ZURICH – The Champions Hockey League will not be played during the 2009-2010 season. However due to the huge success and positive response of the first season from all parties, the league is set to re-start for the 2010-2011 season, with the possible contribution of the NHL.
“After months of negotiations we came to the conclusion that it is better to postpone the Champions Hockey League re-start to 2010-2011,” said IIHF President René Fasel.
“As the original investors unexpectedly withdrew from their three-year agreement after the inaugural season as a direct result of the worldwide economic recession, and given the current economic environment, we believe it is better to take the necessary time and ensure conditions are right for the continuation of the league in 2010-2011.
“Despite the global financial situation, several new potential investors stepped up and with them we have had constructive and extensive negotiations over the course of the last months. But as time was running out and we approached the extended deadline of June 15, we decided to postpone the upcoming season and concentrate all our efforts on a successful re-launch in 2010-2011.
“We announce this with deep regret especially towards the fans and in particular the clubs who had qualified for CHL participation for the upcoming season,” said Fasel.
“Although we had to take this difficult decision, we are committed to come back stronger than ever and we will immediately resume our negotiations with the National Hockey League, who has expressed interest to join forces with the IIHF to re-launch the Champions Hockey League in 2010-2011.”
“The format and infrastructure of the Champions Hockey League provide a good foundation for the growth of international hockey,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. “We have advised the IIHF of our willingness to offer resources and strategic contributions toward the pursuit of that objective.”