This year, the coaching staff of the Russian national hockey team has undergone significant changes. As stated on the main website of The Ice Hockey Federation of Russia (IHFR), the national team will begin preparing for the home stage of the Euro Tour under the direction of the main coach Alexey Zhamnov. The IHFR has announced this news only on the 26th of November.
Elections for the head of the coaching staff stretched over almost a month. There were many candidates for this position, however, the preference was given to Aleksey Yureivich. He had proven his skills numerous times, including at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. Having strategically decided to let a fifth player onto the ice rink with a goalkeeper replacement, he turned the game’s tide in favour of his team. The fight for the Channel One Cup will take place for the first time for the new head coach, but this fact only adds to his determination and self-confidence.
Sergey Fedorov, Alexey Kudashov and Sergey Gonchar are approved as assistants to the head coach.
An experienced goalkeeper and coach, Sergey Naumov, accepted the offer to become a part of the Russian coaching staff of the Russian team in the Euro tour.
According to the athlete, he had been interested in hockey since the age of five. In 20 years, Naumov had changed many clubs, as a goalkeeper, he played in the teams of Sweden (Lexand, Durgarden), Italy (Bolzano), Russia (CSKA, Chemist, Severstal), Finland. And in high-performance sport, the Latvian goalkeeper first appeared back in 1990 as a member of the Riga Dinamo club.
Having become one of the best Latvian goalkeepers, Sergey Naumov has established himself as a reliable player and teammate. He defended the goal cage of the Latvian national team at the Ice Hockey World Championships twelve times and took part in the Olympic Games three times (2002, 2006, 2010). In total, the former hockey player participated in 102 matches for the national team of Latvia. His game can hardly be called unique or unforgettable.
Sergey spent his last sports season as a player (20082009) in his hometown club Dinamo Riga.
After finishing his career as a player, Sergey Naumov could not leave the sport easily and almost immediately took up coaching. After becoming a goalkeeping coach at his own club, he flung himself whole-heartedly into undertaking a new sphere of activity. The team’s players noted his excellent leadership skills and good nature. Because it was easy and pleasant to work with him, it had a positive impact on the team’s achievements.
In the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 sports seasons, Naumov coached goalkeepers in the Ukrainian KHL club Donbas. With his help, the Donetsk club won the Continental Cup in 2012. However, he had to change his place of work due to family circumstances and worked for a year in the coaching staff of the Moscow team Atlant from 2014. Naumov spent the seasons from 2015 to 2018 with the hockey club of Yaroslavl, Lokomotiv. And since 2018, he has signed a coaching contract with CSKA Moscow, where he has successfully spent the last four seasons. The Latvian national team also expressed a desire to work with Naumov this year, but it worked out differently.
The representatives of the Russian Hockey Federation almost unanimously accepted his candidacy for the post of goalkeeping coach of the Russian national team. His predecessor, Yevgeny Nabokov, held this position for less than a year and has already devolved power to his colleague.
Despite the tournament tradition, this year, it was decided to allow the Canadian national team to participate as well. The first game at the Channel One Cup for the Russian national hockey team took place on the 15th of December. The Russian stage of the Euro Tour will be held in Moscow, on the ice rink of the CSKA Arena. The opponents of the Russian national team are the teams of Canada, Finland, the Czech Republic and Sweden. The final match took place on the 19th of December. Before the games, the team’s head coach, Alexey Zhamnov, assured the fans that the national team was in excellent shape and would play at full strength.
In February, Sweden will host the Beijer hockey Games, and the last host country will be the Czech Republic: the Carlson tournament is scheduled for May 2022. The Karjala Tournament was successfully held in November 2021 in Finland. According to the first stage results, the Russian national team has third place in the standings.
Due to the epidemiological situation, the Euro Tour 2020/2021 was held unusually: the players and the coaching staff were isolated from each other as much as possible, and the stands were either half full or completely empty. This year, no such measures are mentioned by the organisers.
Euro Hockey Tour is an annual hockey tournament consisting of four stages. Usually, it is held outside the national championships and is a preparation for the World Cup and the Olympic Games. The hockey teams of four countries: Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Each of the participating countries hosts one game with each national team. The Russian national team won the last two tournaments – 2020/21 and 2018/2019.
Bookmakers offer an extensive selection of bets to fit every taste. There are also online establishments where the player is invited to place a bet during the match in real-time. The most popular option among beginners is to bet on the winning team in a certain game or in the whole tournament. Another popular way is to place a bet on a certain number of goals. The most challenging option is unforeseen situations on the ice rink, such as injuries, misconduct penalties, player substitutions.