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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yakushev To Coach Russia

Soviet hockey legend Alexander Yakushev was named the new national team coach by the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.

The 51-year-old, who won seven world and two Olympic titles for the mighty Soviet Union squad in the 1960s and '70s and starred in the memorable 1972 series between the NHL and the Soviets, was the RIHF's unanimous choice at its meeting Wednesday.

Yakushev will take over the head coaching duties from previous mentor Vladimir Yurzinov, who guided Russia to a silver medal finish at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.

"It was a bit of a surprise for me," said Yakushev, who last month was named Spartak Moscow head coach, upon hearing the RIHF verdict. "It's is difficult for me right now to say which players I'd like to see on the national squad or which coaches will help me run the team."

Yakushev was nicknamed Yak-15 in his hey-day in reference to the famous Soviet fighter jet by the same name, for his speed while wearing No. 15. and will become Russia's sixth head coach in the seven years since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The first national training camp will be held in Novogorsk in the last week of August, after which Yakushev will make his head coaching debut in the Euro-hockey tournament in the Czech Republic from Sept. 3 to 6.