New head coach of Russian hockey team Zhamnov has contract until end of 2022 Olympics

MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Alexei Zhamnov, a new head coach of the Russian national ice hockey team, said on Monday that he inked a contract with the Russian Hockey Federation (RHF) to be in charge of the national squad until the end of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The RHF Expert Council issued on September 28 a recommendation to appoint Zhamnov, 51, the head coach of the Russian national ice hockey team.

“The Russian Hockey Federation has regulations and the contract is valid throughout the [2022 Beijing] Olympics,” Zhamnov said speaking at a news conference hosted by TASS on Monday. “However, it [the contract] includes a provision on the term prolongation.”

“I am not thinking about it now, because the Olympic Games are the most important at the moment,” he said

Zhamnov also said that his coaching staff will include assistant coaches Alexei Kudashov, Sergei Fedorov and Sergei Gonchar.

“I have spoken with each of the candidates,” he noted. “Fedorov, for instance, knows the National Hockey League inside and out.”

The new head coach also said that Russia’s famous ice hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk will serve as the national team’s general manager at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

“Ilya Kovalchuk will be the general manager of the team for this period,” Zhamnov stated. “He will not be on the players’ bench as his position will be above it. He will be an unofficial captain of the team.”

Kovalchuk, who turned 38 on April 15, is Russia’s two-time IIHF (the International Ice Hockey Federation) World Champion (2008, 2009) and the 2018 Champion of the Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang. The Russian ice hockey star played previously for a number of the US-based National Hockey League (NHL) clubs, appearing in matches for Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals. He also played for several clubs of the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

The ice hockey competition at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing will run between February 9 and 20. The team of Russian ice hockey players was seeded in Group B along with the squads from Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Denmark. Team ROC (the Russian Olympic Committee) will play its Group B matches against Switzerland on February 9, Denmark — on February 11, and the Czech Republic — on February 12.

The national ice hockey federations had to announce at least three names of their players before October 8, who were set to travel to China for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Eleven out of 12 national teams (except hosts China) already announced the names of their three selected players.

The press service of the Russian Hockey Federation (RHF) stated on October 8 that Russia’s NHL hockey stars Alexander Ovechkin, Nikita Kucherov, and Andrei Vasilevsky were the first players to enter the roster of their national team for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China.

At the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, the Russian national ice hockey team played under the status of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) and eventually won the gold of the Olympics defeating Germany 4-3 in the sudden death overtime of the final match.