Oleg Leontyev: «We will play spectacular hockey»


Oleg Leontyev, the head coach of the Neftekhimik talks about upcoming season, coaching staff and team’s roster.

- Was you excited after receiving an offer to be a head coach of KHL team?

First of all, I would like to greet the fans of Neftekhimik! I wish you to be healthy and cheer only for our team! Looking forward to see you on the stands as soon as possible! We will try to not disappoint our fans and play good offensive hockey.

When I received the offer form the Neftekhimik, sure, I was excited. I have a great desire to work.

- Let’s talk about coaching staff. We know Valery Balabanov and Robert Kharisov. What about Marcel Ozimak, Alexei Mitroshin and Igor Makarov?

 - Marcel Ozimak (Asst. Coach) is from Slovakia. Marcel went through all the stages of coaching, from the youth team to the Slovak Olympic team. He also has experience in the KHL. We worked together for two seasons with the Avtomobilist. Alexei Mitroshin (Goaltending Coach) is a goaltending coach. He spent his playing career with the Izhstal. We worked with the Avtomobilist and the Admiral. Igor Makarov (Video coach), was part of the Salavat Yulayev, the Lada, the Admiral and the Dinamo Riga.

- Now we have the most interesting period of time. On what kind of players the Neftekhimik is keeping focus? Young prospects?

- We do this work with the director Igor Larionov of Neftekhimik. We pay more attention on young players. Sure, we will sign imports, but it’s too early to give any names. We have young players with KHL experience. Anyway, they have to improve their game, it is out of the question.

 - What the Neftekhimik will have to do during the preseason?

- From July 14 to August 8, we will work in Nizhnekamsk. We will play two games on home ice against the Ak Bars (August 2 and August 3). In Magnitogorsk we will take part in «Cup in memory of Ivan Romazan» (August 9 - 13). After that we will play twice at home (August 20 and August 22) against the Kunlun RS and one game against the Ak Bars (August 29) in Kazan.

- Will the Neftekhimik play offensive or defensive hockey?

- We will play spectacular hockey. We will try to do our best to show our fans good hockey!

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