Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Archive for July 2nd, 2010

Belavskis will coach a VHL club

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Ex-Latvian national team player finally has decided to leave Sweden, in order to become the head coach of Molot-Prikamie Perm, playing in the VHL (Russian Higher League).

Once Belavskis retired after 11 years played in Bjorkloven, he remained in Sweden, initially coaching the Bjorkloven J20 team, but later on also the club, in which he had played for more than a decade. In 2007-08 Aleksandrs worked with just another Allsvenskan club – Nykoping, but for the past two seasons he coached the MODO J20 team.

At the 2004 World Championship in Prague Belavskis was also Curt Lindstrom’s assistant in work with the Latvian national team.

VIDEO: The most famous goal scored by Belavskis. It was scored in a 2000 WC game against Belarus.

Ivanans signs with Calgary Flames

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31-year-old Latvian enforcer Raitis Ivanans has signed a two year contract with the Calgary Flames, during the first day of free agent frenzy last night. Ivanans will earn 0.6 million USD each of the upcoming two seasons.

Ivanans made his NHL debut in 2005-06, when he was called up from the farm club of the Montreal Canadiens. Already in his first game in the league he got into a brawl against Slovakian giant Zdeno Chara, during which he broke his orbital bone. When he finally healed the injury, Ivanans had just another three appearances with les Habitants.

In 2006-07 Raitis was already in Los Angeles, where he played until the end of the previous season. However, once the season was about to end, Kings board made Ivanans to realize that starting from next season his role will be filled by Kevin Westgarth, who, being almost the same weight and height, produced a lot more points and was also five years younger.

There was a reason for the Kings to be dissatisfied with the play of Ivanans – after 2008-09 club suggested Raitis to lose some weight, so that he would become more agile on the ice. However, although Ivanans lost 20 pounds during the off-season, the previous season was the first one, which Raitis finished without scoring a single point.