The 2012-13 KHL season, the fifth season for this largely Russian league, has just begun, with some changes in team lineups in part due to the NHL lockout. The league has welcomed Ukrainian team Donbass Donetsk, who played last season in the Russian High League, and HC Slovan Bratislava, one of the most reputable teams in Europe and a multiple winner of the Slovakian Championship title. Moreover, HC Lev relocated from the Slovakian city of Poprad to Prague in the Czech Republic.
The NHL lockout wasnít enthusiastically embraced like it was 8 years ago and the league did put some restrictions on the NHL players signed, albeit not as harsh as in Sweden, where players can only sign with a Swedish team for a minimum term of one season. Russian KHL teams now are allowed to sign a maximum of three NHL players, including one foreigner. Non-Russian KHL teams donít have the limitation on foreign players. A number of NHL players have already signed contracts with KHL teams, including superstars Evgeny Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Alex Ovechkin.