Russia men's national ice hockey team
The coat of arms of Russia is the badge used on the players jerseys.
(The Red Machine)
|Association||Russian Hockey Federation|
|Head coach||Ilya Vorobiev|
|Highest IIHF||1 (first in 2009)|
|Lowest IIHF||7 (2004)|
(Saint Petersburg, Russia; 12 April 1992)
(Bolzano, Italy; 26 April 1994)
(Riga, Latvia; 6 May 2006)
(Moscow, Russia; 12 May 2016)
(Cologne, Germany; 7 May 2017)
(Helsinki, Finland; 22 April 1997)
(Moscow, Russia; 20 December 1997)
|IIHF World Championships|
|Appearances||26 (first in 1992)|
|Appearances||3 (first in 1996)|
|Best result||4th (1996, 2016)|
|Appearances||7 (first in 1994)|
The Russian men's national ice hockey team (Russian: Сборная России по хоккею с шайбой) is the national men's ice hockey team of Russia, overseen by the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia. As of 2018, they are rated second in the IIHF World Ranking. The team has been competing internationally since 1992, and is recognized by the IIHF as the successor to the Soviet Union team and CIS team. The Russian team is a member of the so-called "Big Six", the unofficial group of the six strongest men's ice hockey nations, along with Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and the United States. The European nations of the Big Six participate in the Euro Hockey Tour, which Russia won seven times since 2005. Russia has 84,270 ice hockey players registered with its ice hockey federation, about 0.05% of its population. The head coach is Ilya Vorobiev, who has been coach since 2018.
Since the establishment of the team, Russia has participated in every IIHF World Championships tournament and every Olympic ice hockey tournament, winning five world championships and one Olympic gold.
The Allrussian Hockey League was founded by some clubs in the Russian Empire and entered the International Ice Hockey Federation in 1911. However, probably due to misunderstandings ("hockey" was identified with bandy in Russia, not with the modern ice hockey rules developed in Canada) the Russian team was excluded from the organization. There were no matches involving a team from Imperial Russia.
Interest in this exotic sport grew in the Soviet Union in the 2nd half of the 1940s. The first reactions were skeptical; one sports journal, Physical Culture and Sports, characterized it as such: "The game is quite individual and primitive, with few combinations, not as in bandy. Therefore, Canadian hockey should not be cultivated into our country..." However, Canadian hockey became more and more popular in the Soviet Union.
The first Soviet Championships League was introduced in 1946. Two years later the Muscovian team defeated LTC Praha in their very first international game. In 1952, the Hockey Federation of the USSR joined the International Ice Hockey League, and so received the permission to play in the World Championships and the Olympics. That year is seen as the birth of the Soviet national ice hockey team, the predecessor team of the Russia men's national ice hockey team. The Soviets won the 1954 Ice Hockey World Championships, and two years later they won gold at the 1956 Winter Olympics.
From then until the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the "Red Machine" (Russian: Красная Машина; Krasnaya Mashina) was one of the most dominant teams in international play, winning nearly every World Championship and Olympic tournament. Until 1977, professional players were not able to participate in the World Championship, and it was not until 1988 that they could play in the Winter Olympics. The Soviet team was populated with amateur players who were actually full-time athletes hired as regular workers of a company (aircraft industry, food workers, tractor industry) or organization (KGB, Red Army, Soviet Air Force) that sponsored what would be presented as an after-hours social sports society hockey team for their workers.
After the USSR's Dissolution
The Soviet Union dissolved shortly before the 1992 Winter Olympics, so a Unified Team largely consisting of the former Soviet republics competed instead. The CIS national ice hockey team, consisting of 21 Russians players, 1 Lithuanian, and 1 Ukrainian, competed as part of this Olympic delegation, winning the gold medal under the Russian and former Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov. In later years, the IIHF recognized this gold medal as being won by the Russian national team, rather than by the CIS, despite the Russian hockey federation having not been formed until over two months after the tournament. However, the International Olympic Committee has never recognized Russia as being Olympic champions in hockey.
Russia joined the IIHF as an independent state on May 6, 1992, along with 10 other states, including seven other former Soviet republics. Unlike the others, which applied as new member states and had to begin playing at the bottom tiers of the World Championship, Russia was allowed to replace the Soviet Union in its position, and was thus entered into the elite division for the 1992 World Championship. Russia's first actual games after the Soviet dissolution were a series of five friendly games between Sweden, Germany and Switzerland, all taking place in April 1992, the debut game taking place on 12 April 1992 against Sweden, which ended in a 2–2 draw. At the World Championships Russia lost to Sweden in the quarterfinals, 2–0. They won the 1993 World Championship, their first as Russia and 23rd including the USSR's totals.
The Post-Soviet Drought
As the USSR fell apart, so did Russia's Elite Hockey Program. At the 1994 Winter Olympics they finished fourth overall, losing the bronze medal match to Finland. Russia also competed at the 1996 World Cup, the successor tournament to the Canada Cup, though several players on NHL teams refused to play and the team lost in the semi-finals to the eventual winner, the United States. They were missing several players for the 1998 Winter Olympics as well, but reached the gold medal match, ultimately losing to the Czech Republic.
The Russian Resurgence
The Bykov Period
After failing to win the Gold Medal between 1993 and 2007, the Russians restructured the national league as the KHL and hired the 1993 Champion, Vyacheslav Bykov as the head coach. Another 1993 champion, Sergey Federov was named as the team captain. As a result, Russia won the 2008 and 2009 World Ice Hockey Championships with perfect records. The Russians would make another stellar run in 2010, losing to the Czech Republic in the finals. However the disastrous 2011 season led to Bykov's removal. In the 2014-2015 season, Bykov was able to redeem himself when he led SKA, St. Petersburg to the finals of the Gagarin Cup. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Swiss National Hockey League.
Bilyaletdinov at the Helm
Bykov was replaced with Bilyaletdinov, under whose leadership Russia won the 2012 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships with yet another perfect record. However, as a result of the 2013 Championship and 2014 Olympic performances, Bilyaletdinov was replaced with Oleg Znarok, the head coach of the Moscow Dynamo. Bilyaletdinov returned to his home in Kazan, coaching Ak Bars Kazan, one of the best teams in the Kontinental Hockey League.
The Znarok Years
Znarok approved the choice, leading the Russians to the Gold Medal in the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championships, with a perfect record. The 2014 tournament result set the most perfect records in the IIHF World Championships. For this accomplishment, the Russian men's national ice hockey team was honored in the Kremlin in 2014.
In each subsequent tournament, Russia earned a medal, including the Silver Medal in 2015, and the Bronze Medals in 2016 and 2017. The team also reached the semifinals of the World Cup, losing to Canada, the eventual champions.
In 2018, the Russian Olympic Committee was disqualified by the International Olympic Committee for doping, but the Russian National Team was allowed to participate under the Olympic flag as the Olympic Athletes from Russia, and could recruit any professional Russian hockey players with no previous drug violations, and a consistent history of drug testing. The team won the gold medal after a 4–3 overtime victory over the German team in the final. In its post-Olympics World Ranking, the IIHF considered this to be a result of the Russian team.
After the Olympics, Znarok was moved in a consulting role with the Russian National Team. He can retire as Russia's most decorated modern head coach, with a World Championship, an Olympic Gold Medal, and a Euro Hockey Tour Victory under his belt. His only criticism was that he favored SKA and CSKA for national player selection.
Vorobiev as Head Coach
Ilya Vorobiev was hired as the interim head coach of the Russian National Hockey Team, and been given the tasks to win the Euro Hockey Tour and the 2018 IIHF World Championship. His contract will be reviewed in June. Vorobiev served on the coaching staff of Metallurg Magnitogorsk since from 2012 to 2017, and on the Russian National Team's coaching staff from 2015 until March 2018 as an assistant coach, and currently serves that role as a head coach. Under Vorobiev, the Russian Team had a 1-5 record at the European Hockey Tour, which contrasts sharply with Znarok's 5-1 record. Vorobiev became the first Russian head coach to hold a 6-8 overall record after the Euro Hockey Tour and the World Championship, and the first to hold a 1-8 record against the other top six hockey teams. Russia's sixth place finish was unseen since 2013, which contributed to Bilyaletdinov's dismissal as head coach.
|1956–1988||As part of |
|As part of |
|8||4||4||0||26||24||Viktor Tikhonov||Alexander Smirnov||4th|
|6||5||1||0||26||12||Vladimir Yurzinov||Pavel Bure|
|6||3||2||1||19||14||Viacheslav Fetisov||Igor Larionov|
|8||5||3||0||25||18||Vladimir Krikunov||Alexei Kovalev||4th|
|4||2||2||0||16||13||Vyacheslav Bykov||Alexei Morozov||6th|
|5||3||2||0||13||8||Zinetula Bilyaletdinov||Pavel Datsyuk||5th|
|6||5||1||0||27||9||Oleg Znarok||Pavel Datsyuk|
|1992||Prague / Bratislava, Czechoslovakia||5th place|
|1993||Dortmund / Munich, Germany||Gold|
|1994||Bolzano / Canazei / Milan, Italy||5th place|
|1995||Stockholm / Gävle, Sweden||5th place|
|1996||Vienna, Austria||4th place|
|1997||Helsinki / Turku / Tampere, Finland||4th place|
|1998||Zurich / Basel, Switzerland||5th place|
|1999||Oslo / Lillehammer / Hamar, Norway||5th place|
|2000||Saint Petersburg, Russia||11th place|
|2001||Cologne / Hanover / Nuremberg, Germany||6th place|
|2002||Gothenburg / Karlstad / Jönköping, Sweden||Silver|
|2003||Helsinki / Tampere / Turku, Finland||7th place|
|2004||Prague / Ostrava, Czech Republic||10th place|
|2005||Innsbruck / Vienna, Austria||Bronze|
|2006||Riga, Latvia||5th place|
|2007||Moscow / Mytishchi, Russia||Bronze|
|2008||Quebec City / Halifax, Canada||Gold|
|2009||Bern / Kloten, Switzerland||Gold|
|2010||Cologne / Mannheim / Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Silver|
|2011||Bratislava / Košice, Slovakia||4th place|
|2012||Helsinki, Finland / Stockholm, Sweden||Gold|
|2013||Helsinki, Finland / Stockholm, Sweden||6th place|
|2015||Prague / Ostrava, Czech Republic||Silver|
|2016||Moscow / Saint Petersburg, Russia||Bronze|
|2017||Cologne, Germany / Paris, France||Bronze|
|2018||Copenhagen / Herning, Denmark||6th place|
|1996 World Cup of Hockey||5||2||3||0||19||19||Boris Mikhailov||Viacheslav Fetisov||4th|
|2004 World Cup of Hockey||4||2||2||0||12||11||Zinetula Bilyaletdinov||Alexei Kovalev||5th|
|2016 World Cup of Hockey||4||2||2||0||11||10||Oleg Znarok||Alexander Ovechkin||4th|
Euro Hockey Tour
The Euro Hockey Tour started in 1996, between the quartet of European nations of the Big Six nations of ice hockey. It ran continuously ever since, and is currently in its 22nd season. The usual format is to have the teams play against each other four times, once in Finland, once in Russia, once in Sweden, and once in the Czech Republic. Sometimes there are deviations from the format, if additional nations, such as Canada, are invited to compete. Russia won 5 out of the last 10 competitions.
- Karjala Tournament:
- Channel One Cup:
- Oddset Hockey Games:
Russia's League Euro Hockey Tour (EHT) Cup Medal Table
|Channel One Cup||11||5||5||21|
|Oddset Hockey Games||5||3||10||18|
|Czech Hockey Games||5||4||5||14|
Team EHT Medal Table
EHT 2017-2018 Standings
Roster for the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
Head coach: Ilya Vorobiev
|3||D||Dinar Khafizullin||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)||84 kg (185 lb)||January 5, 1989|
|4||D||Vladislav Gavrikov||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)||97 kg (214 lb)||November 21, 1995|
|7||F||Kirill Kaprizov||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)||87 kg (192 lb)||April 26, 1997|
|11||F||Sergei Andronov – A||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||86 kg (190 lb)||July 19, 1989|
|13||F||Pavel Datsyuk – C||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)||88 kg (194 lb)||July 20, 1978|
|15||F||Artem Anisimov||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)||86 kg (190 lb)||May 24, 1988|
|19||F||Pavel Buchnevich||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||88 kg (194 lb)||April 17, 1995|
|22||D||Nikita Zaitsev||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)||89 kg (196 lb)||October 29, 1991|
|25||F||Mikhail Grigorenko||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)||95 kg (209 lb)||May 16, 1994|
|29||F||Ilya Kablukov||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)||88 kg (194 lb)||January 18, 1988|
|30||G||Igor Shestyorkin||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)||85 kg (187 lb)||December 30, 1995|
|31||G||Ilya Sorokin||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||78 kg (172 lb)||August 4, 1995|
|41||F||Nikita Soshnikov||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)||85 kg (187 lb)||October 14, 1993|
|44||D||Egor Yakovlev||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)||83 kg (183 lb)||September 17, 1991|
|51||D||Alexei Bereglazov||1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)||92 kg (203 lb)||April 20, 1994|
|55||D||Bogdan Kiselevich||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)||94 kg (207 lb)||February 14, 1990|
|63||F||Evgenii Dadonov – A||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)||84 kg (185 lb)||March 12, 1989|
|66||F||Ilya Mikheyev||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)||88 kg (194 lb)||October 10, 1994|
|78||F||Maxim Mamin||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||91 kg (201 lb)||January 13, 1995|
|83||G||Vasily Koshechkin||2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)||110 kg (240 lb)||March 27, 1983|
|87||F||Maxim Shalunov||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)||90 kg (200 lb)||January 31, 1993|
|88||D||Nikita Tryamkin||2.02 m (6 ft 8 in)||116 kg (256 lb)||August 30, 1994|
|89||D||Nikita Nesterov||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)||83 kg (183 lb)||March 28, 1993|
|94||F||Alexander Barabanov||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)||89 kg (196 lb)||June 17, 1994|
|97||F||Nikita Gusev||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)||76 kg (168 lb)||July 8, 1992|
- 1994 – Viktor Tikhonov
- 1998 – Vladimir Yurzinov (Pyotr Vorobyov, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov)
- 2002 – Viacheslav Fetisov (Vladimir Yurzinov, Vladislav Tretiak)
- 2006 – Vladimir Krikunov (Vladimir Yurzinov, Boris Mikhailov)
- 2010 – Vyacheslav Bykov (Igor Zakharkin)
- 2014 – Zinetula Bilyaletdinov (Valery Belov, Dmitry Yushkevich, Igor Nikitin, Valeri Belousov, Vladimir Myshkin)
- 2018 – Oleg Znarok (Harijs Vītoliņš, Ilya Vorobyov, Rashit Davydov, Igor Nikitin, Alexei Zhamnov)
- World Championships
- 1993 – Boris Mikhailov (Pyotr Vorobyov, Igor Tuzik, Gennady Tsygurov)
- 1994 – Boris Mikhailov (Pyotr Vorobyov, Igor Tuzik, Gennady Tsygurov)
- 1995 – Boris Mikhailov (Pyotr Vorobyov, Igor Tuzik, Gennady Tsygurov)
- 1996 – Vladimir Vasiliev (Gennady Tsygurov, Viktor Tikhonov)
- 1997 – Igor Dmitriev (Boris Mikhailov, Igor Tuzik)
