Group photo of the annual Continental Cup meeting participants.
Second round in Jaca & Tychy
The participants, dates, groups and hosts have been set at the annual Continental Cup meeting with the club representatives.
The competition will enter its 20th season in late September.
The format of the IIHF Continental Cup remains unchanged compared to last year with 17 teams, in most cases the national champions, from as many countries who will participate in the European club competition.
The four-stage event begins its anniversary with the champions from lower-seeded countries who will battle it out in Sofia/Belgrade from 30 September to 2 October. The second round follows three weeks later with two groups to be held in Jaca, Spain, and Tychy, Poland, and the winner of each group advancing to the third round.
The Odense Bulldogs from Denmark and Italian champion Ritten Sport will host the two groups of the third round 18-20 November. The top-two teams of each group will advance to the final tournament that will be played 13-15 January 2017 at the venue of one of the finalists.
The Continental Cup winner of the upcoming season can again get a wild card for the Champions Hockey League of the following season pending formal approval by the CHL board. Last January French team Rouen Dragons won the Continental Cup on home ice and will play in the CHL in the upcoming season. In the previous seasons Neman Grodno from Belarus and the Stavanger Oilers from Norway won the Continental Cup and earned their tickets for the Champions Hockey League.
First round, 30 September – 2 October 2016:
Group A in Sofia, Bulgaria: Irbis-Skate Sofia (BUL), Partizan Belgrade (SRB), Zeytinburnu Istanbul (TUR), HC Bat Yam (ISR).
Second round, 21-23 October 2016:
Group B in Jaca, Spain: Nottingham Panthers (GBR), HK Liepaja (LAT), CH Jaca (ESP), Winner Group A.
Group C in Tychy, Poland: GKS Tychy (POL), DVTK Jegesmedvek Miskolc (HUN), Dunarea Galati (ROU), Acroni Jesenice (SLO).
Third round, 18-20 November 2016:
Group D in Odense, Denmark: Angers Ducs (FRA), Odense Bulldogs (DEN), HC Donbass (UKR), Winner Group B.
Group E in Ritten, Italy: Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR), Ritten Sport (ITA), Beibarys Atyrau (KAZ), Winner Group C.
Final, 13-15 January 2017:
The top-two ranked teams of Group D and the top-two ranked teams of Group E advance to the Continental Cup Final. Host to be determined.