Another revolution took place in Russian hockey - Alexei Kudashov left the post of head coach in SKA and the Russian team, he was replaced by Valery Bragin.
We understand why these changes were needed.
Russian hockey in the XXI century was going through different stages. At first, the federation was led by rowdy Alexander Steblin. He changed head coaches like gloves. NHL players refused to come to the Russian team because there was a terrible organization. Well, there was no result.
Then 2006 came, and the efforts of the head of sports Vyacheslav Fetisov managed to remove Steblin. The Federation was headed by Vladislav Tretyak, and with him the situation changed. He put at the helm of the national team Vyacheslav Bykov, with whom he won the gold medals of the World Cup - for the first time in 15 years. And a year later, ours again became champions, but not in Quebec, but in Bern.
In general, the task of the Tretyak was to earn money on hockey, replenish the budget of the federation and put the right coaches.
At the world championships, the Russian team began to regularly collect medals. But at the Olympics failed three times in a row. And again it's time to change something. Tretiak was not dismissed, but became a wedding general - a sort of poster, the face of FHR. And the Rotenbergs came to power: Uncle Arkady began to play the role of a wallet, financing all projects, and his nephew Roman became an operational manager, deciding all matters - from marketing to the appointment of a coaching staff.
Why was this done? Firstly, the federation lacked financial power, and when the crisis began, sponsors began to fall off. Secondly, hockey has acquired the status of the main sport in the country. Because football was bad, and Putin began to play hockey, and in general people need inspirational stories.
When the Rotenbergs arrived in 2015, the Russian team was led by Oleg Znarok. Together they won the “gold” of the Pyeongchang Olympics. True, in the spring of 2018, they quarreled. Znarok was fired, and the federation decided that the team would be managed by his assistant Ilya Vorobyov. That is, the coach of the main team of the country has ceased to be a person who decides everything - from the squad to the bonus. Now the trainer is a hired manager, and for him they will select the right staff, organize all the logistics, determine tactics and everything else. You just stand on the bench and lead, staying in trend.
But this did not work with Vorobyov; two world championships were failed with him. Ilya was removed by appointing his assistant Alexei Kudashov. He worked only three stages of the Eurotour, but he did it unconvincingly - six defeats in nine matches! The World Cup has been canceled due to coronavirus, but it’s only 20 months before the Tokyo Olympics. But it is precisely on these Games that everyone’s work is evaluated.
And what would you do on the Rotenberg site? Would we pursue justice, give Kudashov another year to work? What if he screwed up again and there would be no time to change something?
And then they put Bragin. On the one hand, he is also loyal to the leadership, will follow all the instructions, on the other - a person with experience, has shown himself to be a specialist who gives a result at a short distance. So it was for many years in the youth team.
And the youth team instead of Bragin was headed by Igor Larionov. He used to be a rebel, he criticized the federation. What has changed? Yes, just Larionov understood: if he wants to try himself in the role of head coach, then he has no other way. No one needs him in the NHL and KHL, but in the Russian national team, you need to agree with the federation. The only way.
Photo: RIA Novosti / K. Barry