Category: Kunlun Red Star

New Competition – Silk Road Cup

The VHL along with the China International Cultural Communication Center is set to launch the Silk Road Cup in the 2018-19 season. The full name of the competition will be the Silk Road Cup Super Hockey League or SHL for short.

The aim of the competition is to promote the sport of hockey in China, with Beijing set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. It is also thought to be part of a Chinese Govt. strategy to establish trade routes along the historical “Silk Road”.

The competition is set to feature teams from Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. The plan is to also invite teams from Japan, South Korea, and Europe. There may also have been mentions of North Korea. Although it will be later in the 2017-18 season before any of the participating teams are confirmed.

The SHL is set to be a classic league based on the VHL. It’s still unknown if the SHL and the VHL will co-exist or if the SHL will replace the VHL. The feeling is that the long-term goal is to create a Pan-Asian league.

The short term plans for the Chinese Ice Hockey Association is to have three new teams set up by the end of the year. Two teams have already been set up, Kunlun Red Star Heilongjiang and Qien Tou, with a third team based in Xinjiang, expected to be set up by the end of the year. The long-term goal of the CIHA is to have 8-10 Chinese teams, based in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Guangzhōu by 2022.

Major Source (Russian): International Hockey League to be created based on the VHL

Minor Source (English): Silk Road Hockey League Launched

Kunlun Red Star Launch Women’s Team – Set To Join CWHL

Kunlun Red Star has added a new team to their franchise with the launch of a women’s team. The team is set to compete in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). This team will be based in the city of Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong, with the Shenzhen Dayun Arena being home ice for them.

A five-year agreement between Kunlun Red Star and the CWHL has been reached. This will see them playing there at least until the Olympic season of 2021-22

The addition of the Kunlun Red Star team will bump the league up to 6 teams. They will compete against four Canadian teams: Brampton Thunder, Calgary Inferno, Montreal Canadiennes, Toronto Furies – and the Boston Blades from the United States.

Future Youth Team

Kunlun Red Star also plans to set up a girl’s team in the future. It is hoped they could play games in North America in the cross-border Junior Women’s Hockey League. Providence College has been touted as a possible host for this team but nothing has been confirmed yet



New Chinese Teams to Enter the VHL

Following last season’s successful addition of HC Kunlun Red Star into the KHL, China is set to have 2 new teams enter the second highest level of Russian hockey, the VHL (Supreme Hockey League) for the 2017-18 season. This is good news for Chinese Hockey fans, as it fills the void left by the now defunct China Dragon team of the Asian League.

The two teams set to be founded are: Kunlun Red Star Heilongjiang and  Qien Tou.

Kunlun Red Star Heilongjiang will be based in the northern city of Harbin. Their squad will consist of many of the former China Dragon players as well as a lot of imports.

Qien Tou, will be based in Jilin City in Northeast China. Unfortunatrely not many other details have been released in English yet.

A third team based in Xinjiang is also expected to be set up by the end of the year, but no details have been released as of yet.

Kunlun Red Star will also send a junior team to compete at the highest level of Russian junior hockey, the MHL. The team is currently (July 2017) participating in a training camp in Jurmala, Latvia.

IIHF – Asia League without China

The RIHF and HC Kunlun Heilongjiang have signed an agreement for VHL participation

Kunlun Red Star join KHL; could be a problem for the China Dragon

Kunlun logo

What affect could  the addition of the Kunlun Red Star, the new Beijing based KHL team, have on the China Dragon of the Asia League? The KHL rules state five players from a teams’ country must be on the roster and currently the Dragon are China’s top professional hockey team.

Before panicking let’s look at some options. The Chinese players could come from somewhere else. Andong Song perhaps? Nope. He’s at the New York Islanders Prospects mini-camp until July 1, and received a “Bona Fide Offer” which means the Isles retain his rights. Also, he’s likely to attend college in the US. Maybe his defense partner on the Chinese 2014-15 U-18 team, Simon Chen? No. He’s off to college in the US as well.

So the Red Star will have a few options to look for talent in China. Which are: getting players from the Dragon, picking guys from one of the four teams of the Chinese League, or going with youth by asking the Beijing Ice Hockey team for players.

Two other options could be to sign players born in China or with a Chinese parent, but grew up abroad or recruit foreign nationals to play for the Chinese National team. This move would allow them to fit under the KHL rules. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before.


Possible affect for the China Dragon

Although the China Dragon have struggled to find success since their inception, a few players have started to emerge. After all, people forget that on  the Asia League website it says they want to develop players to compete on the international stage.

One of these players is 23 year old, Mingxi Yang. The 177 cm, 76 kg defenseman has represented China for the last seven seasons. In 2015-16, he had his best season, both as a pro and in international competition. Another defenseman, Hu Tianyu won two Asia League championships in three seasons with the Tohoku Freeblades before returning to the Dragon. It’s likely the knowledge and training he gained could see him as a possible candidate for joining the Red Star. Also forward and energy player, Peng Sun could be wearing a Kunlun jersey next year. Although not a scorer, Peng wasn’t afraid to get physical when needed.

Whatever happens in the next few months,  the addition of the Kunlun Red Star could have a immediate negative affect on the Dragon. However, long term, it is a win for Chinese hockey.