsk||Sergei Mozyakin|
|2017–18||SKA Saint Petersburg||Nikita Gusev|
|2018–19||SKA Saint Petersburg||Kirill Kaprizov|
|Points||85||Sergei Mozyakin (Magnitogorsk)||2016–17|
|Goals||48||Sergei Mozyakin (Magnitogorsk)||2016–17|
|Assists||65||Nikita Gusev (SKA)||2018–19|
|Shots on goal||253||Darren Dietz (Barys)||2018–19|
|Plus/minus||+48||Vladislav Gavrikov (SKA)||2018–19|
|Penalty minutes||374||Darcy Verot (Chekhov)||2009–10|
|Wins||38||Jakub Kovář (Avtomobilist)||2018–19|
|Shutouts||13||Alexei Murygin (Yaroslavl)||2015–16|
|Points||33||Sergei Mozyakin (Magnitogorsk)||2013–14|
|Goals||15||Evgenii Dadonov (SKA)||2014–15|
|Danis Zaripov (Magnitogorsk)||2016–17|
|Assists||20||Sergei Mozyakin (Magnitogorsk)||2013–14|
|Chris Lee (Magnitogorsk)||2016–17|
|Shots on goal||82||Evgeny Kuznetsov (Chelyabinsk)||2012–13|
|Plus/minus||+16||Dominik Graňák (Dynamo Moscow)||2012–13|
|Chris Lee (Magnitogorsk)||2016–17|
|Penalty minutes||69||Maxim Goncharov (Ufa)||2015–16|
|Wins||16||Alexander Yeryomenko (Dynamo Moscow)||2011–12, 2012–13|
|Vasily Koshechkin (Magnitogorsk)||2013–14|
|Mikko Koskinen (SKA)||2014–15|
|Emil Garipov (Kazan)||2017–18|
|Ilya Sorokin (CSKA Moscow)||2018–19|
|Shutouts||7||Lars Johansson (CSKA Moscow)||2020–21|
|Points||755||Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant, Magnitogorsk)||2008–2021|
|Goals||350||Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant, Magnitogorsk)||2008–2021|
|Assists||433||Vadim Shipachyov (Cherepovets, SKA, Dynamo Moscow)||2008–2021|
|Games played||684||Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant, Magnitogorsk)||2008–2021|
|Plus/minus||+194||Alexander Radulov (Ufa, CSKA Moscow)||2008–2016|
|Penalty minutes||1050||Evgeny Artyukhin (SKA, Atlant, CSKA Moscow, Sibir, Dynamo Moscow, Vityaz)||2010–2021|
|Wins||271||Vasily Koshechkin (Togliatti, Magnitogorsk, Cherepovets)||2008–2021|
|Shutouts||71||Vasily Koshechkin (Togliatti, Magnitogorsk, Cherepovets)||2008–2021|
|Points||172||Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant, Magnitogorsk)||2009–2021|
|Goals||68||Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant, Magnitogorsk)||2009–2021|
|Assists||104||Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant, Magnitogorsk)||2009–2021|
|Games played||161||Yevgeny Biryukov (Magnitogorsk, Ufa)||2009–2021|
|Plus/minus||+52||Danis Zaripov (Kazan, Magnitogorsk)||2009–2021|
|Penalty minutes||312||Grigori Panin (Kazan, CSKA Moscow, Ufa)||2009–2021|
|Wins||71||Vasily Koshechkin (Togliatti, Magnitogorsk, Cherepovets)||2009–2021|
|Shutouts||16||Ilya Sorokin (CSKA Moscow)||2015–2020|
|Match time||Date||Match||Home||Visitor||Result||Overtime goal scorer|
|142:09 mins||22 March 2018||5. Conference Semi-Finals||CSKA||Jokerit||1-2||Mika Niemi|
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 24 founding teams, only Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Khimik Voskresensk had never qualified for the playoffs (both are no longer in the league). 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.
[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 7 September 2011, that killed the entire team
[c]: Conference semifinals cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Total and average attendance by season, including play-offs:
|Season||Total Attendance||Average Attendance|
The Kontinental Hockey League All-Star Game is an exhibition game held annually at the midway point (usually January or February) of the season, with the league's star players playing against each other. Previously played in a Russian players versus the "rest of the world" format, now it is Eastern versus Western Conference.
Michael Edward Keenan is a Canadian professional hockey coach who most recently coached the Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League. Previously, he served as head coach and/or general manager with several NHL teams between 1984 and 2009. He has also worked as an analyst for the New York Rangers on MSG Network and as a hockey analyst for NBC Sports Network.
