Viktor Tikhonov


Viktor Tikhonov

Viktor Vasilevich Tikhonov ( _ru. Виктор Васильевич Тихонов; born June 4 1930) was a prominent Russian ice hockey player and coach. He was the coach of the Soviet team when it was the strongest in the world.

Life

Viktor Tikhonov was born on June 4, 1930.
*He became a Soviet Sports Master in 1950,
*"Latvian merited sports coach" (ZTR SSSR) in 1973,
*"Soviet Merited sports coach" (ZTR SSSR) in 1978.
*He is in the IIHF Hall of Fame (builder, 1998).

Tikhonov played as a defenceman with the "VVS" (Team of the Soviet Air Forces) and Dynamo Moscow. He scored 35 goals in 296 games in the Soviet elite hockey league from 1949 to 1963. As a player he won four gold medals of the Soviet national championship (three times with "VVS" (1951-1953) and once with Dynamo, 1954). He won the USSR Cup in 1952 as a member of "VVS". His coaching career started in 1964 when he became an assistant coach for Dynamo Moscow, then he took the position of the Head Coach for Dynamo Riga. In 1977 he became the Head Coach for both HC CSKA Moscow ("Central Sport Club of the Army" or the "Red Army Club" as it was known in USA and Canada), and the Soviet National Team. He was the Soviet and later Russian National Team coach until 1994, and the coach for CSKA until 1996. As coach he won:
*13 straight Soviet titles 1978-1989
*World Championship gold in 1978-1979, 1981-1983,1986,1989,1990,1993.
*Olympics gold of 1984,1988,1992.
*1979 Challenge Cup and 1981 Canada Cup.

Tikhonov was known for his dictatorial coaching style. He exercised nearly absolute control over his players' lives. His teams practiced for 10 to 11 months a year, and were confined to barracks throughout that time. CSKA was literally part of the Soviet Army during the Soviet era, and Tikhonov was a full general. While he publicly supported efforts by his players to go to the NHL, he used his contacts within the Soviet government to keep them from leaving. Viacheslav Fetisov, for instance, was drafted by the NHL in 1978, but was unable to leave until 1989 due to Tikhonov's influence. Tikhonov's fear of defections was so great that he often cut players when he thought they might defect. In 1991, for instance, he cut Pavel Bure, Valeri Zelepukin, Evgeny Davydov, and Vladimir Konstantinov just before the 1991 Canada Cup. All of them had been drafted by NHL teams, and Tikhonov thought they might defect if they were allowed to go to the West. As a result, the Soviets won only one game and were eliminated after the round-robin phase--their worst international performance ever. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Tikhonov mellowed his style considerably. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/winter02/hockey/story?id=1326249 ESPN.com - Russians regroup on other side of the red line ] ]

Since his retirement, Tikhonov has lobbied the Russian government for more attention and better financing for the national team.

Viktor's son Vasily Viktorovich Tikhonov is also a professional ice hockey coach, he worked in Finland but has recently moved back to Russia to live with his family.

Viktor's grandson, Viktor Tikhonov, was chosen to join Team Russia at the 2007 Super Series against Team Canada after Game 4 of the 8-game-series was completed. He currently plays for Severstal Cherepovets in the Russian Superleague. On June 20, 2008, Tikhonov was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round, 28th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, held at Scotiabank Place, in Ottawa.

See also


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