HC Donbass

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HC Donbass.png
Full name

Hockey Club Donbas

  • HC Kolbiko-Donetsk (2005–06)
Nickname(s) The Red & Black
Donbas Donetsk
Founded December 2005
Based in Donetsk
Arena Druzhba Arena
(capacity: 4,130)
League Kontinental Hockey League
Division Tarasov
Conference Western
Team colors                    
Owner(s) Ukraine Borys Kolesnikov
GM Ukraine Serhiy Shakurov
Captain Ukraine Ruslan Fedotenko
Affiliates Bilyi Bars (PHL)
Molodaya Gvardia (MHL)
Donetsk Bears (junior)
Website HCDonbas.com

Hockey Club Donbas (Ukrainian: Хокейний Клуб Донбас; Russian: ХК Донбасс, tr. Hokeinyi Klub Donbas) is a Ukrainian professional ice hockey team based in Donetsk. The team was a member of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) during the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons,[1] and was the sole representative from Ukraine competing at the elite international level. Due to the War in Donbass, the team did not compete in the 2014–15 KHL season and the ongoing situation leaves the club's future uncertain.

Borys Kolesnikov, a prominent Ukrainian politician and businessman, purchased the team in 2010,[2] and from then until 2014 it was the most successful hockey club in Ukraine. The team takes its name from its geographic location in the heart of the Donets Basin (Donbas).

The club was founded in 2005 as Hockey Club Kolbiko-Donetsk and took part in the XIV Ukrainian Championship by competing in the First League. After 3 years of competing only in tournament play, the club returned to the Ukrainian Hockey Championship, and ascended to the Ukrainian Major League. In its 4 seasons of national competition beginning in 2008, the franchise won its first national title in 2011, before joining the Russian Major Hockey League (VHL). The team also won the IIHF Continental Cup 2013, becoming the first team from Ukraine to do so.[3] Following the 2010–11 season, Donbass split into two teams with their affiliate, Donbass-2, representing the organization in the Professional Hockey League of Ukraine. Donbass-2 won its first title in 2012 during the inaugural PHL season, and its second title the following season for the organization. In 2013, Bilyi Bars began acting as HC Donbass' PHL affiliate, dissolving Donbass-2.[4]

Franchise history[edit]


The Donbas Hockey Club founded as a successor to the original Donbass team formed in June 2001 in Sievierodonetsk.[5] This original team, in turn, was a spiritual successor to previous Donetsk teams KOOPERATOR (from 1990) and NORD (from 1993).[5] The original Donbass club made its first appearance in 2001, participating in Belarus' entry division and the Major League of the Ukrainian Hockey Championship, earning bronze medals in each league's finals. However, shortly thereafter, the team would dissolve.[6] Following the team's dissolution, most former Donbass players would go on to join Khimik Sievierodonetsk of the Ukrainian Major League.[5] In 2014 the team announced it will be playing in the Professional Hockey League due to the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine and its home rink burning down.

Founding and competition (2005–2009)[edit]

In December 2005 the team was re-founded by a group of local Donetsk players, then playing in Sievierodonetsk, who wanted to represent Donetsk within the league. The club was created under the name HC Kolbiko-Donetsk (Russian: Колбико-Донецк),[5] (after the team's sponsor, Kolbiko Meats),[7] and applied for participation as an amateur team in the First League, a division of the annual Ukrainian Hockey Championship. A lack of artificial ice in Donetsk forced the team to practice on a lake in Yasynuvata.[6] The two-game competition took place between January 31 and February 3, 2006, and on only three weeks of practice,[6] the team still managed to top its respective division, and win the finals match against the Kharkiv Olympic Reserve Sports School (SDYuSShOR). Donbass would lose to ATEK Kyiv in the following playoff, failing to earn promotion to Major League.[6] Between 2006 and 2008, First League play was cancelled, but the team did compete in a series of tournaments and re-adopted the original Donbass club name, crest, and colours.

