According to a statement released earlier Tuesday by the KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk, former Capitals forward and noted Sasha Whisperer Viktor Kozlov has been named to a new position as “senior coach” with the team.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s head coach will be Czech National Team coach Josef Jandac.
According to the press release, “Metallurg Magnitogorsk signed a contract with Czech hockey specialist Josef Jandac, who will head up the masters squad. Viktor Kozlov was named senior coach. Jiri Kalous will be the assistant coach. [Each of] the contracts is for two years.”
Jandac has led the Czech National Team since the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, leading the squad to a fourth-place Olympic finish in 2018.
Kozlov was named acting head coach in early November 2017 after a struggling Metallurg dismissed Ilya Vorobyov. Under Kozlov, Metallurg finished the 2017-2018 season with a 32-17-7 record overall. The club advanced past Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the first round of the playoffs four games to two, before falling to eventual Eastern Conference Champions Ak Bars in five games.
The precise meaning of Kozlov’s “senior” coach title is not presently clear, as not every KHL team uses that role. SKA St. Petersburg uses an NHL-style “head” and “assistant” coach model. CSKA Moscow and Ak Bars, among others, have “senior” coaches. On Ak Bars, former Soviet All Star Aleksandr Smirnov’s role is primarily that of off-ice leader and mentor. CSKA’s Dmitry Yushkevich, reputed to be a hard-nosed and demanding coach, has described himself as playing a balance between the team’s lead disciplinarian and the head coach’s right-hand man.
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