Ak Bars Kazan

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Ak Bars Kazan
Ак Барс Казань
Ak Bars Kazan Logo.svg
City Kazan, Russia
League Kontinental Hockey League
Conference Eastern
Division Kharlamov
Founded 1956
Home arena TatNeft Arena
(capacity: 10,000)
Colours               
Owner(s) Tatneft
General manager Ravil Shavaleyev
Head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov
Captain Alexander Svitov
Affiliate(s) JHC Bars (VHL)
JHC Irbis (MHL)
Website www.ak-bars.ru
Akbars dark.pngAkbars white.png
Franchise history
Ak Bars Kazan
1996–present
Itil Kazan
1990–1996
SC Uritskogo Kazan
1958–1990
Mashstroy Kazan
1956–1958

Hockey Club Ak Bars (Russian: Ак Барс, English: Snow Leopard), also known as Ak Bars Kazan,[1] is a Russian professional ice hockey team based in Kazan. They are members of the Kharlamov Division of the Kontinental Hockey League.

The team's name, Ak Bars, is derived from the official symbol of Tatarstan, translated as Snow Leopard, a traditional symbol which has its origins with the Barsil, one of the Tatar tribes.

History

Founded as Mashstroy Kazan in 1956, the name was later changed to SC Uritskogo Kazan when it entered the Soviet Class B league in 1958. It was promoted to Soviet Class A2, where it gained promotion to the top tier of Soviet hockey. Kazan's performance was respectable, starting the season by winning 6 out of 19 games against the best of the Soviet teams before falling away in the second half of the season and was demoted.

From this point onward, SC Uritskogo Kazan established a reputation as a consistently strong team in the second tier leagues of the USSR. Renowned as a high scoring team, Kazan averaged over four goals a game throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Twice they won the USSR League (lower tiers), being named Champion of Russia in 1962 and 1976.

SC Uritskogo Kazan's most successful period occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The team was led by Russia's Sergei Stolbun; scoring ace Gennady Maslov (current coach of Ak Bars-2 Kazan), who enjoyed a short stint with the Soviet Wings and set a club record of 140 points in 76 games in 1982–83; and Ravil Shavaleev, who was regarded as one of the finest defenseman to ever come out of Tatarstan. During this period, Kazan was consistently among the top teams in the league but failed year after year to gain promotion to the top flight of Soviet hockey.

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Uritskogo Kazan became Itil Kazan in 1990 and participated in the IHL. Itil was only mildly successful, narrowly avoiding relegation to the Vysshaya Liga in 1991 and 1992.

It was following the establishment of the Russian Superleague (RSL) in 1996 that the golden age of hockey in Tatarstan began. Renamed Ak Bars Kazan after the traditional symbol of the Tatars, the snow leopard. Benefiting from the resources boom in the Urals, Ak Bars began its history in fine form, finishing first in their respective divisions in 1997 and 1998 along with winning the RSL in 1998. During this period, Kazan lacked the high scoring of their predecessors but regardless continued to be a dominant team in Russian hockey, finishing runners-up in 2000 and 2002. During this period, Kazan developed players such as Denis Arkhipov and Danis Zaripov.

In the 2004–05 season, Kazan signed 11 National Hockey League players, including Russian superstars Alexei Kovalev and Ilya Kovalchuk and Canadians Vincent Lecavalier and Dany Heatley, in an attempt to celebrate Kazan's 1000th anniversary with a championship. They did not succeed, however, as a lack of continuity and chemistry saw them finish in fourth place and were upset in the first round of the playoffs by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

Since then, Ak Bars Kazan dominated the RSL, winning the league in 2006 on the back of a brilliant performance from Aleksey Morozov. In 2007, Kazan paced the league with 35 wins and 214 goals in 54 games before falling at the final hurdle to Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Ak Bars has been led in recent years by the dominant "ZZM" line of Sergei Zinovjev, Danis Zaripov, and Aleksey Morozov, who have established themselves as one of the most dominant lines in recent history. Combined with veterans such as Vitaly Proshkin and Vladimir Vorobiev, and imports, such as Ray Giroux, Petr Čajánek, and Jukka Hentunen, Kazan has remained one of the top teams in the league. However, they have been at times criticized for lacking consistency and relying too heavily on star players such as Morozov.[2]

Ak Bars Kazan are strong rivals with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and the neighboring team of Salavat Yulaev Ufa. However, Ak Bars was the strongest rival with Dynamo Moscow in the 1990s.

Honors

Champions

1st, gold medalist(s) Gagarin Cup (3): 2009, 2010, 2018
1st, gold medalist(s) Opening Cup (1): 2009–2010
1st, gold medalist(s) Russian Superleague (2): 1998, 2006
1st, gold medalist(s) IIHF European Champions Cup (1): 2007
1st, gold medalist(s) IIHF Continental Cup (1): 2008
1st, gold medalist(s) Soviet Class A2 (3): 1962, 1985, 1989 (West)
1st, gold medalist(s) Soviet Class B (1): 1976

Runners-up

2nd, silver medalist(s) Gagarin Cup (1): 2015
2nd, silver medalist(s) Russian Superleague (3): 2000, 2002, 2007
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Gagarin Cup (1): 2017
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Russian Superleague (1): 2004
3rd, bronze medalist(s) IIHF Continental Cup (1): 1999

Season-by-season KHL record

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; OTL = Overtime/Shootout Losses; Pts = Points; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; P = Playoff

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA Finish Top Scorer Playoffs
2008–09 56 36 10 6 122 189 123 1st, Chernyshev Alexei Morozov (71 points: 32 G, 39 A; 49 GP) Gagarin Cup Champions, 4–3 (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl)
2009–10 56 25 18 5 96 159 128 2nd, Kharlamov Alexei Morozov (49 points: 26 G, 23 A; 50 GP) Gagarin Cup Champions, 4–3 (HC MVD)
2010–11 54 29 12 8 105 181 133 1st, Kharlamov Alexei Morozov (56 points: 21 G, 35 A; 53 GP) Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
2011–12 54 27 19 5 92 167 136 3rd, Kharlamov Alexei Morozov (50 points: 21 G, 29 A; 53 GP) Lost in Conference Semifinals, 2–4 (Traktor Chelyabinsk)
2012–13 52 28 10 8 104 157 112 1st, Kharlamov Alexei Morozov (38 points: 15 G, 26 A; 51 GP) Lost in Conference Finals, 3–4 (Traktor Chelyabinsk)
2013–14 54 26 14 6 100 139 108 2nd, Kharlamov Alexander Burmistrov (38 points: 10 G, 28 A; 54 GP) Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2–4 (Sibir Novosibirsk)
2014–15 60 34 14 6 120 169 115 1st, Kharlamov Justin Azevedo (50 points: 17 G, 33 A; 58 GP) Lost in Gagarin Cup Finals, 1–4 (SKA Saint Petersburg)
2015–16 60 31 20 9 96 143 127 2nd, Kharlamov Justin Azevedo (53 points: 17 G, 36 A; 59 GP) Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 3–4 (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
2016–17 60 38 18 4 109 155 127 2nd, Kharlamov Justin Azevedo (34 points: 13 G, 21 A; 54 GP) Lost in Conference Finals, 0–4 (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
2017–18 56 32 18 6 100 158 126 1st, Kharlamov Jiri Sekac (42 points: 16 G, 26 A; 50 GP) Gagarin Cup Champions, 4–1 (CSKA Moscow)

Players

Current roster

Updated January 13, 2019.[3][4]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
16 Russia Roman Abrosimov D L 24 2015 Kazan, Russia
51 Canada Justin Azevedo C R 30 2014 West Lorne, Ontario, Canada
32 Russia Rafael Batyrshin D L 32 2016 Moscow, Russian SFSR
40 Russia Radel Fazleev C L 23 2018 Kazan, Russia
22 Russia Stanislav Galiev RW R 27 2017 Moscow, Russia
77 Russia Emil Garipov G L 27 2011 Kazan, Russian SFSR
12 Russia Mikhail Glukhov LW/C L 30 2014 Orsk, Russian SFSR
42 Russia Vladislav Kara LW L 20 2017 Salekhard, Russia
49 Canada Rob Klinkhammer LW L 32 2017 Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
58 Sweden Anton Lander C L 27 2017 Sundsvall, Sweden
89 Russia Artem Lukoyanov LW L 29 2011 Almetyevsk, Russian SFSR
96 Russia Nikita Lyamkin D L 22 2017 Barnaul, Russia
98 Russia Fedor Malykhin (A) F L 28 2014 Sverdlovsk, Russian SFSR
26 Russia Roman Manukhov D L 24 2017 Yekaterinburg, Russia
79 Russia Andrei Markov (A) D L 40 2017 Voskresensk, Russian SFSR
13 Russia Artem Mikheyev C L 23 2015 Kazan, Russia
17 Russia Vyacheslav Osnovin C L 24 2018 Chelyabinsk, Russia
3 Russia Andrey Pedan D L 25 2018 Kaunas, Lithuania
85 Russia Maxim Pestushko RW L 33 2018 Naberezhnye Chelny, Russian SFSR
59 Russia Vladislav Podyapolski G L 23 2017 Novokuznetsk, Russia
9 Russia Andrei Popov F L 30 2016 Chelyabinsk, Russia
4 Canada Paul Postma D R 29 2018 Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
97 Russia Alexei Potapov RW L 29 2017 Nizhny Novgorod, Russian SFSR
31 Russia Mikhail Sidorov D L 21 2015 Yaroslavl, Russia
92 Czech Republic Jiri Sekac LW L 26 2016 Kladno, Czechoslovakia
39 Russia Alexander Sharychenkov G L 27 2017 Nizhny Novgorod, Russian SFSR
15 Russia Alexander Svitov (C) C L 36 2013 Omsk, Russian SFSR
55 Russia Vladimir Tkachyov F R 25 2013 Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
33 Russia Albert Yarullin D R 25 2015 Kazan, Russia
5 Russia Dmitri Yudin D L 23 2018 Nizhny Tagil, Russia
25 Russia Danis Zaripov RW L 37 2017 Chelyabinsk, Russian SFSR


NHL alumni

Head Coaches

Famous players who played for the club

References

  1. ^ http://www.iihf.com/channels-club-events/iihf-club-continental-cup/statistics.html
  2. ^ IHF Forums http://forums.internationalhockey.net/showthread.php?t=7374
  3. ^ "Team Roster «Ak Bars»". www.ak-bars.ru. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  4. ^ "Ak Bars Kazan team roster". www.khl.ru. Retrieved 2019-01-13.

External links

  • (in Russian) Ak Bars Kazan official site
  • Ak Bars Kazan on http://www.eliteprospects.com/
  • (in Russian) Ak Bars Kazan on http://www.khl.ru/
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