June 16, 2009 Kontinental Hockey League Board of Directors regular meeting was held in Moscow. A number of innovations in Open Championship of Russia - KHL Championship Rules project for 2009/2010 season were approved.
Due to hockey club Khimik inability to repay salary debts in time and provide financial guarantees for the next season they will not enter KHL Championship in 2009/2010 season, but still remain KHL member. KHL Board of Directors approved the admission of Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg to the tournament in 2009/2010 season.
Next season the League teams will be divided into two conferences. Each conference will have two divisions, and each division will have six teams. Conferences and divisions will be formed as follows:
Tarasov Division: Dynamo Moscow, CSKA, Spartak, SKA, Dinamo Riga, Dynamo Minsk.
Kharlamov Division: Lokomotiv, Atlant, Torpedo, Severstal, HC MVD, Vityaz.
Chernyshev Division: Ak Bars, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Traktor, Lada, Neftekhimik, Avtomobilist.
Bobrov Division: Avangard, Salavat Yulaev, Barys, Sibir, Amur, Metallurg Novokuznetsk.
Championship will consist of two stages. In regular season each team plays two home and two away games against Division opponents (20 games) and one home and one away game against all the rest teams (36 games). In total each team will play 56 games in regular season.
By the results of the first stage the winner of the regular season will be defined. Champion of Russia, silver and bronze medalists, regardless of the country the team is from, will be defined by the results of Gagarin Cup playoffs. Third place will be given to a team which lost in the semifinal but took a higher place in the regular season than second semifinal loser.
Teams ranked from 1st to 8th in their Conferences will enter the second stage of the tournament. Division winners take two top places in order of results' decrease.
16 teams (8 from each Conference) will enter the playoffs to define KHL Championship and Gagarin Cup Winner.
In each Conference quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are to be held. Conference winners will play for Gagarin Cup. Conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series, the remaining three rounds - best-of-seven series.
Teams failed to enter the playoffs will play their own tournament for KHL junior draft first choice in 2010.
Next season schedule should be formed and approved by June 30, 2009.
In order to improve the financial discipline of the clubs Board of Directors has resolved on sanctions in case of salary cap exceeding. The incriminated club will be fined 300% of players' aggregate income limit exceeding.
In 2009/2010 season the aggregate income of major team players of the club will be limited by 620,000,000 (six hundred twenty million) rubles. Minimum income for the players of the club is 200,000,000 (two hundred million) rubles. Each club is allowed to take one player out of the team salary cap.
The minimum wage for the player signing contract for 2009/2010 season and onwards is 300,000 rubles for season in the major team and 80,000 rubles for season in the junior or Higher League team.
25 players are allowed to fill out the major team roster and 25 - the junior team roster of every club. Club may send up to five players to two Higher League teams.
Foreign players' quantity in the team is limited by five, regardless of the position, but only one foreign goalie is allowed to be in team roster. No limits in number of games played by foreign goalie are set.
Players may be added to the roster through all the season up to January 31, 2010.
Game roster will include 22 players for every team - 2 goalies, 18 skaters and 2 junior skaters, Russia citizens born after January 1, 1990. Foreign clubs' juniors citizenship is not set.
Any number of junior team players may enter their major team roster.
Board of Directors has adopted a number of requirements for ice arenas. In particular, in all arenas safety lining will be placed on boards of the rink. In addition, the Ice Palaces will be equipped with tunnels (fixed or sliding) for players and referees, as well as with advanced video surveillance systems for detecting and identifying public order infringers.
Players health provisions have been made. Obligatory comprehensive medical examination of the players (before entering team roster) was approved by the Medical Regulations of the League. Medical Center recommended to develop methods of KHL players functional testing after their arrival to training camps. In addition, doping control system will be organized in the clubs, players pool will be formed in accordance with the WADA Code. In the new season players anti-doping certification system will start functioning in the League.
2009/2010 season will be also marked by several changes in game components. 50% of the regular season games and 100% of playoff games will be officiated by two head referees and two linesmen.
Goal crease size is to be changed.
All the games will also be refereed by videogoal officials chosen from the most experienced and reputable local referees after KHL special training program passing.
Playoff overtimes will last 20 minutes till the sudden death goal. Overtimes amount is not limited. Six players regardless of their position on ice will play for the team during overtime.
KHL Press Service