CHL confirm wild card place for British team

It has been confirmed that the Elite League has been awarded one place for the Champions Hockey League (CHL) in 2016-17.

It means that either Cardiff Devils or Sheffield Steelers will be offered first refusal to take part in the competition alongside the best clubs in Europe.

Last season the Steelers and Braehead Clan represented the EIHL.

Elite League chairman Tony Smith commented: “The Champions Hockey League is a big and expensive undertaking for any club who wins the league.

“But we feel it is very important that we, as a league, get to showcase what we are about on the biggest stage.

“It is a honour to be part of it and whoever wins the league will represent British Ice Hockey very well.”

The format for the 2016–17 CHL competition remains the same as in 2015–16. 48 teams compete on the ‘Destination Final’ to be crown as Europe’s club champion.

26 A-License (Founding Clubs) clubs are joined by 12 B-License (in principle the national champions and regular season winners of the six Founding Leagues) and 10 C-License clubs.

The Group Stage Draw takes places on May 3rd in Zurich, Switzerland, with the competition getting underway on 18th August (August 16th for Swiss teams) and finish on September 11th.

The teams will be divided into 16 groups of three and each team will play four games – one home and one away against the other two teams in its group.

The first and second-placed teams in each group will then advance to the Play-off Stage.

With 32 teams in the play-offs, five rounds will be required to determine the European club champion.

The first four rounds will all be two-game, home-and-away, total-goal series, similar to the previous seasons.

The Play-off Stage will begin on October 4th and finish with a one-game Final on February 7th.

(Image permission: Mick Johnson)

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