The annual KHL Board of Governors meeting was held to discuss league's future, approve a new financial strategy and make other decisions on leagues future and out of that meeting, the Metallurg Novokuznetsk hockey club has officially suspended from participating in KHL for 2017/2018 season.
Here a part of my story from last week:
After the KHL executive board meeting, multiple sources have indicated that Metallurg Novokuznetsk is close to folding. The Kontinental Hockey League was due to have changes this off-season as Medvescak Zagreb announced they were leaving the league due to financial reasons.
Now Kuzna joins the group of departing teams and there may be more to come. League executives have refused to comment at this time.
17:11 Moscow time league officially announces that Medvescak and Metallurg both are out of the competition for the upcoming season.
17:15 League announces that only 27 teams will play in the 2017/2018 season, no expansion teams to come in.
17:20 President of KHL Dmitri Chernyshenko suggests that KHL will have 24 teams by the start of 2018/2019 season. KHL will reduce its size by 3 teams in near future.
17:23 Dmitri Chernyshenko says that Novkuznetsk will have a chance to return to KHL. Metallurg continues to run its hockey development program.
17:25 KHL expects to have 8 foreign clubs for 2019/2020 season.
17:26: KHL will be replacing poorer KHL teams with European and Asian teams. Over each of the next 3 years, KHL will deduct the financially weaker teams one by one.
17:28 KHL introduces salary cap
2017/2018 season's salary cap to be roughly above 15milion dollars + luxury penalty for teams that exceed that. By 2020 season, the league expects the salary cap to be down at 10 million a year. Each team will be allowed to exclude 2-3 players from their salary cap hit.
17:35 KHL announces the participating teams in 2017/2018 KHL season:
Bobrov Division: Tarasov Division:
Dinamo Minsk Vitjaz Podolsk
Dinamo Riga Dinamo Moscow
Jokerit Helsinki Lokomotive Yaroslavl
SKA St.Petersburg Severstal Cherepovets
Slovan Bratislava Nizhni-Novgorod Torpedo
Moscow Spartak HK Sochi
Harlamov Division Chernishov division
Jekaterinburg Avtomobilist Avangard Omsk
AkBars Kazan Admiral Vladovostok
Togliati Lada Habarovsk Amur
Metallurg Magnitagorsk Barys Astana
Neftehimik Nizhnekamsk Kunlun Red Star Beijing
Chelyabinsk Traktor Salavat Julaev UFA
Yugra Hantimansijsk Sibir Novosibirsk
17:41 Source suggests that KHL is set to expand to United Kingdom in coming years. Lada, Yugra and Amur are candidates to ''most likely'' to be excluded from participation in KHL.
18:04 KHL insists that the teams to be deducted will be only the Russian teams, European side of the league will have option to leave if agreed by both sides.
Sergei Bobrovsky was asked to comment on the Novkuznetsk deduction by ''Sport-express'':
"It's terrible news," Bobrovsky said to Marat Safin of Sport-express
, "For the club, for the city, for the region, the city loved hockey."'' The club has a rich history, it brought up many good guys and could continue to supply young players for the leading KHL clubs, for the Russian team. For a hockey school without a team of pro players, it's easier to destroy than to build
something, it's just another decision made, and for thousands of boys from all over the region it's a loss of motivation, a loss of a dream. "
18:15 KHL board of Governors meeting has concluded.
18:35 Medvescak Zagreb officially confirms that they will play in EBEL.
19:14 Metallurg Novokuznetsk will play in VHL.