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KHL continues European expansion with Ukrainian team

This press release came from the KHL this morning:

The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and Ukrainian hockey club Budivelnyk in Kiev have signed a letter of intent for the club to participate in the 2010-2011 KHL season.

The agreement stipulates that the KHL will consider allowing the club to participate in the league starting next season if it meets the appropriate rules, regulations and by laws necessary.  Further, the KHL is asking the club to commit to an active role in the growth and development of European, continental and world hockey.

As an immediate next step, the KHL and Budivelnyk have agreed that the deadline for the club to provide the financial guarantees necessary to participate in the 2010-2011 season will be April 1, 2010.

Today's news follows the recent announcement that the KHL has also signed a letter of intent with Czech club Lion, located in the city Hradec Kralove, for their participation in the 2010-2011 season, pending their meeting all necessary requirements.

Outside Russia, the KHL currently has teams in Belarus, Latvia and Kazakhstan, and besides the new Czech franchise, may also have a team in Stockholm, Sweden next season as well.

In the past, there has been tentative discussion about the NHL possibly creating a European division, but unless they get moving, the KHL may beat them to the punch.