SKA St. Petersburg fires coach Milos Riha

SKA St. Petersburg fires coach Milos Riha

26 Nov 2012 | Davide Tuniz
 

Six victories in last seven games and the first place in Western Conference aren't enough to secure job for Czech coach

 
 
 
 
With a surprising decision, SKA St. Petersburg board decided to fire Czech coach Milos Riha after the 4-3 victory against Vityaz. The decision was taken while Riha answering at press questions during post game conference. The brief press release on SKA website just says Riha was dismissed based "on the goals of the team". Assistant coach Mikhail Kravets was named interim coach while the other assistant Andrei Potaychuk leaves the team. Initially Riha left the Ice Palace refusing to comment the decision but with tears in his eyes. Later he released a statement saying he isn't surprising about SKA decision: - "Believe me, this decision was not a shock for me. Frankly, I've been waiting for it from a long time. At one point even I wanted it happens. So now I feel relieved. I think SKA management erred. They had to wait a bit. Again, I was waiting for retirement. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. As everyone knows that sooner or later he will die. Although, of course, I did not think about it every day" said Riha
Riha said that has not said goodbye to the team: "No. I was not allowed to do this. But on Monday I'll do."
There are already various rumours about Riha's successor. According Soviet Sport in the coming days, SKA should appoint a North American coach, while Hockey Pravda suggests SKA already contracted former Avangard Omsk Finnish coach Raimo Summanen. Also Sport Express bets on a Finnish coach, but according to newspaper will be current Finald National Team coach Jukka Jalonen.
Among the reactions, former Russia coach Sergei Mikhalev said: "I'm shocked. Riha stumbled upon our reality. When a team is, for example, in eighth place - the resignation may be understandable. This is an extraordinary event, because the team is in the lead group and has great staff. Perhaps there is some internal relationships that we do not know. Frankly, I'm just surprised, and I wonder what happened"
The opinion of commentator Alexander Kozhevnikov is different: " A team as SKA should play differently, with so much potential - It should be strong and show great games. Team with a good name and a good budget should always be on the best level. SKA has three or four games showing its power and potential, and then sit down for another two or three games."

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