Skip to content

Kovalchuk insists he’s not behind KHL coach’s firing

Nov 26, 2012, 9:39 PM EDT

Ilya Kovalchuk AP

Ilya Kovalchuk told R Sport that he isn’t responsible for Sunday’s firing of his KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s head coach Milos Riha.

“All the rumors about some problems between me and Riha are nonsense,” Kovalchuk said. “We had a good personal relationship, and I want to wish good luck to him and [assistant coach Andrey] Potaychuk in wherever they will work next.”

It’s tough not to wonder what prompted the team to fire Riha, then.

The squad is currently on top of the KHL’s Western Conference with 61 points, tied for most in the league, so it’s hard to imagine the issue being about team performance.

Kovalchuk is also enjoying great personal success – he’s tied for fourth place in scoring with 29 points in 22 games – so the answer probably cannot be found in the standings or box scores.

If there indeed was a rift, Kovalchuk is certainly playing things closer to the vest than he did with short-lived New Jersey Devils bench boss John MacLean in 2010-11.

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Today’s Stanley Cup playoff action

    Apr 26, 2015, 6:20 PM EDT

    Dale Weise, Brandon Prust, Alexei Emelin AP

    Habs and Wild look to advance with Game 6 wins.

  2. Another Blues campaign ends in disappoint as Wild advance

    Apr 26, 2015, 6:18 PM EDT

    St Louis Blues v Minnesota Wild - Game Six Getty Images

    Minnesota’s earned the right to challenge Chicago again.

  3. Dupuis thinks he can play again, but ‘it’s not up to me’

    Apr 26, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT

    Pascal Dupuis Getty Images

    He’ll undergo further testing in the not too distant future.

  4. Report: Toronto approached Chiarelli before he took Oilers job

    Apr 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Peter Chiarelli Peter Chiarelli

    The newly appointed Edmonton executive is already busy in his new role.

  5. Glencross to return to Caps’ lineup for Game 7

    Apr 26, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals Headshots

    Eric Fehr would be ready for the second round.

  6. Crosby joining Team Canada at Worlds

    Apr 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Canada forward Sidney Crosby raises his stick to hockey fans after Canada beat the USA 1-0 in a men's semifinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) AP

    He last played at the 2006 tournament.

  7. Sens’ MacArthur good to go for Game 6

    Apr 26, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    Clarke MacArthur Getty Images

    He didn’t play the second half of Friday night’s win.

  8. Pens’ Pouliot headed back to AHL

    Apr 26, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Flyers v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Chorney and Dumoulin could also head back to Wilkes-Barre for their playoff run.

  9. Habs’ Parenteau to play Game 6

    Apr 26, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    P.A. Parenteau P.A. Parenteau

    He’s been a healthy scratch for three games.

  10. Keith conquers: Blackhawks come back, eliminate Predators

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:03 PM EDT

    Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    A six-game series that felt like (at least) seven.

  11. Video: Canucks score three in 7:06 to take commanding lead in Calgary

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT

    Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames - Game Four Getty Images

    Vancouver looking to avoid elimination for the second straight game.

Featured video

Plenty of pressure on Blues
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2840)
  2. A. Burrows (2423)
  3. S. Weber (2253)
  4. K. Letang (2132)
  5. M. Giordano (1952)
  1. C. Ehrhoff (1902)
  2. M. Fisher (1843)
  3. D. Carcillo (1780)
  4. L. Bouma (1763)
  5. T. Hamonic (1724)