Oleg Znarok in 2014
2 January 1963 |
Ust-Katav, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Soviet Union
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
|National team|| Soviet Union
Oleg Valerievich Znarok (Russian: Олег Валерьевич Знарок, born 2 January 1963) is a current coach and a former Soviet ice hockey player, who would go on to represent Latvia internationally after the collapse of the USSR.
Internationally, he's guided Russia to Gold, Silver, and Bronze performances in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 IIHF World Championships, respectively. Earlier, he'd coached the Latvian team at five IIHF World Championships, two IIHF World U-20 Championships and one IIHF World U-18 Championship.
He had coached Dynamo Moscow of the KHL, to back to back Gagarin Cup championships, in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, and a Continental Cup in 2013-14 season. As well taking HC MVD to an appearance in the Gagarin Cup final of the 2009-10 season, losing in Game 7.
- 1 Biography and Personal
- 2 Player Profile
- 3 Playing career
- 4 International
- 4.1 Soviet Union
- 4.2 Latvia
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 Coaching career
- 7 Awards and Achievements
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Biography and Personal
Oleg Znarok was born January 2, 1963 in Ust-Katav in the Soviet Union, presently in the Russian Federation. His father, Valeri Znarok, was a football (soccer) player at the time, who would himself go on to have a long coaching career. A young Oleg was introduced to hockey, when his grandfather brought him and his younger brother to a local skating rink.
Znarok would have a successful and long career as a player, before moving on to coaching. Playing for 23 years, across several leagues: Soviet, German, as well as a several games in the Czech Extraliga and the AHL of North America.
One of Znarok's youth team mates from Traktor Chelyabinsk was Vyachislav Bykov, who would go on to play for CSKA Moscow and the Soviet National Team. Bykov, after a successful playing career, would go on to coach the Russian National Team to back to back gold medals in 2008 and 2009 at the IIHF World Championships. He'd be replaced in favor of Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, a former star player of rival Dynamo Moscow, who would go on to coach the Russian team to a gold medal in 2012, posting an undefeated record of 10-0. In turn, he too would be replaced: this time in favor of Znarok himself. Despite dealing with heavy injuries (Ovechkin: knee injury, Orlov: broken arm, Anisimov: broken thumb, Zubarev: deep arm laceration, Loktionov: shoulder injury, Chudinov: illness), Znarok would go on to coach Russia to a gold medal in 2014, also going 10-0.
Oleg is married. He and his wife Ilona, have two daughters, Valeria and Alisa. Valeria is in marketing and Alisa is a model.
Oleg first saw his wife in the stands at a hockey game. She was not a sports fan, but came out to support her friends. Seeing her again at a post match celebration, at a local restaurant, Oleg worked up the courage to approach her. They have been together ever since.
In the attic of their house, Ilona has put together something of a museum of hockey memorabilia. Among other items, it holds Znarok's ever growing collection of medals, awards and jerseys. One such item is an NHL contract that Oleg was given to sign by the Boston Bruins, untranslated. As Oleg did not speak English and had no one nearby to translate it for him, he turned it down when he thought the dollar amount was too low. It would only be a decade later, that he would find out that the numbers written down, the only thing he could understand of what was written, were for a monthly salary and not a yearly one.
Znarok, as a player, was known for his leadership on and off the ice. A very tough, physically punishing and demanding playing style. As well as good scoring ability.
As a player, Oleg Znarok is perhaps best remembered by Latvian hockey fans. Needing at least a tie, to gain promotion to the elite group A, he scored the game tying 1-1 goal against Switzerland in 1996 world championships B division. As of 2016, Latvia has never again played in Division B.
In the Soviet Union
Znarok started his ice hockey career at the club Traktor, in Chelyabinsk (presently in the Russian Federation), making his first team debut in 1979-80 season. Over the next few years he would intermittently make appearances with the top team, and would go on to play 18 games 1981-82 season. Although not productive at the senior level as a teenager, his first career goal came against the legendary Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak.
