Almost three months ago, CSKA made a powerful comeback from 1-3 in the final series with Magnitogorsk and won its second Gagarin Cup. Now the Moscow army team, like other KHL clubs, is starting preparations for the new championship, but today, July 23, the honoring of the “golden” army team took place in Moscow. At the Hockey Museum, CSKA players, coaches and management received gold medals of the 2021/2022 Russian Championship.
At the same ceremony, the main characters communicated with journalists. The president of CSKA Igor Esmantovich, the head coach of the army team Sergey Fedorov, and the head of the KHL Alexei Morozov came out to recorders and cameras.
CSKA is the champion! We made a super comeback in the KHL final and strangled Magnitogorsk in the decisive match
“What are you torturing me? CSKA has nothing to do with the army at all”
CSKA President Igor Esmantovich commented on the situation around the former army goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov. Recall that the goalkeeper was detained on July 1 in St. Petersburg on suspicion of evading military service, and is now in the training unit of the Russian Navy in Severodvinsk (Arkhangelsk region).
“Did we send Fedotov to the army? We have nothing to do with the army at all – we are a commercial club. Are we offended that he didn’t sign the contract? What does it mean “we were offended” – is he the first to leave … We were already offended by Radulov, and Nesterov, Mamin, Lyubimov and Kiselevich – whoever we were offended by. We all came back and play.
There was no agreement on a two-year contract with Fedotov. He moved from Chelyabinsk to an old contract. We talked calmly with him, tried to find some communication things related to financing, the continuation of his career. It just didn’t work out, that’s all. No one pressed anyone, no one promised anything to anyone.
Did I interfere? On May 1, Ivan’s contract ended. He signed with Philadelphia. Where should I intervene? Tell me, how should I intervene? Is there leverage, a way to intervene? If you tell me the moves and ways to intervene, I will intervene. Can you?
How do I see the situation? Yes, I don’t see it at all. He signed with Philadelphia. What should I see? Are you torturing me for a hockey player who has a contract with an American company.
I, like everyone else, served my time. He was probably drafted into the army by law, and probably he is serving.”
Igor Esmantovich, Sergei Fedorov and Ivan Fedotov
Photo: Sergey Babunov, photo.khl.ru
“Doesn’t it scare how Ak Bars has strengthened? We’re already scared.”
CSKA Moscow President Igor Esmantovich compared the army team with the Russian spacecraft Buran and commented on the situation with the extension of the contract with Alexander Popov.
“Doesn’t it scare how Ak Bars has strengthened? We are already scared. Remember, Seryozha Andronov said before the seventh match in St. Petersburg: “The harder it is for us, the easier it is for us to play.” Excellent. We also need to somehow stimulate our victory, you know. We are like in the 80-90s: the Soviet industry, then the Russian one, had a good development – the Buran spacecraft. He took off and landed, took off and landed. This is probably our Tseskov mission – like the Buran, take off and land, and take off again, and land again. Therefore, these are probably some slogans for the next season. In your interview, an interesting, comic idea was born.
Does Popov stay? Sasha still thinks, thinks. I think that he will definitely remain in the team. The question is how. Sanya hasn’t made a decision yet.
Is there some kind of misunderstanding in Andronov? There is nothing like it at all. Seryoga already stood, as it were, in the wake of continuing his career in a different direction, in order to slightly overload his career. Therefore, he had a great option – and not one. He made such a decision.
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Is it true that Golyshev had one foot in CSKA? We talked with “Avtomobilist” and Golyshev when they came to us. But we also had certain conditions on this issue, we were not able to achieve these conditions with other clubs.
“There was a lot of pressure on foreigners. This I know for sure”
CSKA President Igor Esmantovich commented on the departure of the Swedish army legionnaires during the Gagarin Cup 2022. At the beginning of the playoffs, forwards Lukas Wallmark and Joakim Nordström left the club due to their unwillingness to stay in Russia.
“Faced with the fact that foreigners have difficulty coming here? We never negotiate with those people who do not want to come here. We simply remove them in the bud as an acceptance. That’s all.
