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2022 Winter Olympics

Former Capital, NHLer Kovalchuk Named GM Of Russian Olympic Committee Hockey Team



Ilya Kovalchuk

The Russian Olympic Committee has a new general manager at the helm, with former NHLer and Washington Capitals forward Ilya Kovalchuk taking over for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

Alexei Zhamnov will serve as the bench boss for ROC, along with assistants and former Capitals Sergei Gonchar and Sergei Federov. Alexei Kudashov and Evgeny Nabokov will also take on coaching duties as Russia looks for gold.

In 926 career NHL games, the 38-year-old racked up 443 goals and 876 points. His last run in the NHL was with Washington, where he had four points in just seven regular-season appearances in 2019-20. He dished one assist in eight playoff games in the bubble for the Capitals before heading back to the KHL for 2020-21.

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In 16 games for Avangard Omsk last year, he picked up five goals and 17 points in 16 games and served as an alternate captain. He also won the Gagarin Cup.

Internationally, Kovalchuk has picked up quite a bit of hardware. In the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyongyang, he took home the gold medal and was named MVP. He also captured the bronze medal in the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. He’s also a two-time World Championship gold medalist and won the Gagarin Cup three times in his career.

Over five years and 29 Olympic games, Kovalchuk tallied 14 goals and 21 points. In 94 World Championship games, he dished 36 goals and 86 points. He never won the Stanley Cup and still has a desire to win it; he has played 40 NHL playoff games, picking up 28 points.

Kovalchuk will oversee the team that already features the likes of Washington captain Alex Ovechkin, Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. ROC will go for its second straight gold and will rely on star power to pull it off.

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