1984-1985 season, would see Znarok break out with 27 points in 52 games. He scored 14 goals and 13 assists, after putting up only 3 assists in 30 games, the previous season.
1990-1991 season would be Znarok's best individual season, putting up 51 points in 44 games scoring 24 goals, 27 assists.
In total, he would amass 221 points over 361 games, in the Soviet league. Scoring 101 goals and 120 assists.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union
Between 1992-93 season and the 2001-2002 seasons, he would represent various clubs in Germany.
In the 1992-93 season, he would help EV Landsberg earn a promotion from the Oberliga (third tier) to the 2nd Bundesliga (second tier) of German hockey, on the strength of his astonishing 220 points in just 66 games, scoring 77 goals and 143 assists.
At the age of 30, he would begin his 9 year long participation in the 2nd Bundesliga. He would be a highly dominant player in the second tier, for the rest of his playing career, representing EV Landsberg, EHC Freiburg and Heilbronner EC. Scoring 1,069 points in 461 games in the regular season, on the strength of 388 goals and 681 assists. Also, adding 33 points (9 goals, 24 assists) over 22 play-off games.
At the age of 39, after the 2001-2002 season, Znarok retired as a player. That season, he had put up 63 points (16 goals, 47 assists) over 45 games and added another 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists) in 6 playoff games.
In 1981, he would be called up to the Soviet Union under-18 team, where he became a European champion, putting up 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists) in 5 games.
As he was a Dinamo Riga player, he was also a part of the larger Dynamo sports society. This allowed him in 1990 to be loaned to Dynamo Moscow's squad for their Super Series tour of North America. He scored 2 goals, including one against the Toronto Maple Leafs and one against the Buffalo Sabres, over 4 games.
In 1990, he was called up to the Soviet Union National Team for the Japan Cup, where he put up 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) over 4 games.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Znarok would go on to represent Latvia in international competition. He would play in 5 IIHF world Championships and help promote Latvia to the top division of international competition in 1996. Then, in 1997 help Latvia to its best ever placing of 7th in the world. In total he would go on to put up 35 points in 34 game, scoring 18 goals.
His first effort would be in Division-B. Latvia would finish 2nd to Slovakia in Division B play, after 6 wins and 1 loss in 7 games.
Znarok put up 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) in 8 games and 18 PIM.
In his second effort, now as captain in 1996, Latvia would improve to 1st in Division B, after 6 wins and 1 draw in 7 games.
Znarok led the tournament with 6 goals in 6 games and added 2 assists with 18 PIM, making the All-Star team.
"The Promotion Goal"
In the last game of the tournament, Latvia needed a tie or a win against Switzerland, to gain promotion. A loss, would give Switzerland the promotion. Down 1-0, Znarok scored to tie the game, 1-1. Latvia earned a promotion to the elite division for next year's championship.
In his third effort, Latvia would now be facing some of the top national teams of the world, placed in a group with Canada, USA and Sweden. Not expected to show much, having just been promoted, Latvia would go on to greatly surprise the hockey world.
Znarok lead the team with 10 points in 8 games. He was tied for 5th in tournament points and tied for 2nd in assists, with 7.
"First" Elite games
- Latvia 4 - 5 USA (Although in a losing effort against the Americans, Latvia gave the world an early glimpse of their capabilities)
- Latvia 4 - 5 Italy (After this loss to the Italian team, it was widely assumed that their performance against the USA was a one-off)
"Shocking the World"
No one in the world expected Latvia to put up a challenge against the powerhouse teams of Canada or Sweden.
- Latvia 3 - 3 Canada (the 1994 World Champion and 1996 runner up (2nd place)).
- Latvia 1 - 1 Sweden (the reigning 1994 Olympic Hockey champion and 1995 runner up (2nd place)).
Canada and Sweden would go on to finish the tournament with gold and silver respectfully, playing a three game final.
