Slovan coach steps down

Zdeno Ciger resigns prior Sunday's league game

27.10.2008
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Zdeno Ciger stepped down as Slovan Bratislava's head coach. Photo: Getty Images/Bongarts

BRATISLAVA – Following the unexpected resignation of head coach Zdeno Ciger, Slovan played Sunday's Extraliga game against Dukla Trencin without a man in charge. It is not clear who will lead the team in Wednesday's CHL game against Salavat Yulayev Ufa.

Ciger announced his decision via telephone. “We had no other option than to accept his wish even though we’d have liked to continue with Zdeno,” Slovan GM Maros Krajci said.

Ciger took over the team as a head coach on  December 10, 2006, replacing Rostislav Cada. The move came soon after Ciger completed his playing career with four seasons in the Slovan jersey. He won two consecutive Slovakian championships as a head coach. The 39-year-old former NHL player also led the club to a third-place finish at the 2008 IIHF European Champions Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia, beating Swedish champion MODO Örnsköldsvik, 4-1, and loosing narrowly to eventual European club champions Metallurg Magnitogorsk, 2-1 in shootout.

However, the current season has been a disappointment for the Slovan, which is in seventh place in the 12-team league. Slovan also started the CHL  with a 5-2 defeat at Mountfield Ceske Budejovice.

Despite having no head coach on Sunday, Slovan beat Dukla Trencin 4-3 in a penalty shootout. Assistant coach Robert Pukalovic took over Ciger’s duties.

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