Referees Sergei Karabanov and Roman Shchenyov had their hands full on Wednesday as Barys Astana took on Admiral Vladivostok.  It wasn’t the players, though, that gave them the most trouble — it was Barys head coach Andrei Nazarov.

KHL Referee Sergei Karabanov (#5)

KHL Referee Sergei Karabanov (#5)

Nazarov is quite familiar with keeping officials busy.   In his 571 game NHL career (1993-2006), Nazarov piled up 1,409 penalty minutes, including 131 fights.  His last NHL regular season altercation was with Peter Worrell back in 2004.  Nazarov, though, kept that same level of intensity even after his playing career came to an end.

Since stepping behind the bench, he’s earned a reputation as “The Russian [Mike] Keenan”.  Back in 2011, he fought KHL fans with a stick from the bench.

In Wednesday’s game against Admiral, Nazarov quickly found himself on the officials’ bad side.  His club was called for eight penalties through the first 59 minutes of play, while Admiral was sent to the box just once.  Frustrated, his fuse was short.

Down 3-2, Barys was looking for the tying goal late in the third period.  With under a minute to go, the club was whistled for too many men on the ice.   Linesman Tornike Kuchava (#56) had to deliver the bad news.

Nazarov was not happy.

First, he kicked a towel on to the ice.   Next, a water bottle was sent flying. Referee Sergei Karabanov (#5) had seen enough.  He tossed the Barys coach from the game.

Nazarov was even more unhappy.

He made sure to let everyone — the officials as well as the fans on each side of the arena — know about it:

UPDATE:  Nazarov has been suspended six games for his actions. From the KHL:

After analyzing the incident in full, studying the video and photographic evidence, the official protocols, and the reports from the officials and inspectors, the Disciplinary Committee has decided to uphold the referee’s decision to punish Andrei Nazarov for committing several violations of Rule 551, Abuse of Officials and Unsportsmanlike Conduct by Team Officials.
In light of the repeated and sustained nature of these violations, the Disciplinary Committee has suspended Mr. Nazarov for a total of six games and imposed a substantial financial penalty. The Committee has also fined both clubs – Barys for the behaviour of its staff, specifically for provoking conflicts both on the ice and on the benches, and Admiral for failing to provide the desired level of security needed to prevent such conflict situations at its arena.
Interesting to see Admiral Vladivostok on the hook for lack of security that ‘enabled’ these events.   I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the rematch between these two clubs.