Former Capital Viktor Kozlov Talks His Playing Career, Coaching Career, and the Olympics in Interview with Russian Media

viktorkozlovnashvillepredatorsvwashingtonep6aex5d2ealPhoto: Washington Capitals

In the middle of January, the media of his team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL, conducted a long interview with Viktor Kozlov, the former Washington Capitals forward who is currently the Head Coach of Metallurg.  Many of the answers were included as part of the team documentary series, “The Brothers Fire”, of which Kozlov’s interview is the first.  The video was released on his birthday, February 14, 2018.  But there were many other questions and answers that were not included in that episode.  A transcript of the interview was posted on the website of Metallurg Magnitogorsk the day after.  Below is the interview.  (Author’s note: Interview translated via Google Translate with an attempt to clean up grammar and meaning.)

New Year’s Wish

Question: Viktor Nikolayevich, we are recording this interview with you in the middle of January, when all the New Year’s festivities and holidays are complete. For yourself, did you make any wishes for 2018? Can you share a secret?

Viktor Kozlov: For myself, of course, I made a wish. But let it remain a secret. All people are superstitious. If I tell you, then it cannot come true.

Question: In the New Year, you started a new position – as the head coach of Metallurg.  What is it like being a mentor of such a titled and ambitious club, such as Metallurg Magnitogorsk?

Viktor Kozlov: First of all, this is incredibly interesting work. Secondly, this is a great test for me, working with such a club will certainly be a kind of life lesson for me. And to be the head coach of Metallurg is an honor for me.  I thank the leadership of the club, including Club President, Viktor Rashnikov, and Chairman of the Board of HC Metallurg, Gennady Velichkin, for trusting me.

Question:  With your new post, what types of emotions and feelings were added to your life?

Viktor Kozlov: I began to sleep less at night. Although before, I did not have problems sleeping. When you are an assistant, then you have a certain amount of work. Becoming the head coach, of course, increased the amount of everyday work. More responsibility. More questions to be solved within the team. As a result – all thoughts and thoughts are now about the team.

Question: Concluding the New Year theme of the conversation, can you tell us about the traditions within your family? How did you celebrate New Year and Christmas?

Viktor Kozlov: Year of the dog met well – in a family circle, at home. We sat at the festive table and let out salutes. And then went to sleep, because the next day was the first day at work. After all, on January 3 and 5, Metallurg had home games of the KHL championship. There was no time to celebrate.

Origin of Interest in Hockey

Question: Here is the traditional question of many interviews: how did you get started with into hockey? Tell us a little about your childhood.

Viktor Kozlov: My father was very fond of sports. In his spare time, he spent much time playing sports. In the summer he played soccer.  In winter, he was engaged in winter sports. He always took me with him after work. Since my childhood I’ve been to soccer and hockey stadiums. I watched as my father played for the factory team. So gradually I became attached to sports. And when I was six years old, my father signed me up for the hockey school in Togliatti Lada.  And, thus, I began my long hockey career.

Question: Why is it hockey, not soccer? Many boys dreamed of soccer idols.

Viktor Kozlov: I somehow liked hockey. I loved the people I played soccer with, but hockey appealed more.

Question: Tell us about your parents. Is it true that your mother worked on a tower crane?

Viktor Kozlov: Yes, that’s right: my mom worked on the tap.  And my dad worked at the car factory VAZ in the building of auxiliary workshops. He was a thermist. The profession is not so simple – he worked all the time with fire, melted metal.  Our family was a typical working family of the city of Togliatti.  There were three children: myself, my brother and my sister.

Question: Did you have to climb up to the tower?

Viktor Kozlov:  Yes.  It’s very high to just climb. These cranes were used in the construction of high-rise buildings. So, imagine the picture: when climbing to the level of nine buildings – a beautiful panorama opens before your eyes. But it’s better not to look down – scary. It was interesting. Always wondered how mom quickly and adroitly controlled such a machine.

