Dynamo Minsk has become the first KHL team to fire a coach this season after dismissing Kari Heikkila with the team floundering outside the playoffs.
Heikkila had only been in the job since May and was combining his duties at Belarus’ only KHL team with his role as coach of the country’s national side.
Dynamo Minsk finished sixth in the KHL’s Western Conference last season before an early playoff exit, but is now well outside the playoff places in 12th after 10 defeats in 16 games.
The dismissal was made “in connection with the unsatisfactory results that the team has achieved,” Dynamo Minsk said in a website statement.
The team announced Heikkila’s departure the day after the team beat Ukrainian expansion outfit Donbass Donetsk 5-4 after earlier enjoying a far greater lead, 4-1.
Former coach Alexander Andrievsky, who coached the team from 2009 to 2010, has been called in as a temporary replacement, while Heikkila’s predecessor Marek Sikora will be a consultant.
Sikora was fired shortly after the team crashed out of last season’s playoffs in the first round following a 4-0 series thrashing at the hands of eventual champion team Dynamo Moscow.
A final decision on a new coach will be made when the KHL takes a break next month, the team said.