A Strong Finish
- Latvia 6 - 3 Norway
- Latvia 8 - 0 Germany
- Latvia 6 - 2 France
- Latvia 5 - 4 Slovakia (Avenging the loss that denied Latvia Promotion in 1995)
Znarok lead his team to an unreal 7th-place finish, the highest ever finish for Latvia.
As of 2016, Latvia has only matched a 7th place finish 2 more times:
- 2009 with Znarok as head coach
- 2004 with Znarok as an assistant coach
In his fourth effort and 2nd as captain, Latvia would finish 9th.
In the consolation round establishing 9-12th place standings, there were some highlights. A 5-0 win against Germany and a 3-2 win against USA, avenging the previous year's loss. This sent the American and German teams to next year's qualification tournaments to fight against relegation. The American team would be successful and remain in the elite division for 1999. The German team however would only be back in the elite division in 2001.
Znarok put up 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists) in 8 games.
This would mark Znarok's fifth and final effort (3rd as captain). Latvia would go on to finish 11th. As a result, next year they would be forced to play a qualification tournament to remain in the elite group. (They would be successful. As of 2016 they have never been relegated.)
At the age of 36, Znarok would only manage 1 assist and be limited to only 6 games.
|Senior int'l totals||34||18||17||35||52|
After finishing his playing career, Znarok immediately entered coaching.
- An assistant coach of the Latvian National Hockey Team
2004-05 through 2005-06
- Head coach, of the U-20 Latvian National team
- An assistant coach, with the Latvian National Hockey Team at 2 World Championships, 2006 Olympics and Olympic Qualifiers.
2006-07 through 2010-11
- Head coach of Latvian National Hockey Team, at 5 World Championships and at 2010 Olympics.
- Coach of SK Riga 20 of the Latvian League, through the 2007-2008 season
2008-09 through 2013-14
- Head coach of KHL team HC MVD Moscow Oblast for 2 seasons, before the merger with Dynamo Moscow
- Head coach of newly merged United HC Dynamo Moscow for another 4 seasons
March 26, 2014 – present
- Head coach of the Russian National Hockey Team, at 3 World Championships, various stages of EHT and the 2016 World Cup (upcoming)
|Team||Season||Regular season||Post season|
|Kontinental Hockey League|
|HC MVD||2008–09||56||26||29||-||1||73||47.3%||6th in Tarasov||Did not qualify|
|2009–10||56||31||15||-||10||102||64.3%||2nd in Tarasov||Lost Gagarin Cup Final (AKB)|
|Dynamo Moscow||2010–11||54||30||16||-||8||96||63%||1st in Bobrov||Lost in first round (DIR)|
|2011–12||54||35||15||-||4||105||68.5%||2nd in Bobrov||Won Gagarin Cup|
|2012–13||52||36||14||-||2||101||71.2%||2nd in Bobrov||Won Gagarin Cup|
|2013-14||54||38||11||-||5||115||75%||Continental Cup||Lost in first round (LOK)|
|SKA||2016-17||--Season in progress--|
|KHL Totals||326||196||100||-||30||-||3 Finals, 2 Gagarin Cups, 1 Continental Cup|
|Total:||10 won,19 lost, 2OT won, 2OT lost|
|Total:||26 won, 6 lost, 1 OTW, 1 OTL|
Awards and Achievements
- 1981 Gold Medal
- Top Forward
- 1987-88 Silver medal
- 1996 Division-B Champion
- 1996 Division-B All-Star Team
- 1996 Division-B Most Goals
- KHL Gagarin Cup: 2011-12
- KHL Coach of the year: 2011-12
- KHL Gagarin Cup: 2012-13
- KHL Coach of the year: 2012-13
- KHL Continental Cup: 2013-14 (Best Regular Season record)
2012 - Awarded the Order of Friendship
2014 - Awarded the Order of Honour
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oļegs Znaroks.|
- Oleg Znarok career statistics at EliteProspects.com
- Oleg Znarok's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Oleg Znarok profile at Eurohockey.com
|Latvian national ice hockey team coach
|Russian national ice hockey team coach