IIHF alleged to replace Champions League with European Champions Cup (Photo © IIHF)
The rebirth of the European Champions Cup was discussed at a conference with IIHF leaders and the seven biggest European hockey nations in Stockholm, Sweden. Russia has been represented by Russian Hockey Federation’s president Vladislav Tretiak.
One of the most important decisions that have been taken has been the termination of the agreement with the marketing company Ovation, which run Champions’ League’s inaugural season. The new partner will be the Infront company, which has been organizing World Championships for 20 years. Probably now we can really talk about CHL’s revival. In the two months that separate us from the Olympics in Vancouver Infront, IIHF and the national federations will have to develop the cup’s project and business model.
According to Sport-Express, the new formula will differ from the CHL’s first and last edition. The new project should abandon the home-away match series, all the games would be played in St. Petersburg – which already hosted the European Champions Cup some years ago – during one week. The new tournament will see a clash between the champions of the top European six leagues.
IIHF plans to increase the number of participants by two. Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and Switzerland will send there the national champions, while the other two teams will be the top two seeded from the Continental Cup, the annual tournament which showcases champions from nations being not in the Europe’s top six. ECC’s future edition will feature two stages. In the group stage the eight participants will be split into two groups of four and they will play one match against the group opposition teams, and the top seeded team from the two groups will face each other in the European Champions Cup finals.