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    Hockey: CSKA Moscow Fire Coach Supler

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    The CSKA Moscow hockey team has fired Slovak coach Julius Supler, a high-placed club official told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    The CSKA Moscow hockey team has fired Slovak coach Julius Supler, a high-placed club official told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    Supler was fired this week due to "unsatisfactory results" despite practically guaranteeing CSKA's qualification for the playoffs in the Kontinental Hockey League this season, the official said.

    The club has been in financial disarray for the last few months, but hope appeared in November when state oil giant Rosneft snuffed out $3 million worth of debts.

    However, last month CSKA president and former NHL star Slava Fetisov walked out in acrimonious circumstances, complaining of Rosneft's "sickening" influence in team affairs.

    Rosneft said in a subsequent statement that the company's president Eduard Khudainatov would meet with Supler to discuss the condition of the team.

    Supler, 61, was considered Fetisov's man. When he joined from Dinamo Riga last year he was mandated with securing passage to the KHL playoffs.

    CSKA, eighth in the western conference, occupies the last playoff spot with a week of the regular season to go.

    The team of the Soviet Army, CSKA was dominant in Soviet times, winning 32 regular season championships, including 13 in a row from 1977 to 1989, and the European Cup on 20 occasions.

    Since the Soviet collapse, CSKA has failed to win a major championship, although the team has supplied a number of stars like Sergei Krivokrasov and Anton Volchenkov to the NHL.

     

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