|Based in||Omsk, Omsk Oblast|
|Head coach||Raimo Summanen|
|Affiliates||Ermak Angarsk (VHL)
Omskie Yastreby (MHL)
Yastreby Omsk (MHL-B)
Hockey Club Avangard (Russian: ХК Авангард, Vanguard), also known as Avangard Omsk Region, are a Russian professional ice hockey team from Siberia, based in the city of Omsk. They are members of the Chernyshev Division of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
- 1 Franchise history
- 2 Honors
- 3 Season-by-season KHL record
- 4 Players
- 5 Head coaches
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early years of Omsk hockey (1950–1972)
First amateur ice hockey teams in Omsk began to appear in 1950 formed by local bandy players. One of them was a hockey section of the Omsk Spartak sports society. Spartak Omsk was chosen to be the first Omsk hockey team in the 1950–51 RSFSR championship. In the 1955–56 season they also got a chance to represent the city in the Soviet Championship, joining its, then second level, Class B and recruiting the best hockey players from Omsk. Four seasons later the team finally won promotion to the top division.
Its first game in the major Soviet championship Spartak played on November 29, 1959 against Spartak (later Avtomobilist) Sverdlovsk. The first goal for Avangard was scored by Viktor Shevelev. In 1962 the team was assigned with a trade union of the Omsk airport and renamed as Aeroflot Omsk. Playing under its new name the Omsk team reached the 13th place overall, its biggest success during the original four season run in the top level of Soviet hockey. But that still wasn't enough to secure their position in the Class A after the subsequent reform of the championship, starting with the 1963–64 season Aeroflot joined a newly established A2 league. The first stars of that early period were defenseman Viktor Blinov and forward Viktor Shevelev.
Further realignment in 1966 drove Aeroflot out to the third level competition (Third group of the Class A). Next 1967–68 season the team was renamed once again as Kauchuk (Rubber) reflecting the change of the team's assignment to the Sibirsky Kauchuk combine. Shortly, for the 1969–70 season, the team was taken over by Yevgeny Babich who finished his coaching career in Omsk.
Late Soviet era (1972–1991)
In order to improve the performance of Omsk in the Soviet championship, in 1972 Kauchuk was merged with rival Lokomotiv Omsk into a single team called Khimik (Chemist). It led to an immediate promotion of the team in 1973. The next season was notable for being the first in the second level league after a seven years break, as well as the first to be played on artificial ice, although the games were still held at an outdoor stadium.
In 1975 Khimik Omsk was handled to the Omsk Tire Factory and became Shinnik (Tiremaker). In 1981 it was affiliated with Omsktransmash and got its current name, Avangard Omsk. In 1987 the players moved to the long awaited Irtysh Sports Complex, their first indoor arena.
Major league breakthrough (1991–1997)
In 1990, after 27 years of balancing between the second and the third divisions of Soviet hockey, Avangard finally got an opportunity to play in the qualification tournament for the top league. And even though Omsk players weren't successful that time the team was ultimately promoted to the elite after the 1991 series and joined the first and the last CIS championship. During that season Leonid Kiselev's Avangard surpassed the success of the 60s Aeroflot taking the 12th place.
Kiselev continued to coach Avangard on its way to become an acknowledged major club in the International Hockey League. For its inaugural season the team was joined by Yevgeni Shastin, a 1980s Soviet hockey star and an Omsk hockey school alumni. Finishing third in the Eastern Conference Omsk went on to the playoffs and advanced to the quarterfinals. After the lackluster 1993–94 season Avangard repeated that success in 1995 becoming second in the East and reutrning to the quarterfinals where it was stopped by that year's champions Dynamo Moscow
The history of 90s Avangard culminated in the 1995–96 season. Despite finishing second in the Eastern Conference the team was tied in points with Ufa's Salavat Yulaev after the final round (it was the only IHL season when the championship was decided separately from the cup playoffs), that led to a minor conflict between the teams and the league that was resolved with both Avangard and Salavat getting bronze medals. The main stars of that first ever medal roster of Omsk were Nikolai Marinenko, Oleg Kryazhev and Andrei Rasolko.
