On July 5, the Kontinental Hockey League presented the calendar of the 11th season. The main principles behind the choices were the interests of teams, fans, TV partners, and national teams.
The Calendar was created by a group of KHL specialists with the participation of the Director of the Department of competition Sergei Kozlov and the expert Vladimir Zhidkov.
The regular season will start on September 1 in Kazan with a game between the reigning Gagarin Cup champion Ak Bars and the regular season winner SKA St. Petersburg. The first stage will play through February 22 and will last 175 days, with 152 being game days. Each of the 25 teams will play 62 games with the following principle: all the teams will face one another twice (for a total of 48 games). The teams will play another two games against their division rivals (10-12 games) and two games with rivals from other divisions (4 games). The regular season will be made up of a total of 775 games.
The playoffs will start on February 25 for both Conference. The further date for the end of the Gagarin Cup finals is April 25.
Consistent with the IIHF international calendar, the 2018/2019 KHL season will follow the following pauses for the different Euro Hockey Tour stages: from November 8-11 (in Finland), from December 13-16 (in Russia), from February 7-10 (in Sweden). There will also be pauses for the KHL All-Star Game in Kazan (from January 18-20) and New Year celebrations (December 31 – January 2).
The 2018/2019 season calendar includes many differences when compared with last year’s schedule.
Due to the change in the number of teams and to give divisions a better balance, the League decided to introduce some changes in the teams’ alignment. Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod has been moved to the Eastern Conference. Dinamo Minsk and Slovan Bratislava were moved from the Bobrov Division to the Tarasov Division, replacing HC Dynamo Moscow and Severstal Cherepovets respectively.
Each team will play 62 regular-season games, the highest number in the whole KHL history. Moreover, for the first time since 2014/2015, the league will start in September, avoiding games in August.
One of the most interesting events in the season will be the regular season games scheduled in Western Europe. On October 26 and 28, at the Erste Bank Arena in Vienna, Slovan Bratislava will face CSKA and SKA, while on November 26 and 28, at the Hallenstadion Zurich, the Army teams will face Dinamo Riga.
The playoffs structure underwent some changes too. To better serve fans, in the first round of the Gagarin Cup playoffs, both Conference will play the same day. This will allow avoiding playing games at the same time and the fans will be able to follow online most of the games in a single day. Moreover, all the playoff games will be played every other day, without back-to-back encounters.
If compared with the last season, each game day will have an average of 4.96 games played, against the 5.21 games of the 2017/2018 season. The game days against total regular-season days percentage is 86.85%, the third result in the KHL history and the best in the last six seasons.
Georgy Kobylyansky, KHL VP for Hockey Operations:
– In 10 years, the League gathered a huge experience in creating calendars, understanding that every day there are different conditions. This is why no calendar looks like another, every year we create a whole new calendar, trying to respect the needs of each of the interested parties: teams, national teams and, most importantly, the fans. Our goal is to create the most comfortable conditions for fans to watch the games of their favorite teams and to give them only the most positive emotions. I hope that the 2017/2018 season calendar will reveal itself as comfortable and balanced. We are waiting for you at our hockey arenas!
Download calendar (.pdf, 174 KB)