The man behind one of the biggest failures in Russian hockey history is now out of a job.
Zinetula Bilyaletdinov — aka “Coach Bil” — has been relieved of his duties as national team head coach, according to IIHF.com. The decision comes just weeks after Bilyaletdinov led Russia to a disappointing fifth-place finish at the Sochi Winter Games, recording just two regulation wins (against Slovenia and Norway.)
More, from the IIHF:
The coach told media after the meeting that he is ready to leave and the federation’s President Vladislav Tretiak confirmed that a new coach will be searched after the failure in Sochi, although no names were announced yet.
Bilyaletdinov was named head coach of the Russian national team in June 2011 to follow after Vyacheslav Bykov. He led Russia to a gold medal in his first big event at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Helsinki and Stockholm.
However, the team failed to repeat the success at the 2013 Worlds and in Sochi 2014.
Bilyaletdinov’s coaching acumen recently came under fire in a piece from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in which Pens center Evgeni Malkin was reportedly frustrated with many of the strategical and personnel decisions made in Sochi.