Duriing the next season, first in the newly estblised Superleague of the Russian Championship, Avangard was joined by forward Maxim Sushinsky, the most successful player of the upcoming era in the club's history.
Omsk Hawks (1997–2008)
After Kiselev's departure in October 1997 Valery Bardin became a new president, while IHL Cup winning coach Vladimir Golubovich took the head coach position. By the end of the season the team finished the 6th overall, but for the second season in a row lost the quarterfinal series to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. In the 1998–99 season this newly refreshed Avangard launched a rebranding campaign under the Omskie Yatreby (Омские Ястребы, Omsk Hawks) banner changing the logo to the modern one and the team colors to black and red. Omsk ended up fourth in the regular championship tying with Dynamo Moscow and became third in the league by attendance, but yet again couldn't advance to the semifinals after a 2-1 series with Torpedo Yaroslavl. In 1999 Golubovich's team also reached the third place in the IIHF Contninental Cup, the second level pan-European ice hockey club tournament, tying in points with that year's champions HC Ambrì-Piotta.
In the course of the 1999–2000 season the club decided to change the head coach for Gennady Tsygurov who came to rebuild the team turning to a young generation of local Omsk players, including future talents like Alexander Svitov and Egor Shastin. And even though that replacement damaged the club's position in the season table and didn't help Avangard to pass another quarterfinal series against their now established rival Metallurg Magnitogorsk the Zatonsky – Yakubov – Sushinsky line still finished that season as the most productive line in the league. During Tsygurov's tenure Yakubov was replaced by Alexander Prokopiev to form one of the most important lines in club's history. In the 2001-02 season Avangard's top trio was named the most productive line of the league. Its leader, Maxim Sushinsky, became a playoff MVP in the 2000-01, 2001-02 seasons and was picked for the 2002 Superleague all-star team. In 2000-01 the Hawks were also joined by native Omsk defenseman Kirill Koltsov, that season's rookie of the year. In 2001 the roster led by Sushinsky became the first Avangard team to reach the championship finals, but lost it to Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4-2. The next season was less successful for Omsk as they were once again stopped in semifinals by Metallurg.
During the early 2000s Avangard became one of the first Russian hockey clubs to invite high profile foreign players. Prior to the 2001-02 season they signed 2000 World Championship MVP Martin Procházka, in 2002 he was joined by two more Czech national team players, Pavel Patera and Tomáš Vlasák. Foremer teammates in Kladno and AIK Patera and Procházka formed an all-Czech offensive line in Omsk. The team's Czech reinforcement of 2002 was finalized when famed Olympics winning coach Ivan Hlinka became a head coach of Avangard.
Despite relative success of Hlinka's Avangard in both regular season performance, the Procházka – Patera – Vlasák line was named the most productive line in the league and Vlasák led the league in points, and playoffs, in the quarterfinals against Dynamo Avangard became the first RSL team ever to win a series from 2-0 down, the head coach was disappointed with the overall results. During the 2003 semifinals the team wasn't able to pass much weaker Severstal Cherepovets and eventually lost the third place games to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Finishing the season Hlinka decided to retire as a coach in favor of his career as an agent.
Avangard Omsk won the Russian Superleague in 2004, which qualified them for the inaugural IIHF European Champions Cup. They would be the first winners of that competition, beating Kärpät Oulu from Finland.
KHL history (2008–)
This season is considered to be one of the worst in the franchise history with the club's reputation being tarnished both on and off ice. During the summer, Anatoly Bardin, the GM, was kept busy bringing 18 new players in, including former Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Jaromir Jagr, John Grahame and Stanislav Chistov.
After an unconvincing start, the head coach Sergey Gersonskiy was sacked just 6 games into the season. He would later start legal proceedings against the club to obtain compensation that he was allegedly entitled to under his contract. After a number of hearings and appeals, Gersonskiy was awarded 1 million rubles, only a small proportion of what he originally claimed. Wayne Fleming was promptly appointed as the head coach.