Question: From your family, it turns out that you are the only one that went into professional sports?

Viktor Kozlov: My brother was also engaged in hockey.  However, at the age of 14 he was forced to quit.  And my sister is a girl. She likes to play tennis, she did ordinary physical education. But in the big sport did not go.

Question: As far as we know, your brother worked for a long time in Avtovaz – followed the steps of your father?

Viktor Kozlov: Yes, he worked for a long time at the car factory. But then the company went through different changes.  So, he continues his career, but no longer within the car factory.

Question: Did you remember some highlights from childhood? Is there a match or an important goal for children’s teams?

Viktor Kozlov: Of course! I remember the first tournaments for the children’s school when we just started to go to different tournaments. The first tournament was in Tallinn, the second – in Kiev. This is the first experience, it is far from the parents, these are beautiful cities. Impressions have survived until now.

Question: In the children’s school, surely there were some hard times when you got tired and wanted to quit.  Did you ever feel like that at least once?  Did you ever try to quit hockey school?

Viktor Kozlov:  No. There was no such mood. There were difficulties or setbacks, apathy came, but I always liked hockey!  Never thought of quitting.

Question: You were born and lived for a long time in Togliatti. It is also a monocity with one large enterprise, around which, in fact, the life of the townspeople is being built. When they came to live and work in Magnitogorsk, did they find something similar in this metallurgical city?

Viktor Kozlov: Of course, I saw similarities right away. Here, too, the life of the city is boiling around a large enterprise – the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine. But there is another similarity, which I found quite quickly, and it was a pleasant surprise: in Magnitogorsk, like in Togliatti, they like hockey very much! Almost everywhere there is a hockey theme in the conversation. Excellent work with the local school. So, Magnitogorsk is very close to me in spirit.

Time with Togliatti Lada, His First Team, and Moscow Dynamo

Question: There is another point. Look: both “Lada” and “Magnitogorsk” started elite hockey programs at about the same time. Togliatti dominated in the first half of the 90’s, winning many titles. And “Metallurg” from the second half of the 90s firmly ascended to the top, becoming not only the best in Russia, but also in Europe. Years have passed, and the fate of the teams have diverged. “Lada” is going through bad times, and “Metallurg” remains among the leading clubs in Russia. As an alumnus of Togliatti, does it not hurt that “Lada” is now only on the verge of survival?

Viktor Kozlov: I am very sorry to hear such news. Especially since I know how Togliatti is a hockey city.  And many boys there continue to practice hockey. And the school “Lada” gave us a lot of good hockey masters – you know them all. The future of Lada is a painful topic for all Togliatti people.

Question: How do you feel about the rumors that “Lada” can be potentially be excluded from the KHL for next season?

Viktor Kozlov: I’ll be sorry if they decide that.  I hope, “Lada” will keep a residence permit in the KHL: there is a new palace, there is a school and a base. This is a very hockey loving city.

Question:  “Lada” is a special club for you. Did you manage to play a little for the main team?

Viktor Kozlov: “Lada” will always remain in my heart. This is my native club, my hometown. I grew up there and got a ticket to major hockey.  And when I come to Togliatti – always feel the return home. And I am also grateful to the coach I had as a child, Nikolai Nikolaevich Nikolayev, who brought me up and laid the first knowledge. In each of his pupils, he invested part of his soul.

Question: Have you worked with Tsygurov?

Viktor Kozlov: Yes, it was Gennady Fedorovich who gave me the chance to play a few games. From the age of 15, I began to be involved in the main team. “Lada” has already made its way in the transition tournament in the big leagues. It remained to play a couple of matches with Karaganda. For Togliatti, these games mean little. And then Tsygurov put me in the lineup. Why do I remember these games? I scored two goals then!

Question: If everything worked out so well, why didn’t you stay in Lada? After all, Tsygurov managed to assemble a fairly solid team. The Togliatti team in the early 90’s was the first of the provinces that challenged those in Moscow.

