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Second Kazakh hockey club plans to join Kontinental Hockey League

04 august 2011, 18:59
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©KHL
©KHL
The second Kazakh hockey club might soon join the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Barys club from Astana is the first team, and Almaty from Almaty wants to become the second one, head of the Almaty club Igor Golikov told a href="http://tengrinews.kz" target="_blank">Tengrinews.kz.

“The project is very ambitions and is going to take several years to fulfill… roughly three or four years. Funding is the chief problem here. Should we have the money, we could enter KHL this year,” Golikov said.

He did not specify who is going to fund the project to create a team for KHL. Neither it is clear at which field the Almaty team is planning to host matches with it prominent competitors. Right now Kazakhstan hockey championship matches are held at the skating rink of Ak Bulak mountain skiing resort. Almaty club was created in 2010 and has spent only one season in the national league where it holds the second to last, ninth, place.

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is an international professional ice hockey league in Eurasia founded in 2008. As of 2009, it is ranked as the strongest hockey league in Europe. Two teams from the KHL are guaranteed qualification into the Champions Hockey League season.

The KHL will have 24 teams in the 2011-2012 season. Of these teams, 20 are based in the Russian Federation and 4 more are located in Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Slovakia.

Players not from Russia represent a minority of 30% of the KHL players, and are mostly Eastern European (16.1%) , Scandinavian (4.6%), and North American (4.8%). In 2010–11, there were 670 players in the league.

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