In 2008 the team returned to competition in the Ukrainian Hockey Championship, participating in the Eastern Division of the Ukrainian Major League; finishing 1st and leading the division in all offensive categories.[8] Donbass was able to sweep HC Verony in the qualifying round, and Ekspres Lviv due to forfeiture, but were themselves swept by HC Kharkiv 2-0.[8]

Kolesnikov ownership and the Major League (2009–2011)[edit]

Serhiy Varlamov was named to the 2012 All-Ukrainian All Star Team for his play with Donbass

The XVIII Ukrainian Championship for the first time saw Donbass compete at the highest level of the nation; this time, competing in the "A" Division of the Major League against the likes of repeat national champions, Sokil Kyiv. However, the rise in competition meant the team would only place 5th, and lose in the quarterfinals to Bilyi Bars. Fortunes for the club changed in 2010 when owner and prominent Ukrainian businessman Borys Kolesnikov gained full control of the team,[2] making them the most financially secure team in the history of Ukrainian hockey.[9] The first influential addition to the club was former Sokil Kyiv head coach, Aleksandr Kulikov. Under Kulikov, the team would extend a record 27-game win streak in the Ukrainian Hockey Championship. This year, Donbass was capable of sweeping HC Kharkiv, and would also in an upset victory sweep Sokil to win the national championship for the first time.[10] With the win, Donbass became the first non-Kiev-based team to win the national title and began a new era of Donetsk as the epicentre of Ukrainian hockey.[6]

The win also secured the club's entry into the 2011–12 IIHF Continental Cup, the third round of which was hosted in Donetsk. Donbass secured a berth in the Super Final, falling to the host Dragons de Rouen in the final game 5-2.[11] Vladimir Malevich of Donbass took home honors as the best defenseman of the tournament.[12]

Russian Major League (2011–12)[edit]

Following the 2011 Ukrainian League season, Donbass applied for and was given membership to the Russian Major League. A vast majority of championship winning roster from the 2010–11 season were cut from the roster as the team rebuilt for its freshman year in the VHL. While the primary team would compete in Russia, Donbass also iced a team in the newly formed Professional Hockey League of Ukraine, Donbass-2. Like its parent club the year prior, Donbass-2 secured the second consecutive national title for the franchise, again defeating Sokil in the final.

In July 2011, Donbass trained for the upcoming season in Ontario and held an exhibition game against the Ontario Hockey League all-star team. Donbass won the fight-filled game 4–1 and was reported to have garnered overwhelming fan support from the local Ukrainian diaspora, accounting for approximately 500 of the 550 in attendance.[13]

On September 23, 2011, owner Borys Kolesnikov elevated his role to that of team president over Serhiy Shakurov, who had held the role with the club since its inception in 2006.[14]

Kontinental Hockey League[edit]

Donbass played its first KHL game on September 6, 2012 at Slovan Bratislava, winning 4-2. Evgeny Belukhin scored the first goal in Donbass' KHL history.[15] Due to the 2012 NHL lockout, the team was able to sign Ukrainian NHLers Ruslan Fedotenko, Alexei Ponikarovsky, and Anton Babchuk during the 2012-13 season,[16] with the team's budget reaching approximately $25 million.[17] Following the season the team hosted the 2013 KHL junior draft.[18]

In the 2013-14 KHL season, Donbass moved from the Bobrov to the Tarasov division.[19]

At the end of the 2013–14 KHL regular season Donbass finished 4th in the Western Conference, and qualified to the playoffs of the Gagarin Cup for the first time. Donbass also set a KHL record for the fewest number of goals against in a regular season with 99.[20] In the first round, Donbass defeated Dinamo Riga 4 games to 3 before falling to Lev Prague in the Western Conference Semi-Finals 4 games to 2. In the second game of the series with Lev, the teams set a record for the longest game in the history of the Kontinental Hockey League. The game was won 4-3 by Donbass, and lasted for 126 minutes and 13 seconds before Evgeny Belukhin scored the winning goal.[21] Due to political events occurring in Ukraine at the time, the third and fourth games of the series, scheduled for Donetsk, were played in Bratislava. The series returned to Donetsk for Game 6, which Lev won 1-0 to finish Donbass's season. At the end of the season HC Donbass was named the 2013 Best Sports Club of Ukraine at the Heroes of Sports Year awards.[22]

