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Official: KHL Medveščak enters Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League

April 29, 2013



KHL Medveščak has announced on Monday that they will be joining Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for the 2013/14 season.


The KHL is Russia’s top-flight hockey league, and is widely considered to be the world’s second best league, after North America’s National Hockey League.


The team will now be the seventh non-Russian team in the league, and will be the 28th team in the league. This announcement comes only two days after the announcement of a 27th team in the league. On Saturday, KHL officials granted a spot to another Russian club from Vladivostok will be joining as well.


Medveščak’s departure from the Austrian league and entrance into Russia’s does not come with out its criticisms.


The team will now face an exhaustive and financially burdensome travel schedule. The team will need to be able to fund the traveling through Europe, including much of Russia, and will be traveling through eight different time zones, and their farthest opponent, HC Amur, is located in Khabarovsk, which is over 10,400 km away from Zagreb. That is a farther distance than from Zagreb to Los Angeles, CA.


The team is confident that they will be able to get strong corporate sponsors and easily be able to afford all necessities for the club, especially with the large influx expected in additional ticket sales.


In the past season alone, Medveščak’s attendance has increased by 15 percent.


Few  details have released on a venue for the team, but it is said that it will most likely not change from last season’s venue; most games being played at Dom Sportova, which seats 6,400, and they will have several series throughout the season at Arena Zagreb, which has a capacity of 15,000.


The 2013/14 season will begin on September 4.

Colin O'Haravić
Posted By: Colin O'Haravić 19 comments

  1. IvicA says:

    Apparently their budget for next season is 10M Euro.
    They could put together a pretty decent team with that payroll.

    Hopefully it works out for the Medos. If they become competitive in the KHL, it would kickstart a solid youth program in Zagreb and it would turn Medvescak into a feeder team for our national team which would definitely put us on the map for hockey (putting us ahead of the Slovenci in yet another winter sport).

    Just hire Mamic as the sportski direktor, and it will all come to fruition.

    Ante B condones this idea. 🙂

  2. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    According to our friend Zach Gilfix, the national team has been bumped up a division and they’re two promotions away from the World Championships. Don’t know the details, but that’s good news, and a good starting point for the sport in Croatia.

  3. Croatia vs. Antwerp says:

    As long as they don’t have any games in Dagestan or Chechnija, I’m fine with it.

  4. JP says:

    Seems like a logical next step… a step along the way to HRV becoming a hockey power!!! As us Canadians know well, it’s only a matter of time.

  5. JerseyCro says:

    Yes Colin, the national team is in the equivliant of the third division of international hockey, they just promoted there last month. They won’t make the top division anytime soon, the key is staying in the third division and getting a handful of more Canadian/Americans.

    Slovenia btw qualified for the Olympics in hockey, they are light years ahead of Croatia and have Kopitar plus Mursak under NHL contracts, Only Croatian born player with a realistic shot at the NHL is Borna Rendulic, but its still a long shot for him

  6. Ante B. says:

    Have Mamic switch with Gojanovic and see how Dinamo would turn around.

  7. Dax says:

    They need to start recruiting Croatian Minnesotans immediately.

  8. Sude Mi says:

    6,400 seats at $20USD a head gets you $3.328M revenues over a 26 game home schedule, $40/avg. ticket gets you obviously double the revenues….can’t see them charging much more.

    Seems to me a change of venue to the bigger Arena Zagreb should be automatic?

    Would love to see the business plan that makes this more than a one-year wonder……here’s to hoping they succeed!

  9. ARMADA87 says:

    Is there a promotion/demotion system in the KHL?

  10. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    Nope. All leagues in Russia operate independently.

  11. jaijivi says:

    The KHL use a Conference System, Medvescak will play in the Western Conference, the longest travel is to Nizhny Novogrod.

  12. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    The KHL does use a conference system, but they still play every team in the league twice, one home, and one away. There are two teams in the far eastern portion of Russia where Medvescak will have to travel to.

  13. dannyj says:

    Joe Sakic going to come out of retirement at 50 to help us qualify for the olympics

  14. dannyj says:

    I always did say I’m sure if there was some proper coaching and some grass roots, you would see Croatia quickly rise to a top 15 type team in the world.

    We all know there are many naturally born athletic talented Croats, no one can deny that

  15. Bjorn Borg says:

    They got promoted a few weeks back from Div 2, Group A to Div 1, Group B. They have some North Americans in their squad and will add to that next year with a couple more.

  16. Zach Gilfix Zach Gilfix says:

    Awesome news!


    Are you from Minnesota?

  17. SeattleNate says:

    Vladivostok! Damn, and people complain about travel in American sports…..

  18. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    Yeah dude. It’s over 11,000 km away from Zagreb. It’s actually farther east than Korea.

  19. Rob P says:

    They even signed a Canadian-Serb ………….. Mike Glumac. Most of the roster is career North American minors leaguers.

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