Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Belfast Giants Euro glory bid looks set to stall

The Belfast Giants' hopes of playing in a new European competition look to have been dashed.

The Elite League had asked that their champions be considered for a wildcard spot to be granted for the Champions Hockey League, but it now looks like that request will be rejected.

The tournament has been launched by the top teams from Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden, with 26 founder clubs.

Eleven further clubs from those six leagues will join them, with no more than a handful of wildcard places up for grabs.

The founding clubs will allocate the remaining places, with entrants being hand-picked from other leagues around Europe.

Norwegian league winners, the Stavanger Oilers – who also lifted this season's Continental Cup – were handed a place and it seems there is now only one space remaining.

That has been reserved for the champions of Slovakia, where the final round of matches takes place this weekend.

It appears that no more wildcards will be awarded for the 2013-14 tournament and the Giants will get confirmation of that before the draw on May 21.

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