HC CSKA Moscow (1946–present, Russian: ЦСКА Москва, Центральный Спортивный Клуб Армии, Central Sports Club of the Army, Moscow) is a Russian professional ice hockey club based in Moscow. The club is a member of the Tarasov Division in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). It is referred to in the West as "Central Red Army" or the "Red Army Team" for its past affiliation with the Soviet Army, popularly known as the Red Army. CSKA won more Soviet championships and European cups than any other team in history. It is owned by Russia's largest oil company, Rosneft, which is in turn majority-owned by the Russian government.
|Nickname||Red Army, Horses|
|Founded||22 December 1946|
|Home arena||CSKA Arena|
|General manager||Igor Esmantovich|
|Head coach||Sergei Fedorov|
|Affiliate(s)||Zvezda Moscow (VHL)|
Krasnaya Armiya (MHL)
|HC CSKA Moscow 1960–present
In addition to nine division titles and record six Continental Cups, CSKA has reached the Gagarin Cup Finals five times, winning in 2019 and 2022. The club also became the first one to win both the Continental Cup and the Gagarin Cup in the same season.
The club was founded in 1946 as CDKA (Centralnyy Dom Krasnoy Armii – Central House of the Red Army, referring to the Army community centre in Moscow). It was known as CDSA (with Red Army changed to Soviet Army) from 1952 – 1954, as CSK MO (Central Sports Club of the Ministry of Defense) from 1955 – 1959, and acquired its current name in 1960.
CSKA won 32 Soviet regular season championships during the Soviet League's 46-year existence, far and away the most in the league's history; no other team won more than five. This included all but six from 1955 to 1989 and 13 in a row from 1977 to 1989. By comparison, no NHL team has won more than five Stanley Cups in a row since the NHL took de facto control of the trophy in 1926.
CSKA was just as dominant in the European Cup. They won all but two titles from 1969 to 1990, including 13 in a row from 1978 to 1990. The team's first coach was Anatoli Tarasov, who would later become famous as the coach of the Soviet national team. Tarasov coached the Red Army Team, either alone or with co-coaches, for most of the time from 1946 to 1975. The team's greatest run came under Viktor Tikhonov, who was coach from 1977 to 1996—serving for most of that time as coach of the national team.
The Red Army Team was able to pull off such a long run of dominance during the Soviet era because the entire CSKA organization was a functioning division of the Soviet Army. As all able-bodied Soviet males had to serve in the military, the team was able to literally draft the best young hockey players in the Soviet Union onto the team. All players were commissioned officers in the Soviet Army. There was a substantial overlap between the rosters of the Red Army Team and the Soviet national team, which was one factor behind the Soviets' near-absolute dominance of international hockey from the 1950s through the early 1990s. By the late 1980s, however, the long run of Red Army dominance caused a significant dropoff in attendance throughout the league.
One of the most feared lines in hockey history was the KLM Line of the 1980s. The name came from the last names of the three players, Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov, and Sergei Makarov. Together with defensemen Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov, they were known as the Green Unit because they wore green jerseys in practice. The five-man unit formed a dominant force in European hockey throughout the decade. All five players were later permitted to go to the NHL in 1989, with mixed results. Krutov had the shortest NHL career, lasting only one season in Vancouver; Makarov (who won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1990) and Kasatonov were out of the NHL by 1997; Fetisov and Larionov won the Stanley Cup twice together with Detroit before Fetisov retired in 1998; Larionov would win a third Cup with Detroit in 2002, before retiring from New Jersey in 2004.
Not surprisingly, discipline was quite strict, especially under Tikhonov. His players practiced for as many as 11 months a year, and were confined to training camp (an Army barracks) most of that time even if they were married. However, it became less restrictive after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
CSKA played 36 games against NHL teams from 1975 to 1991 and finished with a record of 26 wins, 8 losses, and 2 ties. 34 of these games were played in Super Series, including the tour of North America in 1975/1976. The Super Series also introduced eventual Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Vladislav Tretiak of the CSKA squad to North American ice hockey fans. On New Year's Eve 1975, CSKA played the Montreal Canadiens, widely regarded as the league's finest team (and that year's eventual Stanley Cup winners). The game ended with a 3–3 draw, but was widely hailed as one of the greatest games ever played.
