On Thursday, the 26th of December, the KHL named the assistant coaches for the 2018 All-Star Game in Astana, and it is a historical first: the four assistant coaches for the Division teams are all representing the fairer sex.
On the bench with Oleg Znarok, Igor Nikitin, Andrei Nazarov and Andrei Skabelka will be renowned TV commentators and presenters Natalia Klark, Daria Mironova, Maria Bass and Sonia Gudim.
All four women have earned respect and popularity across the territory of the KHL for their work in broadcasting.
Oleg Znarok (SKA) – Natalia Klark (Match TV)
gor Nikitin (CSKA) – Sonia Gudim
Andrei Nazarov (Neftekhimik) – Maria Bass (Match TV)
Andrei Skabelka (Avangard) – Daria Mironova (Match TV)
Sergei Dobrokhvalov, KHL-Marketing Vice President, lauded the initiative:
“Our mission, here at the League, is to make the All-Star Game a glittering and unforgettable event, and so we are always plotting new surprises for the fans. Last season we introduced a brave new format for the All-Star Game, creating a competitive mini-knockout tournament contested by the four Divisions, and the coaches were assisted by renowned TV commentators and experts. Judging by the enthusiastic reaction from all quarters to the innovations in Ufa, we can safely say it was a positive step.
We are confident that this year's innovation, having the head coaches assisted by media experts from the fairer sex, will also be a big success, and one which will linger long in the memory of the fans and spectators, as this is a total first for the KHL. I think all will be interested at how the four coaching duets perform, and the fans will be treated to a real coaches-eye-view of the All-Star Game. Our commentator-assistants will have to master a dual role, as coach and broadcaster, but I do not think anyone doubts their capabilities and adaptability, and that each will ensure that many more surprises are in store.”