With the first competitive games of the Hockey season coming in just over a weeks time, in the form of the CHL, we thought it would be a good time to look at the competition for the 2017/18 season. Wether your new to the competition or have watched it this last few seasons, here are 10 things you should know about the CHL:
10. The CHL started in the 2014–15 season by 26 clubs, 6 leagues and the IIHF, the idea was to feature top teams from the first-tier leagues of countries across Europe.
9. The CHL was the name used for what ended up being a one off tournement held by the IIHF in 2008. The tournement was won by Swiss team ZSC Lions making them the original CHL champions an honour currently held by Swedish team Luleå HF.
8. The CHL tournment took over from the European Trophy after 2013. The European Trophy was primarily a preseason tournament. The tournement hosted 32 teams from seven different countries and at one time was considered the biggest ice hockey tournement in Europe.
7. Until this year the 26 founding teams had guaranteed spots in the group stages. The remaining spaces (22) were made up from additional teams from the founding league and the champions from other European leagues (including our own EIHL)
6. In the 2017/18 season the number of teams has been reduced from 48 to 32 and all spaces have been allocated based on sporting merit only. This means teams are no longer guaranteed spots just because they were founding members.
5. The competition is made up of eight groups of four. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stages contested over two legs until the final game contest in one leg.
4. The competition is played for a prize fund of money which was estimated in 2015/16 at around 1.5millon euros.
3. In the 157 games played in 2016/17 season there were 795 goals scored in total and an overall attendance of 508,624.
2. The leading point scorer in the 2016/17 season was Casey Wellman. Wellman played for both the Minnesota Wild and Washington Capitals totalling 54 games in the NHL and an additional 300 games in the AHL.
1. The current champions Frölunda HC compete in the SHL (top Swedish league) and were founded in 1938. Not only are they the reigning champions from the 2016/17 season of CHL but they are two time champions also winning the competition in 2015/16.