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Thanks to this collaboration, winter sports' biggest annual event also became the biggest event sport or non-sport related to be hosted in Denmark to date.
Each team played a double round-robin in their group, for a total of 6 games per team. The 11 group winners as well as the top five group runners-up qualified for the playoffs.
The playoffs were as a single-elimination tournament , with all rounds leading to the final played in two-game, home-and-away, total-goal series.
The final was a single game. In total, games were played, including the group and playoff stages. Main article: —16 Champions Hockey League For the —16 season, the tournament was expanded to 48 teams, divided into 16 groups with three teams in each group. The two first teams in each group advanced to the playoff round of In total, games were played.
Main article: —17 Champions Hockey League The —17 season was once more played with 48 teams, using the same format as in the previous season.
The six founding leagues were represented by between three and five teams based on a three-year league ranking , while eight teams from the "challenge leagues" were represented by one team each. No founding team was qualified automatically.
A maximum of five teams from each country are permitted, with the entries allotted to each country according to a coefficient system best two leagues get five berths, next two get four, last two get three.
The remaining eight places are given to the champions of the Norwegian, Slovakian, French, Belarusian, Danish, British and Polish leagues, as well as the champion of the Continental Cup.
The teams are then be drawn into eight groups of four, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the knockout stage, which is contested as two-legged ties until a one-match final.
Additional teams from the founding league, that qualified based on sporting merits "B license" and the champions from other European leagues "C license" completed the field.