On the night of May 26, 2014 Druzhba Arena was ransacked by pro-Russian militants of the Donetsk People's Republic as part of the ongoing wave of violence in Ukraine. The men looted the arena, stealing televisions, safety deposit boxes, equipment and a company car before destroying surveillance equipment – after which they set the arena on fire. The team's statement was issued to the public, condemning the so-called Donetsk Republic as "a real gang of Somali pirates."[23] HC Donbass initially expected the arena to be operational within 90 days and fully restored by the start of the KHL season,[24] which never happened.

Kalmius Arena[edit]

Donbass's new home, Kalmius Arena,[25] will seat 12,800 for hockey.[26] It was initially expected to be operational by the 2014-15 season, although the project is currently on hold.[27]

2014/15 suspension of operations[edit]

On June 18, 2014, the KHL President Alexander Medvedev met with the leadership of Donbass to discuss the team's situation. The parties agreed that HC Donbass would take a one-year "sabbatical" from operations.[28] The team bought an equity stake in the league and, as a result, would theoretically be guaranteed a place in the competition for the 2015-16 season, although the ongoing War in Donbass combined with the league's financial situation leave the future uncertain. In order to ensure the team's ability to compete upon its return, all rosters and contracts have been frozen. Players and coaches affected by the suspension were permitted to sign one-year contracts with other clubs but otherwise remain under contract to Donbass.[29]

Team identity[edit]


The team's original colours of 2001 were blue and grey and featured a logo representing a hockey puck, with a hockey stick overlain. On November 14, 2008 the club changed their logo and team colours to the current scheme of red, black, and white. As part of this change, the team's name was changed from the Ukrainian spelling (Хокейний Клуб Донбас, Khokeinyi Klub Donbas) to Russian (Хоккейный Клуб Донбасс, Khokkeynyi Klub Donbass). The team again altered its logo in 2010, where it remains currently. The modern Donbass logos feature prominently two spoil tips, which represent the city's strong ties to the steel and coal mining industry. The change from a metallic script to white is meant to symbolize "a blank page".[30]



Affiliate honours[edit]

Farm-club HC Donbass-2:

Farm-club Bilyi Bars:


Individual honours[edit]

Ukrainian Ice Hockey Player of the Year

Slovakian Goalkeeper of the Year

Seasons and records[edit]

Season by season results[edit]

League history and results[edit]

Kontinental Hockey League Russian Major League Ukrainian Hockey Championship Ukrainian Hockey Championship Ukrainian Hockey Championship 2012–13 KHL season 2012–13 KHL season

Players and personnel[edit]

Kontinental Hockey League roster[edit]

Updated July 23, 2014.[35][36]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
42 Ukraine Berezin, DmytroDmytro Berezin G L 22 2012 Novosibirsk, Russia
26 Ukraine Fedotenko, RuslanRuslan Fedotenko (C) LW L 36 2013 Kiev, Ukrainian SSR
72 Czech Republic Kolář, JanJan Kolář D L 28 2012 Pardubice, Czechoslovakia
90 Ukraine Kvitchenko, MaximMaxim Kvitchenko F R 25 2012 Kiev, Ukrainian SSR
14 Czech Republic Nedorost, VáclavVáclav Nedorost C L 33 2012 České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia
37 Slovakia Podhradsky, PeterPeter Podhradsky D R 35 2012 Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
16 Canada Robitaille, RandyRandy Robitaille C L 39 2013 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Ukraine Shalimov, VladislavVladislav Shalimov RW R 22 2012 Belovo, Russia
44 Ukraine Varlamov, SerhiySerhiy Varlamov LW L 37 2011 Kiev, Ukrainian SSR
15 Finland Wirtanen, PetteriPetteri Wirtanen C L 29 2012 Hyvinkää, Finland

