Vorobyov stays

Russia signs two-year contract with coach


Ilya Vorobyov was part of the bronze-winning team in 2017 as an assistant coach and had his first IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship as head coach last month in Denmark. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images

Ilya Vorobyov, who was named interim head coach of the Russian men’s national team just three weeks before the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, will continue as head coach.

The Ice Hockey Federation of Russia signed a two-year deal with Ilya Vorobyov and his assistant coaches Anvar Gatiyatulin, Alexei Kudashov, Igor Nikitin and Alexei Zhamnov.

After the two years there will be an option for another two years for the coaches.

“If they work well two years, they will remain for another two years,” Ice Hockey Federation of Russia President Vladislav Tretiak told R-Sport. “That’s the incentive for the coach so he knows results have to be delivered in these two years. If there will be success, there will be two more years of work. We hope he will stay all four years. We need success.”

The Russians parted way from Oleg Znarok and Harijs Vitolinsh in April after four years and the gold medal win at the Olympics under Znarok.

43-year-old Vorobyov won the Kontinental Hockey League with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in 2016 and joined the coaching staff of the Russian men’s national team as an assistant coach the same year before being promoted in April.

In Vorobyov’s first Worlds as head coach, Russia finished the preliminary round in second place with a 5-0-1-1 record but lost the quarter-finals 5-4 in overtime to Canada and finished in sixth place, the worst placing in five years. Vorobyov and the Russian national team hope to correct this at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia where they will play in Bratislava in a group with Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Latvia, Austria and Italy.

“I thank the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia for the trust. We will do our best to achieve the desired result,” Vorobyov told R-Sport. “We have a young and amicable coaching staff with modern views on hockey. I’m looking forward to work.”

At the same time Vorobyov has also become the head coach of the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg where he also succeeds Znarok with a two-year contract.



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