18 January 2019
HC Kunlun Red Star announces changes in the coaching staff of the KHL team. Jussi Tapola leaves the head coach position, which will now be occupied by Curt Fraser.
Tapola’s work with the KHL team was an important stage of our club’s development, bringing new and valuable experience which was necessary as we built and progressed. Club management thanks the Finnish specialist for his work and wishes him success in his future career. As the third year of the club's existence is coming to an end, it is time to summarize the accumulated, multifaceted experience, and to determine the vector of development. We focus not only until the end of this season, but also for the coming years separating us from the 2022 Winter Olympics, which has always been and remains our top priority. This is why changes to the coaching staff of the KHL team have been made.
61-year-old Curt Fraser has played more than 700 NHL games for Vancouver, Chicago and Minnesota, 65 games in the Stanley Cup, and spent twelve seasons of coaching in the top league of North America. He served as head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers and has worked as an assistant in New York, St. Louis and Dallas. From 2006 to 2008, Kurt Fraser was the head coach of the Belorussian national team, which played under his leadership at two World Championships.
His assistant will be Steve Kasper who has worked in the Kunlun Red Star organization since last season, and at the beginning of this season led the MHL team. He replaces Jyrki Aho, who leaves the club with Jussi Tapola.
Alexei Kovalev will continue his work as an assistant coach.