The 24 European Trophy teams are divided into 4 divisions: North, East, South and West. Each team play one game against the five other teams in the same division and one game against one team from each of the other three divisions, for a total of eight games per team.
The top two teams from each division qualify for the playoffs, the Red Bulls Salute, hosted by EC Red Bull Salzburg and played in Salzburg and Vienna on December 16-18.
If EC Red Bull Salzburg fail to qualify by reaching the top two places in the East Division, they will qualify as hosts. They will then take the playoff place of the second placed team in all groups with the least amount of points (see below for tie breaking).
Djurgårdens IF, HC Slavia Praha, HC Sparta Praha, HIFK, Jokerit, Luleå HF.
EC Red Bull Salzburg, Eisbären Berlin, Frölunda Indians, Färjestads BK, Tappara, TPS.
Adler Mannheim, HC Bílí Tygři Liberec, HC CSOB Pojistovna Pardubice, HC Kometa Brno, HV71, Linköpings HC.
HC Mountfield, HC Plzeň 1929, HC Slovan Bratislava, KalPa, Oulun Kärpät, Vienna Capitals.
If two or more teams are tied on equality of points in the standings after completion of the tournament, the following tie breaking criteria applies:
a) Goals for minus goals against
b) Total goals scored
c) Head to head results
d) Drawing lots (if more than two teams are still tied after head to head results)
The same tie breaking formula applies when decieding which of the second placed teams' spot in the playoffs EC Red Bull Salzburg will take, if EC Red Bull Salzburg fail to qualify by reaching the top two positions in their group.