‘Player of the game’ gets an AK-47 on Russian hockey team

Click to play video: 'Russian hockey team hands out AK-47 to honour top player'
Russian hockey team hands out AK-47 to honour top player
WATCH: Izhstal Izhevsk, a mid-tier hockey team in Russia, uses a Kalashnikov rifle as a trophy – Sep 13, 2019

In hockey-playing Russia, gun rewards you.

A mid-tier Russian hockey team has adopted a higher-calibre version of a popular dressing room tradition by using an AK-47 as a trophy to recognize the best player after every game.

Players on Izhstal Izhevsk, in Russia’s VHL, honoured their goaltender this week by arming him with the rifle after a standout performance.

Video posted by the team on YouTube shows head coach Ramil Saifullin walking into the dressing room after a game, Kalashnikov rifle in hand.

Ramil Saifullin, coach of Izhstal Izhevsk, holds an AK-47 in his team’s dressing room on Sept. 10, 2019. Izhstal Izhevsk/YouTube

He can be heard cocking the gun just before he delivers a speech about the team’s performance. He then hands the gun over to the team captain, who in turn presents it to the goalie.

Story continues below advertisement
Goalie Saveli Kononov holds an AK-47 after his team, Izhstal Izhevsk, honoured his performance in a game on Sept. 10, 2019. Izhstal Izhevsk/YouTube

“Man of the match”-style trophies have become common in many leagues, including the NHL. However, the trophy is usually something slightly less deadly, like a silly hat or a jacket.

Story continues below advertisement

Kononov stopped 36 of 38 shots in his team’s 3-2 victory over Chelmet Chelyabinsk. Forward Vadim Shchegolkov also played well, with one goal and five shots.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

(Perhaps he didn’t win the AK-47 because they didn’t want to give him any more shots.)

Sponsored content