Dmitry Yerykalov Hartley could have had a cool successor, but Ryabykin was appointed. Alexander Krylov the day before held another, already traditional, direct line with Avangard fans. The chairman of the board of directors of the Omsk club answered their questions, as well as those of the presenter Denis Kazansky. The hottest topic was the current results of the hawks, who have not been able to win six matches since the beginning of the season, as well as the figure of the head coach. “When will Ryabykin be fired?” sounds about as often as “why was Ryabykin appointed?”. Answering the second question, Krylov told a real sensation. “Ryabykin went through the school of Bob Hartley, all four years. Personally, he proved to me that he wants to become a great coach of a big team. Of course, I wanted to maintain the level of Hartley, and I do not hide the fact that we were negotiating with top specialists. For example, these are John Quenneville and Mike Babcock. We held several video conferences with the latter, talked in detail about the club’s strategy, but then well-known events took place. And when it became clear that we could not invite a specialist of this level, we opted for Ryabykin. Because I could not help but give him the opportunity to express himself. He is loyal to the club, he has a desire. It’s another matter whether it will succeed or not, and there is a deadline, but we haven’t reached it yet. Everything will depend on whether there will be an improvement trend, ”said the Avangard boss. Quenneville! Babcock! From these surnames pawns ears. From the regalia of names darkens in the eyes. Bob Hartley came to Russia as the owner of the Stanley Cup, but almost 20 years have passed since that very victory for Colorado. The achievements of his likely successors are far more recent. Yes, and, what is there, more significant. Babcock took his cup with Detroit in 2008, but after that he won two Olympic gold medals, and also won the World Cup for Canada. Quenneville was on Babcock’s team at that same 2016 World Cup, took the Stanley Cup as an assistant, and won three cups at once in free swimming! And all with Chicago. Both the one and the other, the personalities of a truly planetary scale. Babcock and Quenneville in different years truly dominated the NHL, rightly considered one of the best coaches in the world. Actually, Mike is the only representative of his profession who has a residence permit in the Triple Gold Club. And when his golden “Detroit” began to gradually fade away, and Babcock himself began to be perceived more as a national team coach, Quenneville climbed to the throne. Having brought together Taves, Kane, Keith and other heroes of the prime “Chicago” in one team, he created almost the prettiest team of the 21st century. At least, the “hawks” were such until the appearance of John Cooper on the horizon of “Tampa”. Both one Canadian coach and another managed to work with iconic Russian hockey players during their careers. Babcock not only found, but contributed to the magic of Pavel Datsyuk. Whereas his colleague launched the overseas career of Artemy Panarin, putting a newcomer from Russia to Patrick Kane. Under Quenneville’s leadership, the current Rangers star won the Calder Trophy. Coach Q, as he is called in the hockey world, is greatly appreciated by Alexander Khavanov, now an expert and commentator, but once a rather limited defender. However, he managed to play in the NHL largely due to the fact that he ended up in St. Louis with Quenneville. It is interesting that if Quenneville was appointed to the Avangard, there would be at least one link between him and Hartley. His name is Jacques Cloutier. Bob’s long-term assistant, who traveled with him to Switzerland, was part of the headquarters of the Latvian national team and won the Stanley Cup with Avangard, at one time also helped Quenneville. It was in the mid-00s, when Joel led the Colorado. At that time, Hartley was already coaching Atlanta with Ilya Kovalchuk, and Cloutier, after his resignation from the post of head coach of the Avalanches, continued to work in Denver. So Hartley’s assistant was inherited by Quenneville. Perhaps the general assistant laid down general principles in them. But how could it happen that top coaches even by the standards of the NHL became available for negotiations with Avangard? Quenneville was formally free, and at the time of the negotiations, Babcock, although he was the head coach of the Saskatchewan university team, worked there for his own pleasure, spending time with his assistant son. But more importantly, both are persona non grata in the NHL. So a window to Russia was opened for Babcock’s ex-assistant Bill Peters, who was labeled a racist across the ocean. Mike himself was accused of toxicity and humiliation of the players. The greatest outrage among the public was told by Mitch Marner, who assured that the mentor forced him to rank partners from the most hardworking to the laziest. But if Babcock was fired from Toronto for the results, and the details of his relationship with the players surfaced later, then Quenneville lost his post in Florida directly because of the scandal. He had 31 games to win to reach a mind-boggling 1,000 NHL wins. At the time he was subjected to “cancellation culture”, Coach Q was second in history to Scotty Bowman. However, an 11-year-old incident in which young Chicago player Kyle Beach was sexually assaulted by a video coach left him no chance. Quenneville knew everything, but said nothing. By his then decision and subsequent explanations, he made it clear: the Stanley Cup is more important for him than anything else. So why did the disgraced Peters go to Russia, although he later failed with Avtomobilist, but Quenneville and Babcock did not? Negotiations with Joel never really began. There were no direct contacts and, as a result, no discussion of conditions with the builder of the championship Chicago. Apparently, by that time he had not yet moved away from the Kyle Beach scandal, or maybe he simply did not burn with the desire to go to Russia. Whereas Babcock was much more determined. They even interviewed him, if you can talk about communication with the once best coach in the world. However, everything rested on the conditions of parting with Toronto. The Canadian club continued to pay him $6.25 million a year, but in the case of employment in the KHL, this compensation was reset to zero. Negotiations with one top coach stalled. Communication with another was interrupted due to the February events. The ambition of the Avangard boss, which once gave our hockey four years with Bob Hartley, hit the iceberg in the form of the surrounding reality. The idea of inviting Babcock to work with the Russian national team or one of the clubs has been discussed in the media for many years, and Krylov almost realized this idea. However, now Mike has announced his intention to retire, and you can forget about inviting really eminent foreigners to the KHL. Avangard was left alone with Dmitry Ryabykin, and the league lost a most curious case, the trace of which could become no less significant than the work of Hartley.