Kontinental Hockey League facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Kontinental Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2019–20 KHL season
4th KHL All-Star Game clock.jpg
4th Kontinental Hockey League All-Star Game clock
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 2008
No. of teams 24
Most recent champion(s) CSKA Moscow (1st title)
Most championships Ak Bars Kazan (3)
Official website en.KHL.ru

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is an international professional ice hockey league founded in 2008. It comprises 24 member clubs based in Belarus, China, Finland, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Russia, and it is planned to expand to more countries.

It is widely considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in Europe and Asia, and second in the world behind the National Hockey League. KHL has the third highest average attendance in Europe with 6,121 spectators per game in the regular season, and the highest total attendance in Europe with 5.32 million spectators in the regular season.

RIAN archive 386859 KHL finals - Ak Bars vs. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 1-0
Ak Bars Kazan after winning the Gagarin Cup in 2009

The Gagarin Cup is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season. The title of Champion of Russia is given to the highest ranked Russian team.

Though now not as restrictive in maintaining an exclusively Russian composition of players and teams, Russian teams are still not allowed to sign more than five foreign players, while non-Russian teams must have at least five players from their respective country. Foreign goaltenders on Russian teams have a limit regarding total seasonal ice time.

KHL players are represented by the Kontinental Hockey League Players' Trade Union.

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