Bob Hartley joins KHL’s Avangard Omsk

Bob Hartley

On May 28th of this year, Bob Hartley was hired by Avangard Omsk of the KHL. The signing marked his first pro head coaching job since he parted ways with the Calgary Flames back in 2016.

This week the head coach arrived at his new hometown and met his team.

Bob Hartley and Avangard Omsk

A Successful Coaching Career

As Hartley has a highly successful coaching career, he will bring a strong pedigree to Omsk. The coach has won every league in which he has worked. Hartley did that in junior hockey, in the AHL, the NHL and then the Swiss Championship. Now it’s time to conquer the KHL.

For the past two years, Hartley has been working for the Latvian national team. He was the head coach of the team for the last two World Championships and also worked as a consultant for the Latvian junior program.

In this most recent World Championships, Latvia surprised many experts with a 3-1-1-2 record and seventh-place finish.

New Assignment

No wonder, Hartley’s coaching has been noticed by the mainstream media and he landed a new job in the KHL. He became the head coach of Avangard Omsk.

Earlier, the team planned to appoint Ilya Vorobyov to the job. But he took on the role of head coach for Team Russia.

Since that happened, Bob Hartley, with his famous Latvian run, caught the eye of the Avangard management and they selected him to become the head coach of the team.

Avangard Omsk is a wealthy, well-supported organization that expects better performance than a single run to the Gagarin Cup Final back in 2012. The team has some good pieces, including a very solid defence but lacks an impressive attack. Hence, the team is not considered to be a true contender yet.

New Coach, New Endeavors

Bob Hartley will have to change the relaxed philosophy of the team, as well as making changes to the roster. All this is needed to move Avangard Omsk up from the last year’s twelfth position and make it a Cup contender. To achieve this goal he will work with his long-time colleague Jacques Cloutier, who was part of his staff in Colorado and Zurich, as well as Mike Pletino, well-known in the KHL for his time at Metallurg.

On his first meeting with the team, Bob Hartley said: For every one of us it’s going to be a new start, a new challenge. We’ll try to play entertaining hockey at home and on the road, we want to get our fans behind us. We need to build on Avangard’s great history and turn that into a great present and a great future. It’s a competitive league, we’ll battle with strong opponents. I want to see Avangard making headlines – but for the right reasons.


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