Russian hockey specialist and former NHL tough guy Andrei Nazarov has been confirmed as the new head coach of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) club “Sochi”.
In the new season, the Sochi Club with eight points takes the last place in the Western Conference. In addition, he has suffered four losses in the last four games, including 1: 2 against Dinamo Riga. Thus, the current head coach of the Krasnodar region unit, Evgeni Starovsky, has completed his work in this team, replaced by 47-year-old Andrejs Nazarovs.
Nazarov’s last job was at Neftekhmik in Nizhny Novgorod, where he worked as head coach from 2016 to 2018. After being fired he spent time and regularly commented on the most random things in the Russian media, including playing a key role in the Artemi Panarina case. Nazarov has also managed other KHL clubs – Chelyabinsk “Traktor”, Moscow “Vityaz”, Cherepovets “Severstal”, Ukraine’s “Donbas”, Kazakhstan’s “Barys” and St. Petersburg SKA.
Sochi Club General Director Sergei Voropayev:
“Two seasons we were left without playoffs, and this season a clear goal was set – to enter the western conference top eight. But after the first month of the season, we see that the team is far from achieving the task. We have nothing against Evgeny Stavrovsky, but in professional sports the main thing is results. Eight points in 13 matches and the content of the team’s game clearly showed the need for a change in the coaching department. Nazarov has not only a huge experience as a player and coach, but also a bright charisma that allows non-star players to form a battle-friendly team that can fight for a win in any situation “
The contract with Andrei Nazarov has been signed on a two-year term.
When asked what tasks he has received from his team Nazarov was straightforward:
”The tasks, like any other club, are to win, please the fans, and get into the playoffs. There are no other tasks. They all are the same.”
Sochi currently ranks last in the West, with the team scoring just eight points in 13 games.
The next match is scheduled for October 3, when Dinamo Minsk will visit Sochi.