Viktor Kozlov: Perhaps I would have stayed with Lada.  But here’s the story. At the age of 15-16, I played with Lada, but as soon as I was 17, it was the draft age.  It was then necessary to look for a club where you could play and get credit for the army service. So, I had to move to the Moscow “Dynamo”, where I could get credit for serving with the army. In addition, Peter Ilyich Vorobiev, who spent a lot of time with youth, worked there. He also taught me a lot as both a hockey player and a person.

Question: When you moved to Dynamo, which became the main rival of “Lada” in the first half of the 90s, did some on Togliatti accuse you of cheating?

Viktor Kozlov:  Yes, I remember those seasons. It was the Interethnic Hockey League. We had to play them in the Cup Final twice in a row in the final. In the spring of 1993, “Dynamo” beat “Lada”, and in 1994 – on the contrary, “Lada” beat us.  It so happened that I played against my original team. Those seasons with “Dynamo” became a good learning experience. I met many guys who also had just started with Moscow club. I am still in contact with some of them.

Question: In addition, the Dynamo had become a springboard for a career overseas …

Viktor Kozlov: Yes, you can say so. “Dynamo” was another step on the career ladder. I grew stronger physically, gained experience, and began to live without parents.  All this was useful when I left Russia to play in the NHL. And friendships with the guys in Dynamo later came in handy in North America, where we often met up and helped each other in something.

Early NHL Career

Question: Wasn’t it scary to go overseas at age 19 to a foreign country, with a different way of life and a different hockey league?

Viktor Kozlov: I was not scared. When I came to Dynamo, several hockey players from the club had gone overseas. There was not as much use of the Internet, as there is now.  All the NHL news was either found in the newspapers or from stories told by guys who had already played in the NHL. And my departure was inevitable as I was already preparing to leave and try my hand at North America.

Question: In your first season, “Dynamo” became the champion. Your team did not let it go to your heads?

Viktor Kozlov: No. A coach as Peter Ilich Vorobiev would especially not let that happen. We had a good team, a young team, and coaches taught us to approach games responsibly.

Question: In the first lockout in the NHL in the early 90’s you were severely injured.  There were even rumors you would be done with hockey, as a result.

Viktor Kozlov: No, actually everything was not so scary. I was lucky. I already had a contract with the San Jose Sharks. In the summer I was at training camp and had signed a contract with the team. But the season never began since there was a lockout.  I returned to play with Dynamo. In one game, I was injured, with both a ligament rupture and fracture of the tibia.  The doctors at Dynamo put a cast on in Moscow and three days later I flew to America. I had an operation there on November 29, which was successful, and in February I returned to the ice. To be honest – it could be worse, but everything turned out. I was back in major league hockey.

Question: The contract with the “San Jose” fell to the court …

Viktor Kozlov: Yes, I was lucky. The operation was done by highly qualified specialists who specialized in such injuries. Therefore, I quickly returned to hockey.  I give special thanks to the family of Arturs Irbe, goalkeeper of San Jose, for helping me.  I lived in their house for several months.

Question: In 1993, you were selected with the sixth pick overall in the NHL Entry Draft. How much was that news unexpected and pleasant?

Viktor Kozlov: It was interesting and honorable. I wanted to know how I was evaluated against my peers from around the world. But here we must take a sober look at these figures.  Being an early draft pick and being rated highly by the scouts is still not a guarantee that you will have everything work out in the NHL. And there are many stories of players who were early draft picks who did not work out in NHL. In general, in the life of every novice hockey player, there must be the right opportunity.

Question: Viktor Nikolaevich, how hard was it for you to join the new club?  How did you like San Jose?

Viktor Kozlov: At first it was very hard. Everything is different: country, way of life, language. Attitude to sports and hockey. In North America, you are left to yourself – you are responsible for your training and playing.  In Russia it was customary to live on bases where we were often watched by trainers – who does what and so on. And in North America, no one will nurse you. Full trust and professionalism. And it took me a while to understand my body: how to train, how to prepare for games, how to relax after matches.

