Bob Hartley May Be Joining Jaromir Jagr with Avongard Omsk

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With the KHL season only five games old, it looks like Jaromir Jagr is making his presence with Avangard Omsk quickly felt. An early season dispute between him and coach Sergei Gersonsky looks like it may lead to the Gersonsky's ouster in favor of former NHL coach Bob Hartley, who's going to Omsk within the next week to meet with the team's GM. FanHouse heard this rumor a bit earlier and we've got something solid to report, as Beyond the Blueshirts has spotted it on two different Russian sports sites. They summarized the situation thusly:

Leonid Mikhailov of suggests that a dispute between former Ranger Jaromir Jagr and Gersonsky earlier this week hasn't helped the coach's already-tenuous position. According to the Mikhailov, the disagreement centered around Gersonsky's refusal to allow the team to return home to their wives, girlfriends and families after their week-long season-opening road trip. In Russia, it's not unusual for teams to mandate that players stay overnight at what's called the "baza", a sort of hotel/dormitory complex, on nights prior to games. It seems Gersonsky opted to require his team to report to the baza upon their return from Togliatti earlier this week, rather than allowing them to go home after a week away.

Maybe Jagr's to blame for this and maybe he's not (other players are upset but the team is indicating a slow start as the official reason for the firing), but maybe the most interesting aspect is that the KHL is not only looking to poach players from North America, but they're gunning for coaches as well. The KHL/NHL rivalry is far from over. As for Jagr, well, if Omsk didn't know an mysterious, often malconented superstar when they signed him, they probaby have a much better idea of it now.

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