On 13 October 2008, young Avangard Omsk forward Alexei Cherepanov died after collapsing on the bench during a game against Vityaz Chekhov. He played a shift with teammate Jaromír Jágr, and the two were talking on the bench shortly after they left the ice, when he suddenly collapsed. After being attended to on the bench, he was carried to the dressing room where he was revived for several brief moments before finally being rushed to an intensive care unit, but it was too late. The ambulance that is normally at all games had already departed and had to be called back; doctors arrived on the scene a 12 minutes after Cherepanov collapsed, and the battery on the defibrillator used to attempt to shock Cherepanov's heart back to life was drained. It took approximately 20 minutes to get him to a hospital. While in the care of Chekhov doctors, he was again resuscitated briefly on two occasions, before ultimately passing.
On 29 December 2008, Russian investigators revealed that he suffered from myocarditis, a condition where not enough blood gets to the heart, and that he should not have been playing professional hockey. The federal Investigative Committee also announced that a chemical analysis of Cherepanov's blood and urine samples allowed experts to conclude "that for several months Alexei Cherepanov engaged in doping". Official sources have stated the banned substance taken was nikethamide, a stimulant, and that it had been taken 3 hours prior to the game in which he passed.
Club director Mikhail Denisov has since been fired, whereas the league Disciplinary Committee has since removed Omsk's doctors from that role with the club, and has requested the suspension of GM Anatoly Bardin and team president Konstantin Potapov until the investigation being conducted by the Russian Federal Prosecutor's Office was concluded. Anatoly Bardin was eventually reinstated as the club's GM.
Meanwhile, Avangard's poor performance on the ice continued. This resulted in a bizarre incident when Anatoly Bardin asked Wayne Fleming to leave the bench during the second intermission of a home game against Vityaz Chekhov. In just under a month the head coach was relieved of his duties, and inexperienced Igor Nikitin was appointed as his replacement. Having finished the regular season on the 16th place, Avangard only just managed to get into the playoffs. However, they surprised everyone by knocking the regular season champions Salavat Yulaev Ufa out of the competition by winning 3 games to 1. Moreover, they were only 15 seconds away from defeating Ak Bars Kazan, the future champion of 2008-2009 season, in the second round but failed to hold on to their one-goal lead and went on to concede an overtime goal in the deciding match at TatNeft Arena.
The club made a few solid roster additions by signing Karri Rämö with Lasse Kukkonen in the summer and Anton Babchuk with Denis Kulyash during the season. However, a lack of quality players up front soon became apparent as Igor Nikitin, the head coach, was struggling to find players matching Jágr's ability to play in the first line, and the team found it difficult to achieve the results that the fans expected.
On 9 January 2010, a massive brawl broke out in a game against Vityaz Chekhov. The conflict started during pre-game warm-ups when Darcy Verot intentionally shot a puck at Lasse Kukkonen forcing Alexander Svitov to stand up for his team-mate. Soon after the game started Brandon Sugden challenged Svitov to another fight, which then involved all other 8 skaters on the ice. A number of other fights ensued resulting in a bench- and penalty-box clearing. The officials had to suspend the game just after 3 minutes 39 seconds in the first period as there were only four players left to play the game. A world record total of 840 penalty minutes were incurred during the game. The KHL imposed heavy fines on both teams, some players and the head coaches as well as disqualifying 6 Vityaz's players and Avangard's Dmitry Vlasenkov, who was first to leave the bench during a fight. The game was counted as a 5-0 defeat for both teams with no points being awarded.
The brawl appeared to give the team a morale boost as they went on to win the next six games. However, mediocrity soon returned, and Igor Nikitin was replaced by Raimo Summanen just hours before the playoffs started. The new head coach failed to deliver as the team suffered three straight defeats at the hands of Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk and was eliminated at the first hurdle.
