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Hockey Club Ak Bars (Russian: Ак Барс, Tatar: Cyrillic Ак Барс, Latin Aq Bars, English: Snow Leopard), also known as Ak Bars Kazan,[1] is a Russian professional ice hockey team based in Kazan, Tatarstan. They are a member of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Ak Bars Kazan
Ак Барс Казань
Ak Bars Kazan Logo.svg
City Kazan, Russia
League Kontinental Hockey League
Conference Eastern
Division Kharlamov
Founded 1956
Home arena TatNeft Arena
(capacity: 10,000)
Colours               
Owner(s) Tatneft
General manager Ravil Shavaleyev
Head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov
Captain Alexander Svitov
Affiliate(s) JHC Bars (VHL)
JHC Irbis (MHL)
Website www.ak-bars.ru
Akbars dark.pngAkbars white.png
Franchise history
Hockey Club Ak Bars

The team's name, Ak Bars, is derived from the official symbol of Tatarstan, translated as Snow Leopard, a traditional symbol which has its origins with the Barsil, one of the Tatar tribes.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Founded as Mashstroy Kazan in 1956, the name was later changed to SC Uritskogo Kazan when it entered the Soviet Class B league in 1958. It was promoted to Soviet Class A2, where it gained promotion to the top tier of Soviet hockey. Kazan's performance was respectable, starting the season by winning 6 out of 19 games against the best of the Soviet teams before falling away in the second half of the season and was demoted.

From this point onward, SC Uritskogo Kazan established a reputation as a consistently strong team in the second tier leagues of the USSR. Renowned as a high scoring team, Kazan averaged over four goals a game throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Twice they won the USSR League (lower tiers), being named Champion of Russia in 1962 and 1976.

SC Uritskogo Kazan's most successful period occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The team was led by Russia's Sergei Stolbun; scoring ace Gennady Maslov (current coach of Ak Bars-2 Kazan), who enjoyed a short stint with the Soviet Wings and set a club record of 140 points in 76 games in 1982–83; and Ravil Shavaleev, who was regarded as one of the finest defenseman to ever come out of Tatarstan. During this period, Kazan was consistently among the top teams in the league but failed year after year to gain promotion to the top flight of Soviet hockey.

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Uritskogo Kazan became Itil Kazan in 1990 and participated in the IHL. Itil was only mildly successful, narrowly avoiding relegation to the Vysshaya Liga in 1991 and 1992.

It was following the establishment of the Russian Superleague (RSL) in 1996 that the golden age of hockey in Tatarstan began. Renamed Ak Bars Kazan after the traditional symbol of the Tatars, the snow leopard. Benefiting from the resources boom in the Urals, Ak Bars began its history in fine form, finishing first in their respective divisions in 1997 and 1998 along with winning the RSL in 1998. During this period, Kazan lacked the high scoring of their predecessors but regardless continued to be a dominant team in Russian hockey, finishing runners-up in 2000 and 2002. During this period, Kazan developed players such as Denis Arkhipov and Danis Zaripov.

In the 2004–05 season, Kazan signed 11 National Hockey League players, including Russian superstars Alexei Kovalev and Ilya Kovalchuk and Canadians Vincent Lecavalier and Dany Heatley, in an attempt to celebrate Kazan's 1000th anniversary with a championship. They did not succeed, however, as a lack of continuity and chemistry saw them finish in fourth place and were upset in the first round of the playoffs by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

Since then, Ak Bars Kazan dominated the RSL, winning the league in 2006 on the back of a brilliant performance from Aleksey Morozov. In 2007, Kazan paced the league with 35 wins and 214 goals in 54 games before falling at the final hurdle to Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Ak Bars has been led in recent years by the dominant "ZZM" line of Sergei Zinovjev, Danis Zaripov, and Aleksey Morozov, who have established themselves as one of the most dominant lines in recent history. Combined with veterans such as Vitaly Proshkin and Vladimir Vorobiev, and imports, such as Ray Giroux, Petr Čajánek, and Jukka Hentunen, Kazan has remained one of the top teams in the league. However, they have been at times criticized for lacking consistency and relying too heavily on star players such as Morozov.[2]

Ak Bars Kazan are strong rivals with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and the neighboring team of Salavat Yulaev Ufa. However, Ak Bars was the strongest rival with Dynamo Moscow in 1990s.

