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Swedish Team Joins Russia's Top Hockey League

24. November 2009 by James 0 Comments

Russia's premiere hockey league, the Continental Hockey League (KHL) has announced that the Swedish club AIK Stockholm will join the league for the 2010/2011 season.

This marks the first time that a team from Western Europe will join the league. Currently, the KHL has 24 teams, 21 clubs are in Russia and three others are in Belarus, Latvia and Kazakhstan, all former Soviet republics.

"We are delighted with the invitation to the Continental Hockey League. I think participation in the KHL can bring our club to the next level and create huge potential for future development,” Peter Mellkvist, AIK CEO, said in a statement.

AIK established in 1921, currently plays in the Swedish HockeyAllsvenkan and has won seven national titles.

The KHL views this as the first step in establishing a Pan European league called the United Hockey League which would play across Europe starting in 2011. KHL would become one of four conferences that would play in one of the two divisions in the UHL.

Regarded as the second best professional hockey league in the world after the North American based NHL, the KHL was established in 2008.

Some clubs in KHL previously were a part of the Russian Super League which was originally called the Soviet Championship League. The league has teams all across Russia, including Amur Khabarovsk on the Pacific coast, located some 3,000 miles from its closest competitor.