Vladimir Krikunov has left his post as coach of double KHL champion club Ak Bars Kazan after less than a year in charge, the club said Friday.
Under Krikunov, Ak Bars recorded their lowest regular season finish, fourth in the Eastern Conference, but rallied in the playoffs to reach the conference semifinal before losing to regular season champion Traktor Chelyabinsk.
“The Ak Bars hockey club’s contract with head coach V.V. Krikunov has been cancelled by mutual consent,” the club said in a statement.
Ak Bars won the Gagarin Cup in 2009 and 2010, the KHL’s first two seasons.
Krikunov is an experienced coach who has led the Russian and Belarusian national teams at the Olympic Games, and joined Ak Bars in June from Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
He led Ak Bars to the 2000 Russian Super League final in an earlier spell at the club, before winning the title with Dynamo Moscow five years later.