Another memorable game was played on 11 January 1976 against the Philadelphia Flyers, who at the time were the defending Stanley Cup Champions and were known as the "Broad Street Bullies" for their highly physical play. The game was notable for an incident where, after a body check delivered by Philadelphia's Ed Van Impe, the CSKA's top player, Valeri Kharlamov (like Tretiak eventually a Hall of Famer), was left prone on the ice for a minute. CSKA coach Konstantin Loktev pulled his team off the ice in protest that no penalty was called. They were told by NHL president Clarence Campbell to return to the ice and finish the game, which was being broadcast to an international audience, or the Soviet Hockey Federation would not get paid the fee that they were entitled to. They eventually complied and lost the game 4–1.
CSKA Moscow alumni have made a large impact on the NHL. In the mid-1990s, Sergei Fedorov, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Vyacheslav Kozlov had established themselves as key members of the Detroit Red Wings when they were joined by Fetisov and Larionov, forming the Russian Five. These five players would play an integral role in the Wings' consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1997 and 1998. Dmitri Mironov joined the 1998 squad, following Konstantinov's career-ending injury on 13 June 1997; since Konstantinov was kept on the roster despite his injury, the 1998 squad marks the largest contingent of CSKA veterans (six) to win the Stanley Cup.
|Super Series game log: 26–2–8 (home: 2–0–0; road: 24–2–8)|
During the late '80s and early '90s CSKA positions significantly weakened. After a conflict with Tikhonov, CSKA major stars including Fetisov, Larionov, Krutov and Makarov left the team to make their careers in the NHL. During the 90s they were followed by younger talents like Bure, Fedorov and Samsonov.
For a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was briefly unofficially known as "the Russian Penguins" after the Pittsburgh Penguins bought an interest in the team. The Russian Penguins played 13 games in the International Hockey League as part of the 1993–94 IHL season.
In 1996 after a conflict with management of the club, Tikhonov created his own separate team called HC CSKA that spent two seasons in the Russian Superleague and eventually reunited with the original CSKA in 2002.
Although CSKA has remained one of the strongest teams in Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it did not win a title in the KHL or its predecessors until 2015, when the club finished first in the regular season and became Russian champion for the first time in a long time, but failed to win the Gagarin Cup. From 2008 to 2016, the team did not advance past the conference semifinals of the Gagarin Cup playoffs; they missed the playoffs altogether in 2011. In the 2015–16 season, the team advanced all the way to the Gagarin Cup final; however, they lost that series to Metallurg Magnitogorsk in seven games. In the 2018–19 season, CSKA won its first Gagarin Cup, after beating Avangard Omsk in four games.
After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Joakim Nordstrom and Lucas Wallmark elected to leave the team. After losing 2021 Gagarin Cup final to Avangard Omsk, CSKA returned to the final next year to win its second Gagarin Cup against Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
logo during Soviet period
Soviet League Championship (32, record): 1947–48, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89
USSR Cup (12, record): 1954, 1955, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1988
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1971–72
Pajulahti Cup (1): 2005
Hockeyades (Vallée de Joux) (2): 2017, 2018
Moscow Mayor Cup (4): 2010, 2011, 2013, 2017
Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; OTW = Overtime/Shootout Wins; OTL = Overtime/Shootout Losses; Pts = Points; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against
|2008–09||56||27||7||11||11||106||176||141||1st, Tarasov||Sergei Shirokov (40 points: 17 G, 23 A; 56 GP)||Lost in Quarterfinals, 0–3 (Dynamo Moscow)|
|2009–10||56||22||8||21||5||87||148||135||4th, Bobrov||Denis Parshin (43 points: 21 G, 22 A; 56 GP)||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 0–3 (HC MVD)|
|2010–11||54||13||7||28||6||59||136||159||5th, Bobrov||Jan Marek (40 points: 16 G, 24 A; 51 GP)||Did not qualify|
|2011–12||54||19||3||25||7||70||119||129||4th, Bobrov||Sergei Shirokov (47 points: 18 G, 29 A; 53 GP)||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 1–4 (SKA Saint Petersburg)|
