Pending formal approval by the 2020 IIHF Extra-Ordinary Congress next week, the Continental Cup will expand with a new structure as a result of the delayed start of the hockey season in many countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the new format, set to begin in October, the group stage that determines the finalists in November will be extended from two to four groups, from which only the group winner will advance to the final tournament to be held from 8-10 January 2021.
The tournaments from 13 to 15 November 2020 will be hosted in Amiens (France), Asiago (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Frederikshavn (Denmark).
The Continental Cup begins with the qualifiers from 16-18 October 2020. The two groups will take place in Akureyri (Iceland) and Sofia (Bulgaria).
The 2020/2021 IIHF Continental Cup includes 20 teams from 20 countries. Most of them are either national champions or were in first place when the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The teams come from all across Europe except for the six founding leagues of the Champions Hockey League. The clubs will not only battle for the Continental Cup winners’ plate but also for an invitation to play in the Champions Hockey League the following season, pending formal approval by the CHL board.
Last winter, SonderjyskE Vojens became the first Continental Cup champion from Denmark.
Qualifiers, 16-18 October 2020:
Group A in Akureyri, Iceland: Kaunas Hockey (LTU), Barca Hockey (ESP), Skautafelag Akureyrar (ISL), HC Bat Yam (ISR).
Group B in Sofia, Bulgaria: Crvena Zvezda Belgrade (SRB), Mladost Zagreb (CRO), Buz Beykoz Istanbul (TUR). Irbis-Skate Sofia (BUL).
Group Stage, 13-15 November 2020:
Group C in Amiens, France: Yertis Pavlodar (KAZ), Amiens Gothiques (FRA), Ferencvarosi TC (HUN), 2nd-place team Group B.
Group D in Asiago, Italy: Sheffield Steelers (GBR), Asiago Hockey (ITA), Club TBD (UKR), 2nd-place team Group A.
Group E in Ljubljana, Slovenia: Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR), Olimp Riga (LAT), Olimpija Ljubljana (SLO), Winner Group B.
Group F in Frederikshavn, Denmark: Unia Oswiecim (POL), Frederikshavn White Hawks (DEN), SC Miercurea Ciuc (ROU), Winner Group A.
Final, 8-10 January 2021:
The four group winners (C-F) advance to the final tournament that will be held at the venue of one of the participating clubs.