Team captains[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

KHL draft picks[edit]

Player Hometown Origin Drafted from Year Round Overall Ref
D Lindholm, HampusHampus Lindholm Helsingborg  Sweden Rögle BK 2012 01 030 [51]
C Karlsson, ErikErik Karlsson Lerum  Sweden Frölunda HC 2012 02 068 [52][53]
C Morozov, EgorEgor Morozov Tolyatti  Russia HC Lada 2012 03 104 [51]0
C Ikonen, HenriHenri Ikonen Savonlinna  Finland KalPa 2012 04 131 [51]0
D Abashkin, VladimirVladimir Abashkin Izhevsk  Russia HC Metallurg Mg. 2012 05 165 [51]0
D Khalikov, RomanRoman Khalikov Oskemen  Kazakhstan Irbis Kazan 2013 01 15 [54]0
F Berezovskyy, Ulib-GlebUlib-Gleb Berezovskyy Kiev  Ukraine Mannheim U18 2013 04 115 [54]0
F Zacha, PavelPavel Zacha Brno  Czech Republic HC Bílí Tygři Liberec 2014 02 82 [55]0


  1. ^ Ukrainian HC Donbass applies for VHL membership
  2. ^ a b Leshchenko, Serhiy. "Борис Колесніков: Чому зібрався в Києві податковий майдан? Це ж смішно!". Ukrayinska Pravda. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
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  5. ^ a b c d e "ХК "ДОНБАСС" (ДОНЕЦК, УКРАИНА). Вехи истории.". Hnezdo. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
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  20. ^ http://www.sports.ru/hockey/158398176.html
  21. ^ http://www.sports.ru/hockey/158830045.html
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  23. ^ Babiak, Mat (27 May 2014). "Pro-Russian Gunmen Loot & Torch HC Donbass Arena". Euromaidan Press. 
  24. ^ http://hcdonbass.com/news/klub/obrashchenie_prezidenta_khk_donbass_borisa_kolesnikova/
  25. ^ "Кальмиус Арена (Донецк): Веб-камеры, фото". Kalmius-arena.com. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  26. ^ http://www.hcdonbass.com/home/news/news/18563?lang=ru
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  28. ^ "East Ukraine ice hockey team to skip season over unrest". Agence France Presse via Yahoo! 7 Sports. 2014-06-18. 
  29. ^ ""Донбасс" берет "академический отпуск"". KHL. 2014-06-18. 
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  34. ^ "HOKEJ: Zlatý puk 2012 - hlasy laureátov | Slovenský zväz ľadového hokeja". Hockeyslovakia.sk. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
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  39. ^ "Дмитрий Исаенко – лучший хоккеист чемпионата Украины 2010/11!". HC Donbass. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
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  41. ^ "Сергей Варламов: "Нужно успокоиться и начать забивать"". HC Donbass. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  42. ^ "Даешь двухсотый!". HC Donbass. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  43. ^ "Болельщики "Донбасса" наградили лучших игроков". HC Donbass. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  44. ^ "Недорост призначений капітаном "Донбасу"". Українська правда. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  45. ^ "Олег Пиганович: "Любого в нашей команде можно назвать капитаном"". HCDonbass.com. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
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  47. ^ "Донбасс - История Клуба". Ice Hockey Federation of Donetsk Region. 
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  50. ^ "Пресс-конференция президента ХК "Донбасс" Бориса Колесникова". HC Donbass. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  51. ^ a b c d "Entry Draft 2012". KHL. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  52. ^ The KHL website incorrectly states that Miko Vainonen was selected in this position
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  54. ^ a b "Junior Draft – 2013. "Donbass" choice". HC Donbass. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  55. ^ http://www.khl.ru/news/2014/05/08/223795.html

External links[edit]

Social media[edit]