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Helsinki, Riga Withdraw From KHL for 2022-23

Jokerit Helsinki and Dinamo Riga have officially withdrawn from the KHL ahead of the 2022-23 season.
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The KHL will be down two teams heading into next season. 

On Tuesday, the Kontinental Hockey League confirmed that both Jokerit Helsinki and Dinamo Riga have officially withdrawn from the league and will not participate in the 2022-23 season. 

Jokerit, a Finnish-based organization that joined in 2014 as the first Nordic country to have a team in the KHL, had already limited its involvement in the league prior to this announcement, withdrawing from the KHL's Gagarin Cup Playoffs in February in the aftermath of Russia's militaristic invasion of Ukraine. 

Riga, the KHL's lone club to base its operations in Latvia, did not qualify for the playoffs this season but announced back in February its intentions to withdraw from the league entirely, as well. 

Following today's news, the KHL has proceeded to express its intentions to move forward in the upcoming season and beyond with 22 teams instead of its usual 24. 

Included among that new 22-team slate are just three that operate outside of Russia, with Barys Nur-Sultan being based in Kazhakstan, Kunlun Red Star in China, and Dinamo Minsk in Belarus. 

This serves as yet another ripple effect of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to echo across the sporting world, particularly in the realm of hockey. Last month, the International Ice Hockey Federation officially banned Russia from international play for the foreseeable future, stripping the nation of its hosting duties for the 2023 World Junior Championship and placing its designation as host of the 2023 World Championship in serious jeopardy. 

It has yet to be announced where Jokerit or Riga will play for the upcoming season. 


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