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Wildcard spots confirmed for Poland and Great Britain

Poland made its debut in the CHL last year and returns for another season.
© Comarch Cracovia/CHL via GettyImages

Monday's CHL Board meeting confirmed next season's wildcard places.

CHL News

COPENHAGEN – The two remaining wildcard spaces for next season’s Champions Hockey League have been awarded to Poland and Great Britain, after confirmation at yesterday’s CHL Board meeting.

The national champions (i.e. playoff winners) of Poland will receive qualification to the CHL, while in Great Britain the winners of the EIHL regular season – traditionally the national champions – will qualify for European competition. These two teams will join the champions of Belarus, Denmark, France, Norway, and Slovakia in Europe’s premier ice hockey event, together with the Continental Cup champion Nottingham Panthers as the eight teams from Challenger Leagues in the 2017-18 CHL season. These teams will join the 24 teams from the Founding Leagues in next year’s new format of 32 teams.

“I’m delighted to see how well the implementation of our new qualification system is being received,” said CHL CEO Martin Baumann. “Teams are on fire, the media and fans are following the race to qualify – that’s exactly what we aimed to reach.”

Baumann continued: “Crystal-clear qualification criteria, valid for all teams and easy to understand for anyone, paired with a new competitive format including only 32 teams in total and a six-year extention with our exclusive media and marketing partner Infront Sports & Media give us much more than just a long-term perspective to develop club ice hockey in Europe.”

What about the KHL?

As it is one of the CHL’s main goals to involve the KHL in the competition, the CHL Board reserves the right to award two additional wildcards for KHL teams with direct entry to the playoffs in the event that an agreement between the parties happens before the end of April.