KYIV – The Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine named Andrei Nazarov as the new head coach for the national team. He replaces Olexander Kulikov whose contract was not extended after one year.
Nazarov, a former Russian national team and NHL player, has been coaching Traktor Chelyabinsk, Vityaz Chekhov and Severstal Cherepovets in the top Russian league for the last six years.
For the new KHL season he will also be taking over Donbass Donetsk, a Ukrainian club where he will coach a couple of national team players including Ruslan Fedotenko, who joined the club after 12 seasons in the NHL.
Update 20 August: Nazarov will be assisted by Olexander Godynyuk, Sergi Viter and goaltending coach Konstantin Simchuk. Sergi Shakurov was named GM.
Godynyuk was head coach of the U20 national team last season and will coach Molodaya Gvardia Donetsk, Donbass’ new junior team that will compete in the major Russian junior league MHL.
Nazarov will officially be introduced to the team next week when Ukraine will play two exhibition games against France in Donetsk on 24 and 25 August.
Ukraine was promoted to the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A where it will play Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Japan and host Korea, 20-26 April 2014.
The top-two ranked teams will be promoted to the top division where Ukraine was playing for nine straight years between 1999 and 2007 but hasn’t reappeared since.