Postseason press conference 2022/2023


Postseason press conference 2022/2023

Today at Neftekhim Arena the General Director of HC Neftekhimik Igor Larionov, the head coach of HC Neftekhimik Oleg Leontyev and the head coach of HC Reaktor held a press conference on the results of the 2022–2023 season.

Igor Larionov:

– This season we played 68 games. This is the first time in KHL history. This season was significant for all of us, especially for the Oleg Leontyev’ coaching staff. The team did its best in the first round against Ak Bars.

However, things we did not have the good beginning of the season as we planned. We got only one point in ten games and the last place in the standings. Almost every day, representatives of the media, especially federal ones, asked us about the level of trust to the coaching staff. In that difficult time we did not try to find who was guilty, instead, we tried to find the best solution. We got through difficulties. As a result – the team made the playoffs.

If we talk about the efficiency of budget use, then Neftekhimik is in the top five KHL clubs. In terms of money spent per one point in the regular season, we got a fifth place.

We continue to promote hockey, especially in schools and colleges and universities. This year, our club held KHL lessons with the participation of our hockey players. We are planning to hold master classes in neighboring regions and cities. Our fan base is growing. People from Naberezhnye Chelny, Yelabuga, Chistopol, Mendelyevsk, Menzelinsk and Mamadysh visit our games.

Starting from this season, MATCH TV broadcasts home games. During the season, six of our games were broadcast live on MATCH TV, the rest on KHL TV and KHL TV Prime. That is why the video quality is higher and the number of views has increased.

The main task of our youth team Reaktor is to develop young players for Neftekhimik. This season, three Reaktor players - defenseman Yevgeny Kashnikov, forwards Raul Yakupov and Danil Sherstobitov played their games at the KHL level. Evgeny Kashnikov played 72 games including the playoffs. In the most difficult and responsible time for Neftekhimik, we agreed to exchange Nikita Artamonov for goaltender Andrei Tikhomirov from Torpedo. Grigori Morozov was exchanged for Ilya Fedotov (loan). We follow the young players of Reaktor because it is an important part of our organization.

I would like to say thank you to the management of SIBUR, Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC for their attention and help in solving any problems that we had.

The great job was done by coaching staff and team staff: administrators, doctors, massage therapists and equipment assistantants. Special thanks to the head coach Oleg Leontyev, who managed to build a close-knit team and complete the task.

The employees of the office also made a huge contribution to the overall success. They did their best in order to provide the team with all kind of stuff and conditions.

I would also like to thank the media that cover the championship. You are doing a great job. Yeah, perhaps we do not always agree with your point of view. This is okay. You do your best in developing hockey too.

Oleg Leontyev:

– I want to say thank you to our fans who supported us throughout the season, to Igor Viktorovich (Larionov) for the great and efficient work, to the management of SIBUR for their support. You remember the beginning of the season, it was not easy. Nevertheless, the whole organization like a close-knit team did its best and got through those difficulties. We became even stronger than we were.

It was an interesting season. We had a good pre-season, won the tournament in Kazan. In Astana, we played well too. Therefore, we did not expect that beginning of the season that we faced. Fortunately, we managed to cope with the difficulties and played well in the season. All the players improved their game and stats. That helped us to complete the task - make the playoffs. The most interesting part of the season is the playoffs. We had a hard-fought battle against strong opponent. We were ready. Yeah, we did not get through the first round. In any case, we made a step forward in compare with last season.

You know, fans talk to me on the streets and thank me for the season. I think this is the A+ mark of our common work.

Igor Fyodorov:         

– Unfortunately, we did not make a step forward like our first team. Nevertheless, we are trying to do it step by step. Reaktor team have 11 pupils of our hockey school. The guys did a good job. They tried to do their best despite their young age and inexperience. Our task is to provide Neftekhimik with talented new players and we cope with it. It would be better if we got into the play-in. We fought to the very end.

– As you know, teams, who are out of the battle for the Gagarin Cup, are working on its rosters. How are things going with the extansion of core players’ contracts? What about players who will not be in the roster for the next season?

Igor Larionov:

– We plan to keep the core of our team, which played well in the playoffs. The negotiation process takes a long time. We will improve those positions that are shoud be improved.

– Do you count on Emil Garipov to be with the team in the next season?

Oleg Leontyev:

– Everything depends on negotiations with the agent. We are counting on Emil and we want him to stay with us.


– How difficult will it be to keep Pavel Poryadin in the team?

– Pavel is our team leader and made a huge contribution during the regular season and the playoffs. It is clear that we are counting on him and will do everything within our budget to keep him in the team.

Back to the list