Question: Nevertheless, there was a funny story in San Jose, that was even instructive, to some extent. After that, you were sent even to a farm club. Do you remember that story?

Viktor Kozlov: Of course. In fact, it was my mistake. Wrong orientation.  In a quick interview after a game, somebody asked a question that I considered superstitious. But in principle, it’s even good that I was not allowed to play at the farm club for a while. This is also a kind of school of life. Yes, playing time was needed, it was useful to me after an ankle injury, which I already told.

Question: You can recall how everything was in that situation: what kind of question and what did you answer?

Viktor Kozlov: At that time, I did not score for a long time, and during the celebration I looked up. “Finally!”, I thought to myself and someone asked, ‘Did you look for someone in the stands?”. I decided to joke, ‘Yes, I was looking for our coach Vasily Tikhonov.’.” The journalists did not understand my joke. The coaching staff led by Kevin Constantine responded to my words in their own way. Tikhonov, who then worked then in our club system, appreciated the joke, but I had to finish the season in the minors.

Question: But at the same time, you did refuse to communicate with the press, which is also considered a strong act

Viktor Kozlov: Well, journalists have nothing to do with it, I just said so.

Question: Of all the clubs in which you played in the NHL, which ones were the most significant in your career?

Viktor Kozlov: I will not blame my soul. I’m grateful for all the teams where I played. In San Jose, the beginning of my journey overseas, I understood a lot and learned a lot. Then there was the time in Florida where I was treated as a top player. I got a lot of playing time and got to play on both the power play and do penalty killing. I also played with Pavel Bure. In Florida I felt what it’s like to be the leader of a team when the result depends on you.

My time in New Jersey was just a good life lesson. Then I played with the Islanders. My highlight there was that I scored 25 goals in the regular season for one season and this is my best record for the whole career in the NHL!

Time With Washington Capitals

Viktor Kozlov: The last two years I played in Washington.  Cool team with many Russian guys: Sasha Ovechkin, Sasha Semin and Sergei Fedorov. I liked it very much.

Question: If everything suited you in Washington, why did you decide to return to Russia? Did you not want to play overseas anymore?

Viktor Kozlov: I realized that I was getting older. In the NHL, it would have been harder to find a new contract to continue my career there. And I really wanted to play at a high level in Russia. I wanted to return to Russia while I was still healthy enough to do so. At that time was a lot of top teams, who had high aspirations.  So, there was the opportunity with Ufa.

Remainder of Playing Career with KHL

Question: Did someone, besides Ufa, lure you? Or did you decide for yourself – I’m only going to Salavat Yulaev?

Viktor Kozlov: In Russia they can make an offer, which is difficult to refuse. This is what came from the Ufa club. Other teams also called, but Ufa’s proposal was very tempting. Especially when Bykov and Zakharkin worked there, which many guys knew about the team.

Question: That is, after leaving for Russia, you voluntarily put an end to the dream – to win the Stanley Cup?

Viktor Kozlov: Many people dream about this trophy, but teams win it. It’s very hard. There need to be a lot of things that go right – a combination of circumstances, a good coach, selection of players, luck at the right time … However, this applies to any trophy. To win the Gagarin Cup, I confess, is also not so simple. And in this sense, I’m glad that I managed to do it in Ufa as a player, and in Magnitogorsk I repeat the success in a new role when as a coach of Metallurg.

Question: What emotions did you experience when you raised the Gagarin cup over your head?

Viktor Kozlov: It’s always nice when you win a cup and become a champion. On the first attempt, we did not achieve that goal but during my second season there, Salavat Yulaev reached its goal. We became champions! The more valuable the victory: as they say, through thorns – to the stars.

