The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) (Континентальная хоккейная лига (КХЛ), Kontinental'naya hokkeynaya liga) is an international professional hockey league founded in 2008. It was formerly known as the Russian Superleague and is currently based in Moscow, Russia.
The KHL is composed of 29 teams based in Belarus (1), China (1), Croatia (1), Finland (1), Kazakhstan (1), Latvia (1), Russia (22), and Slovakia (1). Plans are underway to expand to more countries. It is widely considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in Europe and Asia, and second only to the National Hockey League.
The Gagarin Cup (the equivalent of the NHL's Stanley Cup) is awarded annually to the league playoff champion. Meanwhile, the highest ranked Russian team is named the title of Champion of Russia.
The League is divided into East and West conferences. The Western Conference includes 14 teams divided into two divisions (Bobrov and Tarasov), 7 teams per division. The Eastern Conference has 15 teams, divided into divisions of 7 (Kharlamov) and 8 (Chernyshev) respectively.
The divisions are named in honor of famous players and coaches Vsevolod Bobrov, Anatoly Tarasov, Valery Kharlamov and Arkady Chernyshev.
Each KHL team plays a total of 60 games per season. A team plays every other team once at home and once on the road (28 at home, 28 on the road) plus 4 additional games (2 at home, 2 on the road) played by each team against rival clubs from its own conference.
The top eight ranked teams in each conference gain playoff berths. The playoff teams compete in the quarterfinals, semifinals and conference finals, after which, the conference winners play against each other for the Gagarin Cup.
Division winners are seeded first and second in their conference, based on their regular season record. All playoff rounds are played as best-of-seven series. In each round, the top seeded remaining team is paired with the lowest seeded team etc.
During the 2012–13 season, the Nadezhda Cup (Cup of Hope) was introduced, as a consolation tournament for the teams who did not qualify for the playoffs. The winning team in the tournament wins the first overall pick in the KHL Junior Draft.
The tournament is intended to extend the season and help maintain interest in hockey in the cities of these teams, and help players of national teams prepare for the World Championship.
Truly, the KHL has a lot of exciting games to handicap through the course of the season, the playoffs and the Gagarin Cup, surely there are tons of KHL wagers that attract your interest.
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