Sergei Zubov, one of the greatest Russian defensemen in NHL history, has been named an assistant on head coach Oleg Znarok’s Russian national team staff.
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Zubov will help the national team in their preparation for the next IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships including the 2016 edition on home ice in Moscow and St. Petersburg, for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
He will specifically be responsible for defencemen and will combine his duties with the national team and his club team SKA St. Petersburg.
Zubov, 44, appeared in over 1000 NHL games over a 12-year career with stops in New York, Pittsburgh and Dallas. He won a pair of Cups with both the Rangers and Stars and is one of just a handful of defensemen in league history to record 70-plus assists in a single season — he recorded 77 during the ’93-94 campaign, 12th-most all-time.
This appointment promises to be a good one for Russia, which has struggled to produce NHL-caliber defensemen in recent years. Zubov, a Norris Finalist in 2006, will now get to work with a young, albeit small, crop of promising prospects and youngsters that includes Philly’s Ivan Provorov, Colorado’s Nikita Zadorov and Florida’s Dmitri Kulikov.