The Gagarin Cup (Russian: Кубок Гагарина, Kubok Gagarina) is the trophy presented to the winner of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) playoffs, and is named after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space. The Cup was supposedly named after Gagarin because the last possible game of the inaugural KHL season would take place on April 12, the anniversary date of Gagarin's flight.
|Given for||Playoff champion of the Kontinental Hockey League|
|Most recent||Ak Bars Kazan|
After the end of the KHL's regular season, sixteen teams participate in the playoffs. The 1/8 and quarter-finals were a best-of-five series during the first season, and the semi-finals and finals were a best-of-seven series during the first season. Conferences were established for the second season. Conference quarter-finals are a best-of-five series while the conference semi-finals, conference finals and Gagarin Cup finals are a best-of-seven series. The winner of the final best-of-seven series receives the Gagarin Cup.
According to league president Alexander Medvedev, the Cup was named after Gagarin because Russian citizens associate his name with the achievement of great accomplishments, and the man himself has been described as a symbol of the nation. Additionally, according to the founders of the KHL, his ascent into space serves as a metaphor for the contemporary Soviet breakthrough in hockey. Gagarin himself did play hockey, albeit not at a level comparable to that of the KHL.
Another candidate for the namesake of the Cup was longtime HC CSKA Moscow and Soviet national team coach Anatoli Tarasov, considered the "father of Soviet hockey". It was later decided that one of the four divisions would bear his name.
|Win for eventual play-off winner|
|Loss for eventual play-off winner|
|W||Western Conference champion|
|E||Eastern Conference champion|
|N/A||N/A, KHL conferences established during the second season of competition|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gagarin Cup.|
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