On Friday, June 5, Valery Bragin, who coached Russia’s IIHF World Junior team for many years, was appointed the Head Coach of the Russian National Team. Bragin most famously coached the Russians in the IIHF Hockey World Junior Games in 2011. Alena Grebenkova, a writer for Sport Express Russia, interviewed Washington Capitals’ defenseman, Dmitry Orlov, who was part of that team, and asked him for his opinion of Bragin’s new position.
AG: What do you think about the appointment of Valery Bragin as head coach?
DO: I saw the news Today and was very happy for it. Valery Nikolaevich deserves this. He is a good coach and has shown results for many years with the youth team. I think this is a serious step in his career, and he is probably glad. Becoming the head coach of the national team is a great achievement. I wish him the best of luck. God grant that everything works out, so that there are more positive results, and the team grows. Now there is a generational change – more and more young guys are coming. The Winter Olympics are also coming very soon, so perhaps we will still work together. Remembering our past is very nice. I have always treated him with great respect.
AG: Do you remember how you first met him?
DO: Honestly, I don’t remember how we first met. But I remember us meeting at the World Junior Championships perfectly. One day, Vladimir Tarasenko and I had a conversation with Valery Nikolayevich in our room. [Note: Tarasenko and Orlov were roommates for the tournament.] Vladimir already talked about this in an interview. In fact, we have something to remember. The team was very good. I think no player will say bad things about him. This man rallied us, made us a united team. We still remember the final of 2011, our victory. All the guys are playing at a high level now – this is important. I think that he was the one who motivated us and gave us confidence. We will never forget this.
His appointment makes me very happy. Being a head coach is a big responsibility. He will need to watch a lot of players – adult tournaments are different from youth ones. So it will be a great experience for him. God willing, everything will turn out well.
(The IIHF World Junior Roster also included Orlov’s teammate, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Artemi Panarin now with the New York Rangers, and Nikita Zaitsev now with the Ottawa Senators.)
See original article from Sport Express here.
By Diane Doyle