Elite League News On Next Season’s European Places

The Elite League will have two places in next season’s prestigious European ice hockey competition, the Champions Hockey League.

The winners and runners-up in the overall Elite League standings will qualify for the Champions Hockey League, while the playoff winners will enter the Continental Cup.

If the winner of the playoffs also finishes first or second in the Elite League, then the team finishing third in the Elite League standings will go forward into the Continental Cup.

The 2015-16 Champions Hockey League will have a new format, with 48 teams entering instead of 44 and the clubs will be split into 16 groups of three.

The top two in each group will advance into the knockout stages, starting with a round of 32 and each tie will be played on a two-legged basis until the one-game final.

The 2015-16 CHL draw will likely be held in May in Prague during the IIHF World Championship and each team’s four group matches will take place between Thursday 20th August and Sunday 6th September.

Ice Hockey UK general secretary, Andy French, said: “It is excellent news that two teams from the UK will play in next season’s CHL.

“This year’s competition was a great success and captured the imagination across Europe.

“I know the CHL were thrilled to have UK involvement this season and they were impressed with what they saw from the Panthers on and off the ice.

“This is great news for ice hockey in the UK and continues to put us on the map.”

The Panthers represented the Elite League in the 2014-15 CHL tournament, where they were grouped with Lulea (Sweden) Lukko (Finland) and Hamburg (Germany).

Lulea were the eventual winners of the competition, while Panthers recorded a famous win over Hamburg at the National Ice Centre.

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