Hockey Club Dinamo Minsk is an ice hockey team based in Minsk, Belarus. They are members of the Tarasov Division of the Kontinental Hockey League.
The 2009–10 KHL season was the second season of the Kontinental Hockey League. It was held from 10 September 2009 to 27 April 2010, with a break for the Olympic winter games from 8 February to 3 March. Ak Bars Kazan defended their title by defeating Western conference winners HC MVD in a seven-game play-off final.
The potential of including additional 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.
The Continental Cup, also known as the Kontinental Cup, is the trophy presented to the winner of the regular season of the Kontinental Hockey League, i.e. the team with the most points at the end of the regular season.
The 2010–11 KHL season was the third season of the Kontinental Hockey League. It was held from 8 September 2010 and ended on 16 April 2011.
The Opening Cup, is the trophy awarded to the winner of the first game of every regular season of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). This match is played between the previous season's playoff champion and the previous season's Continental Cup winner. The game is played on the home ice of the previous season's playoff champion.
The 2011–12 KHL season was the fourth season of the Kontinental Hockey League. The regular season began with the Opening Cup game on 7 September 2011, but because of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, which occurred during the first period of the Cup game and killed all but one member of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, further play was delayed until 12 September 2011. The tragedy forced Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to cancel their participation in the KHL season. The Opening Cup was renamed the Lokomotiv Cup in honor of those lost in the tragedy. The regular season ended on 26 February 2012 and the following playoffs ended on 25 April.
The 2012–13 KHL season was the fifth season of the Kontinental Hockey League. The regular season began on 4 September with the Lokomotiv Cup between last year's finalists Dynamo Moscow and Avangard Omsk. For the first time, the league consisted of 26 teams from 7 different countries. Dynamo Moscow successfully defended their title after beating Traktor Chelyabinsk in the Gagarin Cup finals.
The 2013 Gagarin Cup playoffs of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) has begun on February 20, 2013, after the conclusion of the 2012–13 KHL regular season. The 2013 Gagarin Cup Finals started in April.
The 2013–14 KHL season was the sixth season of the Kontinental Hockey League.
The 2014–15 KHL season is the seventh season of the Kontinental Hockey League. The season started on 3 September with the Opening Cup between defending champions Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Dynamo Moscow, replacing Lev Praha, last year's runner up not participating this season.
Hockey Club Sochi is a professional ice hockey team based in Sochi, Russia. The team joined the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in 2014–15 season.
The 2015–16 KHL season was the eighth season of the Kontinental Hockey League. The season started on 24 August 2015 with the Opening Cup between defending champions SKA Saint Petersburg and last year's Continental Cup winners CSKA Moscow, replacing Ak Bars Kazan, the previous season's Gagarin Cup finalists.
The 2016 Gagarin Cup playoffs of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) began on February 21, 2016, with the top eight teams from each of the conferences, following the conclusion of the 2015–16 KHL regular season.
HC Kunlun Red Star is a Chinese ice hockey club that joined the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) prior to the 2016–17 season.
The 2018–19 KHL season was the eleventh season of the Kontinental Hockey League. The season started on 1 September 2018 and ended on 19 April 2019. Continental Cup winners CSKA Moscow became the first team to win the Gagarin Cup finals in a series sweep, defeating Avangard Omsk in four games to win their first Gagarin Cup, after two previous Finals defeats.
The 2019 Gagarin Cup playoffs of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) began on 25 February 2019, with the top eight teams from each of the conferences, following the conclusion of the 2018–19 KHL regular season. The playoffs ended on 19 April 2019, when Continental Cup winners CSKA Moscow became the first team to win the Gagarin Cup finals in a series sweep, defeating Avangard Omsk in four games to win their first Gagarin Cup, after two previous Finals defeats.
The 2019–20 KHL season was the twelfth season of the Kontinental Hockey League. There were 24 teams that competed in 62 regular season games. The season began with the Opening Cup on 1 September 2019, and the regular championship ran until 27 February 2020. The playoffs were scheduled to take place from 1 March through until 30 April. The All-Star Weekend took place over 18–19 January 2020.
The 2020–21 KHL season was the thirteenth season of the Kontinental Hockey League. There were 23 teams that competed in 60 regular season games, beginning on 2 September 2020 and finishing on 27 February 2021. The playoffs were held from 2 March, culminating in Game 6 of the Gagarin Cup Finals on 28 April. Avangard Omsk won their first Gagarin Cup title, avenging their sweep in the finals of the 2019 Gagarin Cup playoffs, defeating CSKA Moscow by 4 games to 2.