The first resignation of the season took place early Saturday in Khabarovsk as Alexander Blinov (pictured) stepped down as Amur's head coach. Senior coach Yury Kachalov will prepare the team for their upcoming away games in Chelyabinsk, Ufa and Magnitogorsk.
The resignation was a result of the team's extremely poor start to this season. The KHL's eastern-most team earned just three points in their first five games at home, putting them in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
Blinov held the head coach's job for exactly one year. Following the team's defeat to Dinamo Minsk on Friday, he told reporters that Amur needed to step up their game. “It's unclear why our attack has become toothless. We're averaging 35 shots on goal per game, but we're not scoring. We've played this home series very poorly. I apologize to the fans, you just can't play like that at home. We have some time now before we go on the road. We're going to try to figure out the reasons for the losses.”
But finding a solution will now be up to Kachalov. Well-known in the Far East as a hockey expert, Kachalov has worked in recent years as an assistant coach at Amur. He was also successful as a head coach in the lower division VHL, where he led Motor Barnaul and Energia Kemerovo to several successful seasons.
“Yes, Kachalov will lead the team on its away series in the Urals,” Amur first vice president Andrei Popugayev said in an interview to the team's official web site. “We're now actively looking for a new head coach. We were in talks with Mikhail Varnakov, but we were unable to reach an agreement.”
Blinov was offered a position as scouting manager and sports consultant.
Dmitry Litvinenko, special for khl.ru