In its fifth year of existence, the KHL has redrawn the hockey map of Europe. History was written last Thursday when Slovan Bratislava became the first established European club from a top-8 league to debut in the Russian-based league.

Apart from of course Russia, the Kontinental Hockey League (founded in 2008-2009) included in its infancy teams from Latvia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It also expanded to Slovakia last season by placing a club called Lev in the town of Poprad.

But adding Slovan Bratislava is something totally different. It is the first KHL acquisition of a truly major and traditional European club from a country outside of the old Soviet borders. Another non-Russian expansion club is Ukrainian Donbass Donetsk.


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