The Swedish Hockey Federation announced today that it would not allow any teams to join the Kontinental Hockey League, which is headquartered in Russia. The KHL has made no secret about its expansion plans, announcing they will begin playing in Beijing, China in September of 2016.
In statements reported by Swedish hockey news site aftonbladet.se, Federation Officer Mikael Lundström said “We were asked if there was the possibility of having a Swedish team in the KHL, but we gave a clear no. Sweden isn’t interested in having a team in that league.”
He continued, “I want to emphasize that we’re not just stopping SHL clubs from joining the KHL, but all Swedish clubs. We’ve sent a letter to the Russian federation and explained that they have to stop working towards that.”
This could be all bluster, as it similar statements have been made before, however there was a rumor in September of last year that the KHL were in talks with a Swedish club.
In addition to the Beijing expansion team, the KHL has teams throughout Europe and Asia, including Jokerit, which is based in Helsinki, Finland. Jokerit joined the KHL in the 2014-15 season, making them the first Nordic country to join the league.
Translation courtesy of Petter Carnbro.