The League has chosen the 7th of March as the starting date of the 2014 Nadezhda Cup, the tournament created for the 12 teams which have not qualified for the Gagarin Cup playoffs at the end of the regular championship. The tournament is only in its second year, and the 2013 winners, Dinamo Riga, will be unable to defend the trophy, albeit for the best possible reason: the Latvians will be busy battling for the Gagarin Cup, having already secured a playoff berth in the Western Conference.
The format is as follows: each team is seeded according to its final position in the regular season standings. The teams which finish 9th and 10th in each conference qualify automatically for the Nadezhda Cup quarter-finals, where each will be paired against one of the four first-round winners. The first round is also seeded, so those in 11th place will face a 14th-placed team, while 12th plays off against 13th.
Teams in the first round play a two-game series, with each side playing one home game. If the teams have one victory each at the end of Game 2, the tie is to be settled by overtime (5 minutes), followed by a shootout if necessary.
The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final series are four-game series, with victory going to the first team to achieve three wins. In the event of a 2-2 tie at the end of Game 4, the series will be decided by overtime (maximum of 20 minutes), followed by a shootout if necessary. Games 1 and 2 of each series will be hosted by the team with the lower seeding.
First round games run from March 7-11 (Western Conference: March 7, 10; Eastern Conference: March 8, 11).
The quarter-finals will be held from 13-19 March (Western Conference: March 13, 14, 17 and 18; Eastern Conference: March 14, 15, 18 and 19).
The semi-finals take place from March 22-28 (Western Conference: March 22, 23, 26 and 27; Eastern Conference: March 23, 24, 27 and 28).
The Nadezhda Cup final series games will be played on April1, 2, 5 and 6.