Dinamo Riga (Latvian: Rīgas Dinamo) is a professional ice hockey team based in Riga, Latvia. It is a member of the Kontinental Hockey League. Dinamo Riga is one of the six KHL teams that are not located in the Russian Federation. The club has an affiliated club HK Rīga, which plays in the MHL.
|League||Kontinental Hockey League|
|Home arena||Arēna Rīga|
|Affiliate(s)||HK Rīga (MHL)|
The club was re-founded on 7 April 2008 as a successor of a former hockey team (also named "Dinamo Riga"), which was founded in 1946, but ceased to exist in 1995. Since being re-established, Dinamo Riga plays their home games at the Arēna Rīga, which can accommodate attendance of 10,300 spectators.
The club was re-founded on 7 April 2008 and among the founders of the club were Guntis Ulmanis, Kirovs Lipmans, Aigars Kalvītis, Juris Savickis, Viesturs Koziols and others. However, on 27 May, Latvian Ice Hockey Federation president Kirovs Lipmans stepped out of the project because of a possible clash of interests. After the first season, Viesturs Koziols also left the project.
Július Šupler became the first head coach of the club. For the first two seasons, he was assisted by Miroslav Miklošovič and Artis Ābols, but in 2010, Viktors Ignatjevs replaced Miklošovič. On 27 April 2011, the new head coach, Pekka Rautakallio, was announced.
In the first season of the franchise, the team was led by players like Masaļskis, Prusek, Westcott, Ņiživijs, Hossa and others. After 2008-09, forward Aigars Cipruss decided to retire and instantly became the manager of Dinamo Riga's farm club, Dinamo-Juniors Riga. The team finished the regular season in tenth position, higher than anyone would have predicted before the start of the season. However, in the first round of the league playoffs, Dinamo lost to Dynamo Moscow 0–3, which later advanced to the Gagarin Cup semifinals.
Following the first season, Dinamo managed to sign legendary Sandis Ozoliņš, as well as Jānis Sprukts, Mārtiņš Karsums and others. The team finished the regular season in eighth place of the Western Conference, which qualified them for the playoffs. In the first round of the playoffs, Dinamo faced SKA Saint Petersburg with players like Sergei Zubov, Petr Čajánek, Maxim Sushinsky and Alexei Yashin on the roster. Still, Dinamo managed to beat SKA 3–1 and advance to the Western Conference semifinals. In the semifinals, Dinamo was defeated by later Gagarin Cup finalist HC MVD, 1–4.
After his league-leading performance, Marcel Hossa signed a two-year contract with the then-current KHL champions Ak Bars Kazan. Martin Kariya signed a two-year contract with Swiss NLA's HC Ambrì-Piotta. New players signed during the off-season include Tomáš Surový, Brock Trotter, Mikael Tellqvist and the returning Mark Hartigan. Július Šupler resumed his post as the head coach.
The team finished the season in seventh place in the Western Conference and thirteenth in the league, as the team qualified to the playoffs. In the first round, their opponents were Dynamo Moscow. Dinamo won the series 4–2, advancing to the next round and facing Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Dinamo lost the series 1–4.
As of the end of the third season, head coach Július Šupler left the team to be the coach of CSKA Moscow. On April 27, 2011, Dinamo signed Pekka Rautakallio for the head coach position. Also, all the foreign players with no active contracts left the team to play somewhere else. Brock Trotter also left using his chance to play in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens.
Dinamo signed numerous new players for the upcoming season, from Latvia: Mārtiņš Cipulis, Māris Jučers and for probationary period: Kristiāns Pelšs, Armands Bērziņš and foreign players: Jamie Lundmark, Niclas Lucenius, Björn Melin, Fredrik Warg. Soon, however, Melin was fired. During the season, the team added also Jakub Šindel, Ville Nieminen, and Marcel Hossa to its roster, but Jakub Šindel and Ville Nieminen also got fired.
This is a partial list of the last ten seasons completed by Dinamo Riga. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Dinamo Riga seasons.
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, OTW = Overtime/Shootout Wins, OTL = Overtime/Shootout Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
|2008–09||56||24||23||5||4||86||132||156||2nd, Kharlamov||Lost in First Round, 0–3 (Dynamo Moscow)|
|2009–10||56||23||22||4||7||84||174||175||5th, Bobrov||Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (MVD)|
|2010–11||54||20||20||7||7||81||160||149||4th, Bobrov||Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl)|
|2011–12||54||24||5||4||23||86||132||156||3rd, Bobrov||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 3–4 (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod)|
|2012–13||52||13||31||4||4||51||109||151||7th, Bobrov||Did not qualify|
|2013–14||54||22||16||11||5||93||141||122||3rd, Bobrov||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 3–4 (Donbass Donetsk)|
|2014–15||60||22||30||3||5||77||136||160||5th, Bobrov||Did not qualify|
|2015–16||60||17||34||8||8||75||129||151||7th, Bobrov||Did not qualify|
|2016–17||60||11||34||10||5||58||116||158||7th, Bobrov||Did not qualify|
|2017–18||56||9||31||7||9||50||105||153||6th, Bobrov||Did not qualify|
|2018–19||62||18||26||8||10||62||129||155||5th, Bobrov||Did not qualify|
Updated 18 June 2019.
The team has retired one number in its history.
- Július Šupler, 22 May 2008 – 29 March 2011
- Pekka Rautakallio, 27 April 2011 – 5 November 2012
- Artis Ābols, 5 November 2012 – April 2015
- Kari Heikkilä, July 2015 - 7 January 2016
- Normunds Sējējs, 7 January 2016 - 29 May 2017
- Sandis Ozoliņš, 29 May 2017 - 28 September 2017
- Ģirts Ankipāns, 28 September 2017 –