Question: You’ve had three great things in Ufa. First, you won the Gagarin Cup and became the champion of Russia. Secondly, in this city you met your future spouse, Natalya.  Thirdly, you and Natalya had a son.

Viktor Kozlov: I’m ready to shout “Hurray!”  With only one amendment: the son was born with us not in Ufa, but in America. And in general, you are right – Ufa turned out to be a happy place for me. A beautiful, cozy city. And especially liked the fans! By the way, one more similarity: in such cities as Ufa, Magnitogorsk, Togliatti, fans are very sensitive and well versed in hockey. Sincerely always sick in the stands.

Question: In Salavat Yulaev, you played with Vyacheslav Kozlov. Was it confusing?

Viktor Kozlov: Confused? There is a long history. Even across the ocean we were confused. There were some ridiculous things that happened in the NHL. Once his sticks were sent to me, and mine to him. And we have different grip. They quickly came to their senses, the service men re-sent everything-as it should. And I can’t count how many cards from fans we signed for each other. But Slava and I treated this normally. With a smile.

Question: You often wore jersey with the number 25. Does this mean something to you?

Viktor Kozlov: Here’s a counter question: do you think about why other hockey players choose their numbers? Yes, there is some kind of superstition.

Question: In the first season in Ufa you played wearing number 52 …

Viktor Kozlov: Yes, and I wore that number during the lockout in the 2004-05 season for Lada. But in the springtime, we were beaten in the playoffs.  As then with the Lada in the lockout, too, past the goblet flew by. That’s thoughtful. Changed the numbers to 25. The result is different! So superstitions are born. And to be honest, then to number 25 accrued since the time playing with the farm club of San Jose. Initially went out at number 47 and played for farm wearing 25. And then things began to work out. Since then – I have considered it my favorite number.

Question: In Ufa, you were also the captain of the team. How difficult was it to be captain of such a talented team?

Viktor Kozlov: It was not super complicated. The team has experienced players, who all understood the full responsibility and seriousness of club tasks.

Question: You even found a common language in the locker room with the violent Radulov?

Viktor Kozlov: Sasha is not violent, he is emotional. Well, do not forget, Sasha Svitov always sat near us on the bench. And if Radulov got angry during the match, we had someone calm him down. There were no conflicts inside the locker room. Even Radulov himself cooled down after the game and would apologize if he had excessive emotions during the match. Sasha – an excellent hockey player, all the emotions and forces ready to leave during the match on the ice.

Question: After playing three seasons in Ufa, you still went to other clubs. Almost for the season, playing in “Locomotive”, CSKA and “Motorist”

Viktor Kozlov: Parted with Ufa normally. The team was replaced by the leadership and the coaching staff. There was some time with Locomotive. There I got a hip injury, which for a long time did not allow me to play at full strength. But once that injury healed, there was an opportunity to play with Yekaterinburg. Thanks to the leadership and the city for another chance to return to hockey. There, I realized that my legs were not moving as I wanted to.  Thus, I figured it was time to finish my career as of a hockey player.

Question: Is it the consequences of a hip injury?

Viktor Kozlov: It is possible. There was a complicated operation. The muscles of my legs atrophied a little, I spent more than two months only on crutches. But I tried to return. Motorist was waiting for me. The recovery time would have been much faster after such an operation had I been younger.

Question: Are you satisfied with your playing career? Mentally summed up for yourself?

Viktor Kozlov: I’m pleased, of course, that I managed to play for a long time. At some point I was afraid that I would regret that I finished it early and did not play as long as I could. But there’s a time for everything. And when I realized that I could not play at the same level, I decided to quit. It’s like in the popular song “I so want that summer does not end …” So, I wanted my career not to end …. I was lucky that I started working as a coach in Magnitogorsk!”

Coaching Career

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Question: When you retired as a player, did you expect that you will move so quickly to the coaching?

