MOSCOW – The Russian women’s national team has landed a famous General Manager. Former NHL star Alexei Yashin was assigned to the post on Friday.
“I think for the ladies it’s a great gift for the new year,” said Vladislav Tretiak, President of the Russian Hockey Federation (FHR) and member of the IIHF Council. “Alexei is a fine man who did a lot for our country. The solution will benefit both our coaching staff and give new challenges to the General Manager.”
The Russian women’s national team is preparing for the biggest challenge it has ever had – to play on home ice at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. It recently started a tour in the United States with a series of games against college teams.
In Yashin, the team gets a GM that knows the pressure of performing on home ice and in Olympic Games well.
The 39-year-old has played professional hockey for 21 years – 12 in the NHL and nine in the top Russian/Soviet league. He won gold medals for his home country in the 1992 IIHF World Junior Championship and in the 1993 IIHF World Championship.
Yashin represented Russia in three Olympic Winter Games winning silver in Nagano 1998 and bronze in Salt Lake City 2002. The 2006 Olympics in Turin was his last major international tournament.
After his NHL career with 781 points in 850 games, the Yekaterinburg native returned to Russia in 2007 and played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, SKA St. Petersburg and most recently for CSKA Moscow. Yashin has neither signed with a new team since playing his last games in spring, nor has he announced the end of his playing career.
Russia’s next challenge will be the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Ottawa, 2-9 April 2013. The team will be aiming to get to the final round and needs to finish in the top two of Group B with Sweden, Germany and the Czech Republic to reach the quarter-finals.