Gunvor co-owner and freshly elected chairman of the Saint-Petersburg hockey team SKA, Gennady Timchenko, has raised high expectations among SKA fans. For the Geneva based oil trader, his team has to win the Russian hockey championship (KHL).
Gennady Timchenko is a successful businessman who is using the same managing methods when it comes to professional sport: get the most out of his team and expect perfection to reach his goals. The type of pep talk SKA fans love!
SKA objectives for the 2011-2012 KHL season are “to reach the final and bring the Gagarin Cup to Saint Petersburg”, GennadyTimchenko announced while hosting the team presentation earlier this month. The SKA 2011-2012 squad indeed seems built to bring the trophy back to Saint-Petersburg.
One of the first decision of Gennady Timchenko as chairman of the team, was to appoint a new head coach… and he took the best, Milos Riha who was last year awarded as “Best coach” of the league. A world-class coach is certainly a good start when you’re to build a championship team.
But a coach is not a whole team, and if the SKA roster was already filled with competitive players (Nabokov, Vishnevsky, Afinogenov,…) Gennady Timchenko chose to recruit talented and experienced players such as defenders Kirill Koltsov and Dmitry Kalinin from SalavatYulaev, Yuri Aleksandrov from Providence Bruins or Igor Makarov from the Chicago Balckhawks.
As the new season started on September 12, SKA seems more ready than ever to reach the European Hockey “Holy Grail” and win the KHL trophy. Fans are waiting for no less than a title from this experienced and talented squad.
After nine games, SKA is currently ranked fifth of the League with a game less (and potentially leading the league). Play-offs qualification should not be an issue for this team which was already awarded with the “Best Goaltender” for September. JakubStepanek only allowed 7 goals in five games!