- © RIA Novosti. Alexei Danichev
© RIA Novosti. Alexei Danichev
ST. PETERSBURG, November 26 (R-Sport) - SKA St. Petersburg captain Ilya Kovalchuk denied claims a conflict with former coach Milos Riha led to the latter's dismissal, in comments Monday.
SKA fired Riha on Sunday despite the team’s top position in the KHL's Western Conference, causing speculations that Riha’s dismissal was related to conflicts with players.
"All the rumors about some problems between me and Riha are nonsense,” Kovalchuk said.
“We had a good personal relationship, and I want to wish good luck to him and [assistant coach Andrey] Potaychuk in wherever they will work next."
Kovalchuk said that Riha “did many things” for the team but the management’s decision to fire him was "not for discussion."
Kovalchuk joined SKA on a lockout contract from the New Jersey Devils in September and has recorded 11 goals and 18 assists in 22 games.