Viktor Kozlov: No, I did not. Everything turned out quite unexpectedly and spontaneously. Many thanks to the leadership of the Magnitogorsk club and Ilya Petrovich Vorobyov, who himself contacted me by  phone and called me to work as part of the coaching staff.

Question: So sooner or later you would have come to coaching?

Viktor Kozlov: I thought about it. I really like hockey, I played a lot for a long time. I have a lot of experience, so I have something to share – both experience and knowledge.

Question: Remember that call from Ilya Petrovich?  How long did you get to think it over on whether to go to Magnitogorsk, or not to go?

Viktor Kozlov: He called me in the morning. We talked, he offered to enter the coaching staff and work together. I asked sleepily: “How long do I have time to think – a day or two?”. Ilya Petrovich said briefly: “A maximum of half an hour to think it over. We sat down with Natalia – my wife for a family council and quickly decided that we should go – such a proposal could not be neglected. I will not hide it – I was lucky that I got into such a team and began to work with such coaches together. So, one day after the call I was already in Magnitogorsk.

Question: How difficult was it to change from a player to coaching?

Viktor Kozlov: It was not easy. I often consulted with everyone: Ilya Vorobiev, Michael Pelino, Sergei Zvyagin. For a long time, I got used to the fact that the hockey players are already turning to you for advice. Gradually reorganized and already normally perceived everyday coaching work. Thank you to colleagues in the staff, and the guys in the team. Special thanks to Gennady Velichkin, who in managerial terms does a lot for the club. We have an excellent team – I like everything!

Question: Viktor Nikolayevich, it so happened that your career is somehow connected with the name of Vorobiev. Coach Peter Ilyich Vorobyov did a lot for you in the Dynamo. You played together with Ilya Petrovich and then he invited you to work in Magnitogorsk.

Viktor Kozlov: It really is. I immensely respect Peter Ilyich as a person and a great coach, who gave a start in life to many hockey players.  I will never forget his advice and parting words. Ilya and I have known each other for a long time: from the age of 14 we were involved together in the national team. Always had a good relationship. And in the Lada in the shutout in the 2004/2005 season, we played on a line together. I am grateful to him that he gave me a chance and invited me to work in Magnitogorsk in 2015.

Question: To what extent is Viktor Kozlov as a coach different from Viktor Kozlov in everyday life? There are differences?

Viktor Kozlov: Of course, there are. And at home with the family it can be very difficult to switch from thinking about hockey to everyday life. Still, at home, I want to be a husband and father.

Question: To the most urgent matters. How does the team intend to fill the Olympic break?

Viktor Kozlov: The team will conduct training camps in Davos, in the highlands. The main emphasis is on tightening physics. Plus, we’ll play some control games there with different rivals. This will be a full-fledged training fee.

Question: At the end of December the trading deadline ended. Are you, as a coach, satisfied with the personnel changes within the team? Would you like to increase someone else?

Viktor Kozlov: I think every coach in the depths of his soul dreams about having certain players. With whom you could work. But we must proceed from reality, including in the trade market. In general, we managed to form a good team together with the club’s management in autumn: Bereglazov and Lee returned, Kokarev, Pivtsakin and Chibisov were added, in December, Wolski was traded back to us from his Chinese club. Do not forget and all the young guys who are now gaming practice through the farm club. Thanks to the efforts of Gennady Ivanovich Velichkin, we were able to intensify point-by-point.

Question: You know Alexander Semin well, as a person and a player. You played with him in Lada and Washington. As you know, this season Sasha plays in VHL in his native Krasnoyarsk. Did it not occur to you to return Semin to Magnitogorsk, give a new chance and reboot? Moreover, the attacker has good game statistics in the “Falcon” during the season …

Viktor Kozlov: Alexander is a first-class player. Perhaps he could help us. But the situation developed so that we did not have such an opportunity to try to get Semin back for our team.

Question: But you personally were not surprised by the fact that Alexander did not have any KHL club?

