Andrei Nazarov was a pugilist in his playing days and that’s carried over into his KHL coaching career. On Tuesday, he flipped off the referees and the crowd in a game.
Andrei Nazarov had quite the heel turn in Wednesday’s Kontinental League tilt between Barys and Admiral.
Nazarov, Barys’ coach, wasn’t pleased with a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. He took it out on the refs, flipping them off, and when he was tossed out of the game, he turned his attention to the Admiral fans.
Nazarov was extremely efficient in his obscene gestures, packing many into a rapid-fire barrage. Take a look:
Stick tap to Yahoo’s Sean Leahy, who reminded us Nazarov, a former NHL enforcer with 1,409 penalty minutes in 571 games, has a history of being a wild man behind the bench. Remember his stick-swinging incident from 2011, when he helmed Vityaz?
It’s absurd Nazarov is still allowed to coach anywhere after that first attack, let alone this week’s flip-off fest. Imagine if an NHL coach jabbed fans with a stick today. Nazarov got two games at the time. Based on that disciplinary logic, for his latest infraction he’ll be paid a $30,000 bonus and his team will receive a bye into the second round of the KHL playoffs.
Just kidding. The KHL gave Nazarov six games and a fine. So obscene gestures trump stick-swinging according to the league’s standards? Eat your heart out, NFL.
If you’re curious how Nazarov amassed all those penalty minutes, here’s a sample: him battling and bloodying the late Bob Probert of all people. (Violent, so you’ve been warned):
Now we know the answer to the question, “What happens when a madman enforcer becomes a coach.”
A departing thought: Nazarov is known as ‘The Russian Keenan.’ Now that Keenan is in the KHL, though, isn’t that nickname a bit awkward?
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin