The Russian hockey world was rocked on Saturday by the sudden loss of Sergei Gimaev. Gimaev suffered a heart attack during the second period of “The Match of Legends,” an alumni game for former Soviet hockey players that took place earlier today in Tula, Russia.
Several Russian players in the Capitals’ organization, including Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov, and goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov, paid tribute to Gimaev on social media.
A post shared by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on
Ovechkin’s post reads simply, “eternal memory…”
A post shared by Dmitry Orlov (@orlov_09) on
Orlov’s post reads “Eternal Memory Sergei Nailevich,” using the late coach’s first name and patronymic, which is the most formal and respectful way of addressing someone in Russian.
Samsonov, in a post on Russian social media site vkontakte.ru, eulogized Gimaev as “a person, whom everyone adored” and ” the top hockey expert in our country.”
Gimaev, a defenseman, played for the powerhouse CSKA Moscow teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s, alongside such other Soviet greats as Valeri Kharlamov and Vladislav Tretyak. Gimaev won eight national titles with CSKA before ending his playing career with SKA Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) in 1986.
Gimaev quickly stepped into the role of coach for the Soviet and later Russian youth teams, winning a European Junior Championship in 1996. In the 2000s, Gimaev became a prolific hockey commentator on various Russian TV networks, including Kanal Rossiya and MatchTV. His opinions and analysis were often featured on RMNB.
Gimaev is survived by his two children, including his son Sergei Sergeyevich Gimaev, a defenseman currently with Vityaz-Podolsk of the KHL.
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