As expected, the KHL president and the Board of Directors had their special briefing and decisions for the next season, and boy were there some big ones; including the confirmation that all 28 teams will stay, arena policy updates, potential Chinese expansion and abolishment of back-to-back games.
The first thing, a rather small thing, is the rescheduling of the calendar. With all 28 teams staying in the league (Atlant just being replaced with the legendary Spartak Moscow), the 60 game schedules are staying, but things are broken down a little differently. Each team will hold two matches, one home and one away with the teams in their conference and another two from the opposing teams in the Conference. This means there will be 54 matches split 27 home games and 27 away. The last 6 will be again split 3 home and 3 away and will be based on spectator and geographical issues. The league is set to start the season on August 24th, which breaks away from the previous traditional match, to now be between the Gagarin Cup winner SKA and regular season championship, or “Presidents Trophy” winner CSKA Moscow. The schedule is set to end on the 18th of April.th of February, with the playoffs taking off almost straight after.
Read more here: KHL: Expansion, Removing Back to Back, Arena Updates
Where will the Chinese team get its players? Obviously most will be from North America and hopefully some Euro players too. Hopefully no Russian players though (Russian players must stay with Russian KHL teams).
And will the Chinese team be financed by the Russians or the Chinese?