The head of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association dismissed speculation that the head coach of Sweden’s national team, Par Marts, applied for a job in the KHL weeks before leading his country at their home world championships, in comments to RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
Marts’ name appeared on a list of four coaches who Belarusian club Dynamo Minsk said had made the shortlist for its vacant coaching position.
A spokesman for Dynamo Minsk told RIA Novosti that the coaches had been contacted by club officials about the coaching job, but refused to comment when asked whether Marts had shown any interest in the position.
Dynamo Minsk, Belarus’ only KHL team, chose to hire the country's national team coach Kari Heikkila, who will combine his KHL and club coaching duties, the club said Wednesday.
Mikael Peterson, general secretary of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association, said he was confident that Marts had not applied for the Minsk job.
“No, no, no,” he said, when asked if he thought Marts had sought the post.
“We have a contract with Mr. Marts at least one year more,” he said, and clarified that Sweden was considering an extension to his contract.
Peterson also said he did not believe Marts had had much contact with Belarusian ice hockey figures.
“I know he has been there with the national team and they had a lunch and nothing more,” he said.
Marts took over as Sweden coach in 2010 and led the team to a world championship final defeat to Finland in 2011.
Sweden and Finland will co-host the world championships, which run from May 4 through 20.