- 1998 – Vladimir Yurzinov (Pyotr Vorobyov, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov)
- 1999 – Alexander Yakushev (Pyotr Vorobyov, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov)
- 2000 World Championships – Alexander Yakushev (Pyotr Vorobyov, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov)
- 2001 World Championships – Boris Mikhailov (Valeri Belousov, Vladimir Krikunov )
- 2002 – Boris Mikhailov (Valeri Belousov, Vladimir Krikunov)
- 2003 – Vladimir Plyushchev (Alexander Yakushev, Nikolai Tolstikov)
- 2004 – Viktor Tikhonov
- 2005 – Vladimir Krikunov (Vladimir Yurzinov, Boris Mikhailov)
- 2006 – Vladimir Krikunov (Vladimir Yurzinov, Boris Mikhailov)
- 2007 – Vyacheslav Bykov (Igor Zakharkin)
- 2008 – Vyacheslav Bykov (Igor Zakharkin)
- 2009 – Vyacheslav Bykov (Igor Zakharkin)
- 2010 – Vyacheslav Bykov (Igor Zakharkin, Valeri Bragin, Andrei Nazarov)
- 2011 – Vyacheslav Bykov (Igor Zakharkin)
- 2012 – Zinetula Bilyaletdinov (Valery Belov, Dmitry Yushkevich, Igor Nikitin, Vladimir Myshkin)
- 2013 – Zinetula Bilyaletdinov (Valery Belov, Dmitry Yushkevich, Igor Nikitin, Vladimir Myshkin)
- 2014 – Oleg Znarok (Harijs Vītoliņš, Vladimir Fedosov, Igor Nikitin, Yuri Zhdanov, Rashit Davydov, Oleg Kupryanov)
- 2015 – Oleg Znarok (Harijs Vītoliņš, Vladimir Fedosov, Igor Nikitin, Yuri Zhdanov, Rashit Davydov, Oleg Kupryanov)
- 2016 – Oleg Znarok (Harijs Vītoliņš, Ilya Vorobyov, Rashit Davydov, Igor Nikitin)
- 2017 – Oleg Znarok (Harijs Vītoliņš, Ilya Vorobyov, Rashit Davydov, Igor Nikitin)
- World Cup
- Some controversy exists over how many Olympic gold medals should be attributed to the Russian national team. The IIHF and Ice Hockey Federation of Russia consider Russia to have won gold at the Olympics twice, attributing the 1992 gold medal victory to the Russian national team as the immediate successor of the CIS team, as well as the 2018 gold medal victory by the Russian team. However, the International Olympic Committee does not recognize Russia as ever having won the gold medal in an Olympic tournament, as the 1992 and 2018 tournaments were won by athletes from the Unified Team and Olympic Athletes from Russia delegations, respectively, and not by a Russian delegation.
- "World Ranking released". International Ice Hockey Federation. 25 February 2018.
- "NHL announces World Cup of Hockey for 2016". The Canadian Press. 2015-01-24. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Russia IIHF". Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- IIHF (2008). "Team with no name wins Olympic gold". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
- IIHF. "OLYMPIC ICE HOCKEY TOURNAMENTS, MEN". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
- IOC (2018). "ICE HOCKEY MEN". olympic.org. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
- Stepan Chaushyan (2013-12-10). "Олимпийские надежды: сборная России по хоккею" [Olympic Hopes: The Russian Hockey Team] (in Russian). Argumenty i Fakty. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- "Строительство "красной машины". Часть 1" [The Construction of the "Red Machine". Part 1] (in Russian). Russian Hockey Federation. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- IIHF (2008). "Soviets hammer Canada, win gold at their first Worlds". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- IIHF (2008). "Team with no name wins Olympic gold". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- IIHF (2008). "PROTESTING AMATEUR RULES, CANADA LEAVES INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
- Coffey, p. 59
- IIHF (2008). "Breakup of old Europe creates a new hockey world". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- All Matches of the Russian Team (1991-1992)
- Nadel, Mike (1998-02-22). "Czechs Win Hockey Gold". APNewArchive.com. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- "Channel One Cup". Euro-Hockey-Tour. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
- 2018 IIHF World Championship roster
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