HonorsEdit

ChampionsEdit

  Gagarin Cup (2): 2009, 2010
  Russian Super League (2): 1998, 2006
  IIHF European Champions Cup (1): 2007
  IIHF Continental Cup (1): 2008
  Soviet Class A2 (3): 1962, 1985, 1989 (West)
  Soviet Class B (1): 1976

Runners-upEdit

  Russian Super League (3): 2000, 2002, 2007
  Gagarin Cup (1): 2017
  Russian Super League (1): 2004
  IIHF Continental Cup (1): 1999

Season-by-season KHL recordEdit

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; Pts = Points; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; P = Playoff

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA Finish Top Scorer Playoffs
2008–09 56 36 10 3 122 189 123 1st, Chernyshev Aleksey Morozov (71 points: 32 G, 39 A; 49 GP) Gagarin Cup Champions, 4–3 (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl)
2009–10 56 25 18 2 96 159 128 2nd, Kharlamov Aleksey Morozov (49 points: 26 G, 23 A; 50 GP) Gagarin Cup Champions, 4–3 (HC MVD)
2010–11 54 29 12 3 105 181 133 1st, Kharlamov Aleksey Morozov (56 points: 21 G, 35 A; 53 GP) Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
2011–12 54 27 19 1 92 167 136 3rd, Kharlamov Aleksey Morozov (50 points: 21 G, 29 A; 53 GP) Lost in Conference Semifinals, 2-4 (Traktor Chelyabinsk)
2012–13 52 28 10 3 104 157 112 1st, Kharlamov Aleksey Morozov (38 points: 15 G, 26 A; 51 GP) Lost in Conference Finals, 3–4 (Traktor Chelyabinsk)
2013–14 54 26 14 1 100 139 108 2nd, Kharlamov Alexander Burmistrov (38 points: 10 G, 28 A; 54 GP) Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 2-4 (Sibir Novosibirsk)
2014–15 60 34 14 0 120 169 115 1st, Kharlamov Justin Azevedo (50 points: 17 G, 33 A; 58 GP) Lost in Gagarin Cup Finals, 1-4 (SKA Saint Petersburg)

PlayersEdit

Current rosterEdit

Updated August 7, 2016.[3][4]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
16   Abrosimov, RomanRoman Abrosimov D L 22 2015 Kazan, Russia
44   Adamchuk, KirillKirill Adamchuk D L 23 2015 Tyumen , Russia
91   Arkhipov, DmitryDmitry Arkhipov C L 24 2010 Novocheboksarsk, Russia
51   Azevedo, JustinJustin Azevedo C R 29 2014 West Lorne, Ontario, Canada
-   Baranov, MaximMaxim Baranov RW R 23 2016 Kazan, Russia
32   Batyrshin, RafaelRafael Batyrshin D L 30 2016 Moscow, Russian SFSR
76   Chibisov, AndreiAndrei Chibisov RW L 24 2016 Moscow, Russia
50   Bilyalov, TimurTimur Bilyalov G L 22 2016 Kazan, Russia
20   Galimov, StanislavStanislav Galimov G L 29 2016 Magnitogorsk, Russian SFSR
77   Garipov, EmilEmil Garipov G L 25 2011 Kazan, Russian SFSR
10   Glinkin, AntonAnton Glinkin F R 28 2016 Chelyabinsk, Russia
12   Glukhov, MikhailMikhail Glukhov LW/C L 29 2014 Orsk, Russian SFSR
28   Golubev, DenisDenis Golubev C R 25 2015 Magnitogorsk, Russian SFSR
89   Lukoyanov, ArtemArtem Lukoyanov LW L 28 2011 Almetyevsk, Russian SFSR
98   Malykhin, FedorFedor Malykhin F L 27 2014 Sverdlovsk, Russian SFSR
  Mikheyev, ArtemArtem Mikheyev C L 22 2015 Kazan, Russia
64   Musin, DamirDamir Musin   D L 22 2010 Kazan, Russia
34   Obukhov, DmitriDmitri Obukhov RW L 33 2012 Kazan, Russian SFSR
8   Paigin, ZiyatZiyat Paigin D L 22 2010 Penza, Russia
74   Pankov, AlexanderAlexander Pankov RW L 25 2016 Ufa, Russia
9   Popov, AndreiAndrei Popov F L 28 2016 Chelyabinsk, Russia
  Protapovich, AlexanderAlexander Protapovich W R 20 2015 Novocheboksarsk, Russia
31   Sidorov, MikhailMikhail Sidorov D L 19 2015 Yaroslavl, Russia
92   Sekac, JiriJiri Sekac LW L 24 2016 Kladno, Czechoslovakia
15   Svitov, AlexanderAlexander Svitov (C) C L 34 2013 Omsk, Russian SFSR
55   Tkachyov, VladimirVladimir Tkachyov F R 24 2013 Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
24   Tokranov, VasiliVasili Tokranov D L 27 2009 Almetyevsk, Russian SFSR
18   Varnakov, MikhailMikhail Varnakov RW L 32 2013 Nizhny Novgorod, Russian SFSR
7   Zakharchuk, StepanStepan Zakharchuk D L 30 2009 Amderma, Russian SFSR
-   Zakharov, VladilenVladilen Zakharov F R 23 2016 Voskresensk, Russian SFSR
1   Zhukov, MikhailMikhail Zhukov C L 32 2016 Leningrad, Russian SFSR,
33   Yarullin, AlbertAlbert Yarullin D R 24 2015 Kazan, Russia


NHL alumniEdit

Head CoachesEdit

Famous players who played for the clubEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit