It’s been two decades since Bob Hartley lifted the Stanley Cup over his head as the victorious head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, but don’t think that means he stopped winning. The former NHL bench boss was named KHL Coach of the Year today after taking home the Gagarin Cup with Avangard Omsk.
This championship season continues a winning tradition for Hartley. In 1990 and 1991 he took home the title in the CJHL with the Hawkesbury Hawks. In 1993 he was a QMJHL champion with the Laval Titan. In 1997 he won the Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears. Then came the Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Avalanche and some lean years, but he was back on top as an NLA Champion with the ZSC Lions. Now champion of the KHL, there’s little Hartley hasn’t accomplished (his Latvian World Championship squad even recently downed the Canadians in an incredible upset).
Hartley’s name has been brought up in talks of NHL vacancies, but it’s not clear if he is ready to return to the NHL just yet. If he does decide to put his name in the ring, it’s hard to find a more impressive overall resume at this point.
Chinakhov may be a familiar name now thanks to the draft day confusion that followed his selection by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Seen as an “off-the-board” pick by Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen, the 20-year-old proved he was worth the 21st overall slot when he scored 17 points in 32 games for Hartley’s team and added another seven in the Gagarin Cup playoff run. Chinakhov signed his entry-level contract at the beginning of May but didn’t have time to get into any games with the Blue Jackets down the stretch.