Thursday saw the KHL celebrate the end of the 2021-2022 season at its traditional Closing Ceremony. The glittering finale to the campaign saw awards handed out in a party atmosphere in Barvikha.

After winning the Gagarin Cup, CSKA also collected several prizes at the closing ceremony. Head coach Sergei Fedorov won coach of the year – and was quick to pay tribute to his colleagues.

“I’d like to thank all of our coaching staff who worked with me this year,” he said. “The guys did a huge amount of hard work and kept me on top of the job. Thanks also to the CSKA team. Step by step, shift by shift, game by game – guys, you were great! And to our fans, we heard you, we saw you and we felt your support in every arena in our country.”

CSKA’s Ivan Fedotov won the goalie of the year award, chosen ahead of SKA’s Lars Johansson and ...

“I’d like to thank everyone for this warm reception,” Fedotov said. “Standing here with this award means a lot to me. I’d like to thank everyone for their support and kind words throughout the season – whether it was at the Olympics or during the playoffs, I really felt that. Thanks to that encouragement I won a Gagarin Cup, took silver from Beijing and now I’m standing here with this award. I’m especially grateful to CSKA for their faith and support – our coaches and management gave us this opportunity and we achieved big things.”

Veteran goalie Alexander Yeryomenko announced his retirement at the end of the season – and the 42-year-old singed off with the ‘Loyalty to Hockey’ award.

“I’m really nervous,” he admitted as he collected the prize. “This is even more nerve-wracking than playing in a cup final!

“Today is the last day of my career. You can judge for yourselves how successful it’s been – there are many good professionals here, idols of mine down the years, thank you all for your support. Thanks also to my family – my wife and kids, my parents, who introduced me to the game. Thanks to everyone who believed in me – and for those who didn’t believe in me, that pushed me to work harder, to do better in future. And thanks to Dynamo. I can’t imagine myself without this club – and I think that’s true forever.”

Vadim Shipachyov is a regular at these ceremonies and he added two more baubles to his collection. Shipachyov won the Golden Stick award for the best player of the season, presented by Ilya Kovalchuk.

“Thanks to everyone who voted for me,” Shipachyov said. “I’m very happy to receive this award from a star and a friend of mine like Ilya. Today I came with my wife and daughter so they can see that Daddy isn’t a bad player.”

Shipachyov, who is swapping Dynamo for Ak Bars this summer, picked up a further award as the leading individual scorer with 67 (24+43) points in 47 regular season games.

He was also named in the team of the season along with Fedotov, defensemen Nikita Nesterov (CSKA) and Yegor Yakovlev (Metallurg), and fellow forwards Andrei Kuzmenko (SKA) and Nikolai Goldobin (Metallurg).

Avangard youngster Arseny Gritsyuk was chosen as the best young player of the season. “I’m happy to be here today,” he said. “Thanks to my family and my team, I was able to win this award. The league did a lot of work this season, supporting us and helping us in difficult circumstances. Thank you, everyone!”

Gritsyuk’s Avangard team-mate Pavel Dedunov won the Iron Man award. Over the past three seasons, he has played 206 games, more than any other skater in the KHL.

Among the other awards handed out at Thursday’s ceremony, CSKA President Igor Yesmantovich was chosen as the best club director, Sergei Belyayev was named top referee and Yury Ivanov was voted best linesman.

Metallurg’s sporting director Sergei Gomolyako accepted the award for the highest-scoring team in the KHL after the Steelmen potted an impressive 244 goals. The club also won the prize for the best medical staff.

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