Viktor Kozlov: Honestly – I was surprised! But I do not have full information on why it happened. Whether he had any offers or not, I do not even know. But I’m surprised.

Question: After going to Ufa, where the tandem Bykov-Zakharkin worked, you probably wanted to be, as they say, in front of the coaches of the national team and go to Vancouver for the Olympics?

Viktor Kozlov: I will not hide: such thoughts were also. Any sportsman wants to go to the Olympics.

Question: What impressions did the Olympics in Vancouver leave in 2010?

Viktor Kozlov: I will say briefly: everything was fine before the game with the Canadians. Everything was excellent and positive. And everyone remembers the game with Canada.

Question: What happened in that match, what went wrong?

Viktor Kozlov: Objectively speaking, the Canadians were stronger than us in that match. The result was logical.

Question: What is more memorable during major tournaments: big wins or instructive defeats, for example, as in Vancouver from the Canadians?

Viktor Kozlov: Of course, the victories are remembered more. Does someone like to lose? Defeat then you understand in your head what you did wrong, and you try to forget it quickly.

Question: What was the mood in the locker room after the defeat in the quarterfinals to Canadians 7-3 in Vancouver? Did you manage to quickly forget that nightmare?

Viktor Kozlov:To be honest, that game did not work for a long time. It was a shame that we were so heavily defeated. Such lesions from the heart do not immediately go away. But what to remember: all the guys sincerely experienced that disastrous game for us.

Question: You participated twice in the Olympic Games in Turin and Vancouver. Can you, as a person who has been inside all this, answer this question: why the Russian team has not won the Olympic “gold” in any way since 1994?

Viktor Kozlov: Difficult question. I do not even know how to answer it. In a nutshell, you will not answer. Many nuances of different. Sooner or later our guys will do it! I hope that this winter Russia will win a hockey tournament. Let’s hope and believe in it.

Question: There will be no NHL players in Pyeongchang. In your opinion, is it a plus or minus of the Olympic tournament?

Viktor Kozlov: From the point of view of the level of skill and entertainment of the game, the absence of leading NHL hockey players is, of course, a minus. On the other hand, there are chances for teams that are less dependent on players from the NHL – it adds some intrigue to the hockey tournament. So, it’s not boring in Korea.

Question: The Canadian team was also forced to form its own squad of hockey players playing in Europe. From the “Metallurg” team, the Canadians will play Chris Lee and Wojtek Wolski.  Are you surprised that the coaches of the Canadian team did not invite Matt Ellison, the best scorer of “Metallurg” in this season?

Viktor Kozlov: It really surprised us. Ellison adapted himself well in Metallurg and felt more confident with each game. But on the decision of the coaching staff of the Canadian team.  It’s hard for me to comment on this.

Question: By concluding all the Olympic themes of our conversation, what is your forecast: what national hockey team will win in Korea?

Viktor Kozlov: The Russian. Anyway, I’ll cheer for our guys! Go Russia!

Facts on Kozlov

Born: February 14, 1975

City of Birth: Togliatti

Hockey Training School: Hockey Club (HC) Lada

Achievements as Player

1993 – Champion of the MHL (“Dinamo” M)

2005 – Bronze medal in IIHC World Championship

2010 – Silver medalist in IIHC World Championship

2011 – Member of Gagarin Cup winning team with Salavat Yulaev

Achievements as Coach

2016 – Member of Gagarin Cup winning team with Metallurg Magnitogorsk

2017 – Member of Gagarin Cup runner-up with Metallurg Magnitogorsk

Coaching Career

10/19/2005 – joined coaching staff of Metallurg Magnitogorsk

11/03/2017 – became acting Head Coach of Metallurg Magnitogorsk

12/25/2017 – became Head Coach of Metallurg Magnitogorsk

By Diane Doyle

 

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
This entry was posted in Coaching, News, Players and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Former Capital Viktor Kozlov Talks His Playing Career, Coaching Career, and the Olympics in Interview with Russian Media

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