The soccer fans among us should already be aware of the vaunted UEFA Champions Champions League. The top teams from all of the leagues in Europe play each other in a massive tournament to determine who, truly, is the best. Bayern Munich won it 2 years ago, it was pretty great.
Well, hockey decided that it wanted to have their own Champion's Hockey League. It kicks off today with a group stage that will last until the beginning of the NHL season. Teams will play 6 games within the 11 different groups, home and away against each opponent.
The winners of the groups, along with the 5 best second-place teams, will advance to a 16-team playoff. The format of the playoffs is a set of home and away games for single elimination. The final will be a single game. Here are the dates:
Here's the schedule of gamedays today, with what I believe are times in Eastern Time. You can watch games at www.championshockeyleague.com for 5 euros (for all games for that gameday):
|Today||11:00 AM||Group H||CEZ Arena Ostrava||Vítkovice Ostrava||ERC Ingolstadt|
|Today||11:30 AM||Group E||Werk Arena||Oceláři Třinec||SC Bern|
|Today||12:30 PM||Group E||Hakametsa||Tappara Tampere||Stavanger Oilers|
|Today||12:30 PM||Group G||Kuopion Jaahalli||KalPa Kuopio||Sparta Prague|
|Today||1:30 PM||Group A||Lanxess Arena||Kölner Haie||HC Kosice|
|Today||1:30 PM||Group B||Albert-Schultz-Eishalle||Vienna Capitals||Färjestad Karlstad|
|Today||1:30 PM||Group J||Konig Palast||Krefeld Pinguine||Skellefteå AIK|
|Today||1:45 PM||Group B||Kunsteisbahn im Chreis||ZSC Lions Zurich||Vålerenga Oslo|
|Today||1:45 PM||Group C||Patinoire des Vernets||Genève-Servette||Frölunda Gothenburg|
|Today||1:45 PM||Group C||Patinoire Rene Froger||Briançon Diables Rouges||Villach SV|
|Today||1:45 PM||Group H||Bossard Arena||EV Zug||SaiPa Lappeenranta|
|Today||2:00 PM||Group A||Tipsport Arena Liberec||Bílí Tygři Liberec||Kärpät Oulu|
|Today||2:00 PM||Group J||SE Arena||Sønderjyske Vojens||IFK Helsinki|
|Today||2:05 PM||Group D||Hovet||Djurgården Stockholm||Fribourg-Gottéron|
|Today||2:05 PM||Group G||Vida Arena||Växjö Lakers||Adler Mannheim|
|Fri||12:30 PM||Group F||HK Areena||TPS Turku||HC Bolzano|
|Fri||12:30 PM||Group I||Synergia-Areena||JYP Jyväskylä||Red Bull Salzburg|
|Fri||1:00 PM||Group K||National Ice Centre||Nottingham Panthers||Lukko Rauma|
|Fri||1:00 PM||Group D||O2 World Berlin||Eisbären Berlin||PSG Zlín|
|Fri||1:00 PM||Group K||O2 World Hamburg||Hamburg Freezers||Luleå Hockey|
|Fri||2:05 PM||Group F||Saab Arena||Linköping HC||HC Pardubice|
|Fri||2:05 PM||Group I||Kinnarps Arena||HV71 Jönköping||Kloten Flyers|
Note: some of those times might actually be off by an hour or two. They're listed on the CHL site in local times, with links to the livestreams.
Which team are you most excited to see? This post will also serve as your open thread if you're watching along.