“Krylov did not just leave Avangard. He’s got some very big challenge ahead of him.”


Honored coach of Russia, two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion Vyacheslav Bykov, in an interview with Match TV, expressed the opinion that Alexander Krylov decided to leave the post of head of the Avangard hockey club.

Honored coach of Russia, two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion Vyacheslav Bykov, in an interview with Match TV, expressed the opinion that Alexander Krylov decided to leave the post of head of the Avangard hockey club.

On Thursday, May 25, Alexander Krylov announced that he was leaving the post of chairman of the board of directors of Avangard and transferring business to Anton Kuryanov.

– How did you react to the news that Alexander Krylov left the post of chairman of the board of directors of Avangard?

– Krylov is one of the strongest sports managers in Russia. Someone can say that such a powerful corporation as Gazprom is behind it. But not everyone is able to properly build a sports structure that would not depend entirely on one sponsor.

Krylov’s strength is that he creates a team of professionals from different industries who work for a common cause. I am close to his work style, when they create a team of people who would offer something new, take responsibility into their own hands and develop the structure itself for the better. It helps to reveal the potential of its employees even better, giving them the initiative. This is very important for people to grow and develop.

Alexander Krylov / Photo: © HC Avangard

And what is the structure of the “Avant-garde”? This is the development of sports in the region, the promotion of hockey and the attraction of the largest number of fans. It’s not just about the people who come to the new G-Drive Arena. And this in itself is a grandiose achievement that the “hawks” got a new home, leaving for several years in Balashikha, when their old palace was in disrepair. And we are talking about children – someone plays on the street box, which, at the initiative of Krylov, was built in Omsk and introduced hockey lessons in schools, someone entered the new hockey academy that opened in the city.

Alexander Vladimirovich and I sometimes met in Switzerland when he flew to me, sometimes we had meetings in Russia. Each time I was glad that quite young, but ambitious and smart, technically trained managers appeared in our business, ready to use their knowledge for the development of our sports industry.

Krylov very wisely and competently built the Avangard vertical, starting with children and ending with the KHL club. As I heard from the reviews, the “hawks” under him became almost the most popular hockey team in Russia. So Avangard is not only the most beloved club in Siberia.

And it’s not just about hockey.

– Indeed, Krylov came to the KHL from auto racing, and his G-Drive Racing team won the European Le Mans Series several times. But this is a completely different niche, but even there he was a winner. Krylov subtly feels and understands the sport, knowing it firsthand. With his work, he unites people, aims them at the result and achieves his goals. We can only be glad that we have such professionals.


Photo: © Press service of HC Avangard

– Is it true that in 2018 you almost agreed to become the head coach of Avangard?

— I have not worked in the KHL since 2015. But that offer was the closest I could come back. In general, Alexander Krylov and I regularly communicate and exchange opinions. I actually received such an offer. I refused, but I could not then do otherwise. Although my interest was high.

It is a pity if Krylov leaves hockey altogether. But I understand that he can look for new challenges for himself. In general, it seemed that he was cramped in the league. The range of thoughts was admirable – for example, to organize a KHL club in Dubai.

Enough criticism.

– And why are they hammering in the press and Telegram channels? Because envy. Here, Krylov, a young manager came, built a new arena, made Avangard a champion, developed a children’s academy in Omsk. And why is he so successful? Atu him!

But there are very few such promising managers who look broadly and deeply, understand the sports industry from and to, delving into the very essence. I think we are not saying goodbye to Alexander Krylov. I won’t be surprised if we see him in the government of the Russian Federation. Such people are in great demand.

And hockey is a small niche topic.

“Small, but bright enough to show off. Well, Krylov achieved success in Gazprom Neft, in auto racing, in hockey. A real multifaceted hat-trick! In general, in terms of scale, Krylov can even lead the entire hockey industry. At the club level, he has already proven everything. And with his ideas he can develop the whole league. The same club in Dubai is a great idea. And we see how the Emirates are now close to Russia. There is not only sports, but also geopolitics. Once the right opportunity arises, it could be implemented.

– Krylov handed over the reins to Anton Kuryanov, who played with you in the Russian gold team at the 2009 World Championships.

— Yes, Anton is a hardworking guy, treats everyone with respect, loves sports and knows it from the inside. Now at Avangard, he gained experience first as a coach, now he is mastering as a general manager. I think Krylov made another correct bet, choosing frames. Kuryanov is smart, intelligent. I hope he becomes a good leader in the future.


Photo: © KHL / Dmitry Loshkarev

Anton’s advantage in Avangard is that he is not a stranger. He did not come from outside, he does not need to get used to it. Everyone knows, loves and trusts him. Kuryanov can develop a hockey business in Omsk. “Vanguard” under him will continue the same policy as it was under Krylov. I think that at some stage Alexander Vladimirovich will still follow the club and help. Well, and then – in independent swimming. They will help Kuryanov, he is his own. And that’s great.

– And what will happen next with Krylov? your forecast.

“I wonder where he will end up. I think he left his post at Vanguard for a reason. Krylov lives in sports. And if he closes this page now, it means that he has received a very serious offer. Some new challenge. And strong self-sufficient people live with such challenges. This is a kind of dope for them.

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The article is in Russian

Tags: Krylov leave Avangard Hes big challenge ahead


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