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KHL officially confirms three expansion teams for next season

Mar 19, 2014, 1:48 PM EDT

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For the first time, KHL president Alexander Medvedev has confirmed that three expansion teams — Sochi, Tolyatti and Jokerit — will join the league beginning in 2014-15.

“We can speak about the entry of the Sochi club, Lada [Tolyatti] and Jokerit as fact,” Medvedev said, per R-Sport.

Jokerit, the longtime Finnish powerhouse, is leaving the SM-liiga to become part of the KHL, which now boasts teams in nine different countries (Russia, Finland, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.)

Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, will join the fold with reports of Hockey Hall of Famer Pavel Bure coming aboard to serve as GM.

Toylatti, commonly referred to as HC Lada, returns to the league after a four-year hiatus due to financial insolvency and the lack of a new arena.

  1. 950003cups - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Now that they hijacked a new country, they’ll need a team to represent. I hear the Crimera Crushers are expected to make the playoffs.

    • patthehockeyfan - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      I was going to make a similar point about Crimea. Then I Googled KHL team – Ukraine. Sad story:

      “The KHL’s only hockey team from Ukraine, Donbass Donetsk, is to continue staging its home games abroad due to the political crisis gripping the country, a top league official told R-Sport on Tuesday.

      Donbass advanced to the second round of the playoffs on Monday night with a 3-1 series win over Dinamo Riga, and next faces Lev Prague in the Czech capital on Thursday.

      Its first scheduled home game is Sunday, when Donbass will either continue using Slovan’s arena in Bratislava or choose a new home, KHL vice president Vladimir Shalaev told R-Sport.

      Donetsk, in the mainly Russian-speaking east of Ukraine, is being rocked by violent clashes between pro-Russian protesters who want closer ties with Russia and pro-Ukrainian activists who do not.”

    • capsfan14 - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      I heard rumors that the team would be namned the Crimea Invaders.

      • thesportsjudge - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        I’d rather the name be Crimea River!

        I’ll be on the street all week with weak jokes like that!

  2. mianfr - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I’m showing a 12 hour flight (granted, with layover), from Helsinki to Vladivostok…

    I’m not sure how the KHL schedules its games, but I’m going to guess that those teams will play each other at least once a year. Good luck with that.

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      You know Roger Goodell’s going to use that as an excuse to put a team in London.

      “See? Could be worse!”

    • dhawks19 - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Every team plays each other twice

  3. mattymarts17 - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Is there a package that allows us to have the KHL in the states? Like a Center Ice package?

  4. muckleflugga - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    950003cups

    the russians hijacked crimea with a 97% referendum majority … imagine a country wanting into the russian federation

    the convenience of manifest destiny seems to have dropped off the popular american vocabulary … think california new mexico arizona nevada lousiana

    time to roll the american tanks in lmao … the world’s self-appointed policeman just got bag-slapped … for once it wasn’t by peasants in turbans or black pyjamas

    the decline of the american empire chapter nineteen

    eat it

    • 950003cups - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      “the decline of the american empire chapter nineteen”

      More like the decline of liberal America. This is what happens when you have a president more concerned about his ncaa bracket and doing talk shows than doing his job. Putin is laughing at Obama. Not the rest of us.

  5. soro17 - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Time for Romania to take back Transdnistria and Poland to take back Kaliningrad. Time for referenda in Grozny, Vladikavkaz and Makhachkala.

    • hunterdoerksen - Mar 20, 2014 at 4:17 AM

      Transdnistria is in Moldova is it not? But Moldova really should rejoin Romania again, so it’s a moot point

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