The former defender of the Finnish hockey team “Laanat” (Leijonat) 56-year-old Timo Jutila (Timo Jutila) instantly agrees to share impressions about the hockey hero of his time Vyacheslav Bykov.
Central striker, has become one of the brightest stars of the “red machine” in 1980-1990-ies, well remembered Utile. Athletes often have met at the matches.
“Great player!” — says Timo Jutila.
In addition to the exceptional level of play and strategic thinking Utila remember the unchanging expression of the Russian colleagues.
“The media was just a stone face. Never read any fatigue or strong joy.”
This man with no emotion on his face became a double Olympic champion, “trademark” team — both in the playing and coaching years. Young fans of hockey Vyacheslav Bykov know in the first place as the chief coach of Russian hockey team from 2006 to 2011.
Under the leadership Bykov Russia took two gold medals at the world Championships (in 2008 and 2009). Behind the bench was a stern man, who many considered even frightening.
This description amused Bykov, who on 24 July was 60 years old.
“Actually, I’m very emotional and even vulnerable man. However, to me it is always important to control your emotions when it comes to work,” says Bulls sports edition “Julia” (Yle) by telephone from the Swiss city of Fribourg.
Many, in fact, is not at all like it seems. Few outside of Russia know that for severely Bykov lies the soul of the artist and romance. The things he does for his wife, surprised many.
The artist surrounded by tanks
The success story of Bykova started in Chelyabinsk on 24 July 1960.
“In the same year, Maradona was born, and I knew that in football it will be the best. So I left him a football and he left hockey,” jokes Vyacheslav Bykov in a documentary film of 2010 “on the attack”.
The love of the sport and especially for hockey appeared quickly. This flame in the soul just flared up, although parents Bykov wanted their son to become an electrical engineer in agricultural production.
A gifted athlete low growth recognized first at the city level, and later at the level of the USSR. Central striker with height 173 cm beat huge rivals as tanks due to their talent and speed.
In 1982 CSKA Vyacheslav Bykov has invited into its ranks. He got married to his current wife Hope and two days later went to Moscow.
CSKA then successfully coached Viktor Tikhonov and the coaching philosophy which was based on relentless work and complete dedication to the sport. Fees for I had to sacrifice everything, including family life. So, the Bulls first saw his daughter Mary when she was already three months.
Homesickness helped to survive close calls. Forward “red machine” and CSKA Sergei Makarov later said that family Bulls always hung on the phone when possible.
“It’s true. It was like we were advertising persons phone companies. The team had only one landline phone, so we were constantly lined up for him to turn,” recalls Bull.
Vyacheslav Bykov admits to give all his time to hockey was hard.
“Sometimes it was very difficult. However, this system and these conditions yielded results. Nobody forced us to go on such a victim. It was a personal choice of each of us.”
“It was a major ordeal for my family, wife and children. On my part, it was selfish because I liked to play.”
The bulls made up in the clubs and the national team successes. Central striker won with the legendary “red machine” two Olympic gold medals (1988 and 1992) and five gold medals at the world Championships (in 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990 and 1993).
Timo Jutila remembers the Olympic quarter-finals in 1992, where Finland lost the team, which was made by Vyacheslav Bykov, with a score of 1-6.
“In that game we had no chance. Bykov was the star of the team. He was definitely the man who wanted to take responsibility and leadership for the group,” says Jutila.
For many years hockey experts expressed different opinions about the reasons for the superiority of the “red machine”. It can be partially explained by system, discipline and endless repetitions, but, according to Bykov, is behind all of this larger phenomenon.
Children raised in harsh conditions, and young people who are not afraid to work.
“As a child I knew what it was like to live in the barracks, when it’s 40 degrees below zero. As a child, I helped mother to wash the floors so the family could get additional earnings. I understand the value of hard work already then.”
“The secret of the “red machine” lies in this experience. He helped to push the boundaries of what is possible”.
Family was more important than the dreams of the NHL
Since childhood family was Vyacheslav Bykov all. Family was the main cause of failure of the attacker from the invitation to the NHL club “Quebec nordiques” (Quebec Nordiques) in the early 1990-ies. The game in the NHL Bulls and his partner on the triple attack Andrei Khomutov preferred transition in the Swiss hockey club “Fribourg-Gotteron” (Fribourg-Gotteron).
“When the first five “red machine” went to the NHL, we constantly communicate with them. Playing in the NHL meant constant traveling and leaving home. My children were so little. I didn’t want these tests.”
Is the NHL the Bulls and Clips enjoyed the sincere enthusiasm of the Swiss. The main reason for this attitude was explained by the statistics: in the first season after 36 games the Bulls scored 84 points (35 goals, 49 assists).
“We’ve learned that you have to achieve yourself, and not expect that someone else will do something for you. Ice had to be the best. In addition, we were members of Soviet hockey and the Soviet Union abroad. It was a big responsibility.”
The importance of the family is visible in Bykov’s coaching career, which began in 2000-ies. When a hockey enthusiast, he returned to Russia for the position of coach of the club and then the national team, his wife and children remained in Switzerland.
Because of the distance family members seldom met, but the Bulls tried to compensate for this longing regular surprises. Every week he sent his wife, Hope bouquets of flowers.
“When I talk about it, all very surprised,” says daughter Maria Bykova in the documentary film “the attack”.
Bykov agrees that he’s a romantic.
“But aren’t we all romantics? That’s great. I wanted the house there was a good atmosphere. The flowers were a reminder that I’m always here”.
The most striking period in Bykov’s coaching career was winning the world Championships 2008 and 2009. The coach praised stars such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Radulov. They said that the national team finally had a coach who has your values and is able to work with a new generation of more international.
The recipe for success bulls is simple.
“I’m still in my childhood, realized how important it is to respect a person. The player should be seen first and foremost as human and then as a hockey player. As a coach, my task was to give everyone the opportunity to realize their potential as well. For this it was necessary to create an atmosphere of respect — and not to forget a lot of work”.
In the role of coach Vyacheslav Bykov calls himself a “democratic dictator”.
“In terms of professionalism, I’m the dictator. Professional athletes need to know what is required of them. I demanded the same from himself. At the same time I democratic. I respect the player as an individual and understand that in addition to the hockey there is another life, which he has every right.”
Career Bykov as coach of the Russian national team ended in the spring of 2011, when the star team left without a medal. In the decisive semi-final, Russia lost to the Finnish team “Laanat” — Finnish fans remember the match for the incredible goal scored by Mikael Granlund (Mikael Granlund).
The coach of the Bulls celebrated victory outside of the national team: with the club “Salavat Yulaev” (season 2010/2011) and the St. Petersburg “SKA” (season 2014/2015).
The 2015 season was for the bulls last career hockey coach. The man who dedicated hockey all his life, I realized that family and grandson, born in 2015, you need it.
Now Vyacheslav Bykov lives with his family in Fribourg, where he is actively involved in the preparation of the second composition of the local hockey club. Andrew, the son of bulls, went in his father’s footsteps and plays for the national team of Switzerland, grandson Ivan goes to hockey school.
“I didn’t want my grandson involved in this sport, but he wanted to go out on the ice,” said Vyacheslav Bykov.
In a hockey family Bykov has two much-loved pet. Coach loves cats.
“Our cat Armani and Nicky with us, sleep and eat. They give us a lot of joy. On a bad day they come to console”.