|2012–13||52||23||13||15||1||96||151||109||1st, Tarasov||Alexander Radulov (68 points: 22 G, 46 A; 48 GP)||Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1–4 (Dynamo Moscow)|
|2013–14||54||25||7||20||2||91||130||118||5th, Bobrov||Nikolai Prokhorkin (37 points: 19 G, 18 A; 52 GP)||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals, 0–4 (SKA Saint Petersburg)|
|2014–15||60||39||10||9||2||139||207||98||1st, Tarasov||Alexander Radulov (71 points: 24 G, 47 A; 46 GP)||Lost in Conference Finals, 3–4 (SKA Saint Petersburg)|
|2015–16||60||38||5||3||14||127||163||87||1st, Tarasov||Alexander Radulov (65 points: 23 G, 42 A; 53 GP)||Lost in Gagarin Cup Finals, 3–4 (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)|
|2016–17||60||41||3||8||8||137||183||110||1st, Tarasov||Kirill Petrov (37 points: 20 G, 17 A; 53 GP)||Lost in Conference Semifinals, 2–4 (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl)|
|2017–18||56||35||9||11||1||124||175||89||1st, Tarasov||Maxim Shalunov (40 points: 20 G, 20 A; 46 GP)||Lost in Gagarin Cup Finals, 1–4 (Ak Bars Kazan)|
|2018–19||62||43||10||9||0||106||191||75||1st, Tarasov||Mikhail Grigorenko (52 points: 17 G, 35 A; 55 GP)||Gagarin Cup Champions, 4–0 (Avangard Omsk)|
|2019–20||62||40||5||13||4||94||202||99||1st, Tarasov||Kirill Kaprizov (62 points: 33 G, 29 A; 57 GP)||Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 4–0 (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod)|
Playoffs cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
|2020–21||60||34||9||12||5||91||182||121||1st, Tarasov||Konstantin Okulov (49 points: 18 G, 31 A; 54 GP)||Lost in Gagarin Cup Finals, 2–4 (Avangard Omsk)|
|2021–22||47||18||11||13||5||63||120||107||1st, Tarasov||Mikhail Grigorenko (33 points: 18 G, 15 A; 41 GP)||Gagarin Cup Champions, 4–3 (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)|
|85||Vitalii Abramov||LW||L||24||2021||Chelyabinsk, Russia|
|11||Sergei Andronov (C)||RW||L||32||2014||Penza, Russian SFSR|
|6||Klas Dahlbeck||D||L||30||2018||Katrineholm, Sweden|
|44||Darren Dietz||D||L||28||2021||Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada|
|37||Yaroslav Dyblenko||D||L||28||2022||Surgut, Russia|
|3||John Gilmour||D||L||29||2020||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|25||Mikhail Grigorenko||C||L||28||2021||Khabarovsk, Russia|
|98||Vladimir Grudinin||D||L||18||2021||Angarsk, Russia|
|7||Matvei Guskov||C||L||21||2020||Nizhnekamsk, Russia|
|94||Vladislav Kamenev||C||L||25||2021||Orsk, Russia|
|15||Pavel Karnaukhov||LW||L||25||2016||Minsk, Belarus|
|55||Bogdan Kiselevich||D||L||32||2019||Cherepovets, Russian SFSR|
|63||Takhir Mingachyov||C||L||20||2020||Samara, Russia|
|89||Nikita Nesterov||D||L||29||2021||Chelyabinsk, Russia|
|71||Konstantin Okulov||C/RW||L||27||2017||Novosibirsk, Russia|
|96||Semyon Pankratov||F||L||23||2021||Moscow, Russia|
|16||Sergei Plotnikov||F||L||31||2021||Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Soviet Union|
|22||Alexander Popov||C/RW||R||41||2016||Angarsk, Russian SFSR|
|45||Vladislav Provolnev||D||L||27||2021||Voronezh, Russia|
|36||Adam Reideborn||G||L||30||2021||Stockholm, Sweden|
|93||Artyom Sergeyev||D||R||29||2020||Moscow, Russia|
|39||Alexander Sharychenkov||G||L||30||2022||Nizhny Novgorod, Russian SFSR|
|9||Anton Slepyshev||RW||R||28||2018||Penza, Russia|
|27||Maxim Sorkin||C||L||22||2019||Moscow, Russia|
|87||Andrei Svetlakov||C||L||26||2015||Moscow, Russia|
|50||Danil Yurtaikin||LW||R||24||2020||Belovo, Russia|
CSKA have retired four numbers in their history:
|No||Player||Position||Career||Last match date for CSKA|
|2||Viacheslav Fetisov||D||1978–89, 2009||11 December 2009|
|17||Valeri Kharlamov||LW||1967–81||9 July 1981|
|20||Vladislav Tretiak||G||1968–84||22 December 1984|
|24||Sergei Makarov||RW||1978–89||17 March 1989|
Note: Only counts if the players or builders have played in the CSKA before the NHL.
Hart Trophy (NHL MVP)
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Calder Memorial Trophy
Ted Lindsay Award
Frank J. Selke Trophy
NHL Plus-Minus Award
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy
Note: Only counts if the players or builders played in the CSKA before the NHL.
Note: Only counts if the players or builders has played in the CSKA before NHL.
These are the top-ten-point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed Soviet/CIS/IHL/RUS 2/RSL/KHL regular season.
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game
Soviet / Russian MVP
Soviet / Russian League First Team