MOSCOW – Russian hockey coach Vasili Tikhonov, 55, son of legendary Viktor Tikhonov, died on Tuesday night in what has been reported as an accident in his Moscow apartment. His KHL club CSKA Moscow has confirmed the death on Wednesday morning.
Just like his famous father, Vasili Tikhonov went into coaching early. He coached at various levels in the ‘70s in Riga where the family was staying when father Viktor Tikhonov was the head coach of Dinamo Riga of the old Soviet hockey league.
Vasili’s first major coaching assignment came 1990, when he at the age of 32 became the head coach of Ässät Pori of the Finnish league. Tikhonov Jr. jumped at an offer from the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and assumed the position of assistant coach in 1993 and he stayed with the NHL club for three seasons.
In his last season with the Sharks (1995/1996), he took over the head coaching job with the Kansas City Blades of the old International Hockey League. Vasili Tikhonov stayed in North America for two more seasons, as an assistant coach with the Kentucky Thoroughblades of the AHL. He was the first Russian to land a coaching assignment in the NHL.
Tikhonov returned to Europe in 1998 and spent the next three seasons in Finland, with Lukko Rauma of the SM-Liiga. After one season in Switzerland with Langnau in 2001/2002, Tikhonov returned to Russia after 12 years abroad and took over his father’s beloved CSKA Moscow in 2002. He worked in his home town for two seasons before accepting assistant coach opportunities with Avangard Omsk (2010/2011) and with Ak Bars Kazan (2011/2012).
In the last two seasons Vasili Tikhonov was back with CSKA Moscow as an advisor to General Manager Sergei Fyodorov. Vasili Tikhonov’s son, Viktor, 25, plays for KHL SKA St. Petersburg and he was Phoenix Coyotes 1st round draft choice in 2008.
By IIHF.com staff