Russiaâ€™s fledgling Continental Hockey League, which is being touted as a competitor to the NHL, will launch in September with 24 teams, according to league president Alexander Medvedev. It will, however, look like a retooled version of the Russian Super League as 20 of those teams will be within the CHL. As reported by the Globe and Mail:
In an interview yesterday from Montreal, where he was elected to the International Ice Hockey Federation council, Medvedev said the league will adopt international rules and intends to hold a draft that could include NHL players.
"We are planning to draft players from around the world, including the NHL," he said.
The 24 teams will play for the Gagarin Cup, named for cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space. The top two teams will then compete in a Europe-wide championship.
Already, the CHL appears to siphoning off NHL talent. As reported by Newsday, former Islanders enforcer Chris Simon has signed on with the CHL.
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