Avangard Omsk Fire Coach
Tuesday September 16th 2008, 10:27 pm

As expected, head coach Sergei Gersonsky has been relieved of his duties with Avangard Omsk, the Avangard website confirms. Senior coach Igor Zhilinsky has also been let go. The decision came out of an emergency meeting of the Avangard board of directors, chaired by Omsk governor Leonid Polezhaev.

Omsk GM Anatoli Bardin has been retained in his position, and confirmed to Soviet Sport that a new coach would be announced by the end of the week. Assistant coach Igor Nikitin will take over in the interim, and assistant coach Sergei Khramtsov will also stay on. Bardin added that preference will be given to a foreigner, and Championat.ru suggest it will be a North American, once again throwing out Bob Hartley’s name. But SportStand.ru reports that Hartley is no longer in the running, after a group of senior players vetoed his hiring. Sportstand added that bringing in a well-known Russian coach has not been ruled out by the club.

This is the second time Gersonsky has been fired as head coach of Avangard. He was dismissed under similar circumstances in 2003, amid rumors of a conflict with players after a poor start to the season. Avangard fans must be hoping history repeats itself, since Omsk went on to win the RSL championship that season…

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2 Comments so far
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    I’m sure Jagr is having a blast, and that he was among the senior players that vetoed Hartley. I’m not surprised either, Hartley is known as a bit of a hard-ass. He had supposedly “lost his players confidence” in Atlanta after being swept out of the playoffs by the Rangers, and then after their subsequent 0-6 start. Unfortunately, in Hartley’s case, the wrong man was fired. GM Don Waddell has been dragging that franchise down since day one, and they fired the best thing they had going for them. I’m honestly surprised he couldn’t land a job in the NHL this year.

    Comment by Amos 09.16.08 @ 12:59 pm

    Amos, some people are suggesting the wrong man may have been fired in this case too. ;)

    But after swinging the Jagr coup this summer, Barding appears to be fairly bulletproof.

    Comment by laurie 09.16.08 @ 2:13 pm

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