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Former GM: The ant is a good coach, but he has to be kept from the team

Former GM: The ant is a good coach, but he has to be kept from the team
Gleb Zirjanov and Peter Skudra | Photo: Kaspars Volonts / Riga “Dinamo”

Leonid Waisfeld is one of the most experienced Russian hockey functionaries, who once worked as general manager of Tolyatti “Lada”, Mitichchi “Khimik”, Novokuznetsk “Metallurg”, In the Avtomobilist and Salava Yulaev units in Yekaterinburg, and is now a television expert for the Continental Hockey League (KHL).

As it is known, this season the head coach and general manager of Riga “Dinamo” is one and the same person – Pēteris Skudra. For the time being, such a merger is not yielding results – the Rigans take the last place in the whole league, but during the season, 15 hockey players left the team for various reasons, and most of them were fired.

In a short conversation with the portal “Sportazinas.com”, the KHL expert mentions that this is one of the examples that combining two such different positions does not benefit the team. “An ant is a good coach who should be kept to pieces from his general manager responsibilities,” says Weisfeld.

Can any of the KHL clubs get good results if the general manager and coach are one person?
Theoretically you can already, why not? But the quality of work will suffer in any case. I will say this: when I worked as a general manager, it took me 24 hours a day. There are several factors – different time zones, a large number of conversations and negotiations and you work so that at the end of the day you die . The thing is, you can’t even turn off the phone for a second. But the coach still has to train. I can’t imagine how all this can be done. I missed the time I worked and yes I still train…

Why does KHL occur in situations where one person
This is the wrong organization of the process, it comes from the host. Everyone thinks it will be better. I always say that the first thing Roman Abramovich did after the acquisition of Chelsea in London was that he invited the CEO of United from Manchester. If Michael Schumacher is a good driver, it does not mean that he must also be a mechanic in the First Formula.

In general, the algorithm must be – hosts mean a general manager who collects staff – coaches, players and others. When the general manager appoints a coach, they have to agree on the style of hockey and the players. The coach should not say that he needs the conditional “Jānis Bērziņš”, but he should say that he needs a side-attacker’s lab with certain qualities. But who will be it is up to the general manager to decide.

Coaches have a common mistake – they sacredly trust people with whom five decades ago which they have won. But times are changing. Just look at Ant and the situation with goalkeepers in Riga. What’s more, Peter himself is a former goalkeeper, he has to understand it, but something doesn’t happen there. I have a good attitude towards Ant, but all these things were predictable. If the owners of the club think that they are saving money without paying the salary of the general manager, then they are wrong, in fact the money is lost.

Will Ant be able to find another job in KHL if he is fired from Dinamo?
It can be anything. I believe that he is a good coach if there are strict rules of the game – take the whistle and train. When he changes by 15-20 people a season, as it was in Nizhny Novgorod and now in Riga, what does that show? This indicates that there were errors in team composition. Is he just having fun there by firing hockey players? This means that mistakes were made and Ants simply had to keep a piece of these questions. He has to train and that’s it. Or to work for GM and hire people. It just seems to me that his experience in the position of GM was not successful either in Nizhny Novgorod or in Riga. As a coach, he is good, but here again the question of what contingent to work with. KHL are not bad coaches, they are all good. The thing is, not everyone can work everywhere. This unification dates back to Soviet times, when the coach was king and God. Another thing is that there is a completely different amount of information now. Did the Americans play CSKA during the Soviet era? Are the Swedes Moscow’s “Dynamo”? In my opinion, there is nothing to discuss here – it is simply not allowed to combine the positions of coach and GM.

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Derrick Santistevan
Derrick is the Researcher at World Weekly News. He tries to find the latest things going around in our world and share it with our readers.

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