Season-by-season KHL record
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, OTW = Overtime/Shootout Wins, OTL = Overtime/Shootout Losses, L = Losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, Pts = Points
|2008–09||56||19||8||24||5||78||161||164||4th, Kharlamov||Jaromir Jagr (53 points: 25 G, 28 A; 55 GP)||Lost in Quarterfinals, 3–2 (Ak Bars Kazan)|
|2009–10||56||24||4||18||10||90||152||128||2nd, Chernyshev||Jaromir Jagr (42 points: 22 G, 20 A; 51 GP)||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 3-0 (Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk)|
|2010–11||54||31||11||9||3||118||176||120||1st, Chernyshev||Roman Červenka (60 points: 31 G, 30 A; 51 GP)||Lost in Conference Semifinals, 3-4 (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)|
|2011–12||54||26||5||18||5||93||133||115||1st, Chernyshev||Roman Červenka (39 points: 23 G, 16 A; 54 GP)||Lost in Finals, 4–3 (Dynamo Moscow)|
|2012–13||52||26||9||11||6||102||149||121||1st, Chernyshev||Tomáš Záborský (41 points: 21 G, 20 A; 52 GP)||Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (Traktor Chelyabinsk)|
|2013–14||54||17||6||25||6||69||136||162||5th, Chernyshev||Alexander Perezhogin (36 points: 16 G, 20 A; 53 GP)||Did not qualify|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Avangard Omsk.|
All-time KHL scoring leaders
'Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes, PPG = Powerplay Goals, SHG = Shorthanded Goals, GWG = Game Winning Goals'
- Vladimir Kukushkin, 1955–58
- Valentin Skibinsky, 1958–60
- Vladimir Kukushkin, 1960–62
- Alexander Prilepsky, 1962–63
- Vladimir Murashov, 1963–64
- Mikhail Zaitsev, 1964
- Nikolai Koksharov, 1964–66
- Yevgeny Dzeyarsky, 1965–66
- Valentin Skibinsky, 1966–69
- Yevgeny Babich, 1969–70
- Ivan Krachevsky, 1970–74
- Yury Romanenko, 1974–76
- Mark Sudat, 1976–82
- Leonid Shchukin, 1982–83
- Alexander Tychkin, 1983–87
- Leonid Kiselev, 1987–97
- Vladimir Golubovich, 1997–00
- Gennady Tsygurov, 2000–02
- Ivan Hlinka, 2002–03
- Sergei Gersonsky, 2003
- Valery Belousov, 2003–07
- Sergei Gersonsky, 2007–08
- Wayne Fleming, 2008–09
- Igor Nikitin, 2009–10
- Raimo Summanen, 2010–11
- Rostislav Čada, 2011
- Raimo Summanen, 2011–12
- Petri Matikainen, 2012–2013
- Miloš Říha, 2013–2014
- Raimo Summanen, 2014–
- "Суд обязал "Авангард" выплатить Герсонскому около миллиона рублей" (in Russian). Sports.ru. 2009-06-11.
- "Investigator: Hockey player had heart problems". Associated Press. 2008-10-14. Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
- "Черепанов потерял сознание во время матча с "Витязем"" (in Russian). Sports.ru. 2008-10-13.
- "Russian investigators say Cherepanov was 'doping'". The Sports Network. 2008-12-29.
- "Ranger Prospect Cherepanov Dies During KHL Game". The Sports Network. 2008-10-13.
- "Prospect Cherepanov Passes Away at 19". newyorkrangers.com. 2008-10-13.
- "Заявление Континентальной хоккейной лиги по итогам расследования обстоятельств смерти хоккеиста Алексея Черепанова". KHL.ru. 2008-12-30.
- "ESPN: Флеминг сохранит пост главного тренера "Авангарда"" (in Russian). Sports.ru. 2009-01-11.
- "Флеминг отправлен в отставку с поста главного тренера "Авангарда"" (in Russian). Sports.ru. 2009-01-30.
- "KHL hands out fines, suspensions for brawl". Yahoo! Sports. 2010-01-10.
- "Both teams lose". KHL. 2010-01-10.
- "Avangard in retreat". KHL. 2010-03-12.
- "HK Avangard Roster" (in Russian). www.hawk.ru. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "Avangard Omsk Region team roster". www.khl.ru. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
- "Avangard Omsk plays first game without Cherepanov". The Sports Network. 2008-10-20.
- Avangard Omsk KHL Scoring Leaders | QuantHockey.com Retrieved March 26, 2011.