How did Wallmark and other foreigners react to the departure? There is an old, old Soviet film “The Cure Against Fear”. I don’t know if you remember the artists who play in this film. Probably, you see, the cure for fear has not been invented yet.
I know for sure that they were under a lot of pressure. This I know for sure. I was present at the conversation of the agent with the secret services of the countries that urged people to return to their country. When people answered “no” with the answer, then some things related to the negativity around the hockey player came into play – this is society, families, friends, and so on. Therefore, there are people who did not take risks, a little, I think, a little faltered and, in order to avoid these problems, returned to their homeland. Someone didn’t flinch.”
A Swedish hockey player is going to the KHL. He did not even try to break the contract and spit on criticism
The President of the KHL spoke about the possible introduction of cross playoffs
The President of the Continental Hockey League Alexei Morozov spoke about the work on the calendar of the new KHL season, commented on the information about the possible introduction of a cross playoff and announced his readiness to help the clubs in organizing flights during the season.
“We understand that we delayed a little with the calendar. It was necessary to coordinate it with the FHR. We wanted to do it earlier, but it turned out too late. For clubs, it is important that they prepare for travel. Just one pause in December, where the Week of the Stars will also take place. The calendar is more rhythmic, the emphasis was placed on the fact that the rating clubs played more matches among themselves. I think it will be interesting for the fans and for all of us.
Cross playoffs? We have created a working group, this is a good step to discuss this issue together. We have attracted specialists, FHR is also involved. There are many different options, we believe that this is useful for hockey, so that the clubs have less costs. Now the difficult situation with flights. We analyze everything while everything remains as it is.
Is it possible to solve the issue with flights at the league level? In March, there was a meeting of club leaders where we raised this issue. We asked the clubs to inform who is ready to participate in the program of the general organization of flights in the league. Many clubs have found their own companies, they send us letters of guarantee. There was a deadline until July 15, but it was postponed, since the calendar came out later. Now we are waiting for information from the clubs on their flights. We are always ready to work to help.”
“The Latvian federation can say anything. We don’t see any ban on Kalnins playing in the KHL.”
KHL President Alexei Morozov commented on the situation around Amur goalkeeper Janis Kalnins, whom the Latvian Hockey Federation does not give a transfer card and is trying to prevent from playing in Russia. The functionary also spoke about the fact that the league is developing a new format for the All-Star Game.
“The transfer card is given by the IIHF, so the Latvian federation can say whatever they want. We do not see any ban, now the IIHF is quietly giving other players from other countries the opportunity to play in the KHL. So far, there are no obstacles from the IIHF.
Already now we can say that the format of the All-Star Game with national teams is gone. This was relevant in the season before last, at the moment we are working on a different format. Let’s figure out how to make it interesting.”
In Latvia they rot their goalkeeper. Now he was banned from playing in the KHL
“Why did CSKA leave Koreshkov? Eugene has long been ripe for a more serious role “
CSKA head coach Sergei Fedorov commented on the changes in the team’s coaching staff. Recall that Yevgeny Koreshkov left the capital’s club, instead of him, Igor Kravchuk was appointed Fedorov’s assistant.
“The mood is good, fighting. We perfectly understand all the responsibility and attitude of our rivals in the upcoming games, in the upcoming battles. But we have something to prove. We need to play better, more confidently, so we will strive for this.
Why did Koreshkov leave the team? As you know, we have a supervisory board, which includes many well-known hockey players and businessmen. My opinion – Eugene has long been ripe for a higher role. His contribution to our victory and all four years he worked here is invaluable. Hockey life goes on, I believe that he has prepared a certain basis for further growth as a head hockey coach.
Was there a misunderstanding with Andronov, who left the team? I think it’s all speculation. As for some of our relations, we worked 100 percent. I will not go into the details of injuries or playing time. But I know that Sergei honestly fulfilled his duties. Maybe from the outside it seemed that he was not getting that playing time or was not getting into some situations. There are many opinions, but I know that we have achieved the most important thing. I know that Sergey is a supercaptain and a superman. I want to wish him good health, no injuries and the continuation of his hockey career.”