Following Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s elimination from the Gagarin Cup playoffs at the hands of Avangard Omsk, Russian goaltender Vasili Koshechkin, an Olympic, World and Gagarin Cup champion, announced his retirement from hockey at the age of 40.
Koshechkin debuted for his hometown Lada Togliatti’s junior system in 1998, making the Russian Superleague Top Division in 2003, spending four seasons with Lada and one with Ak Bars Kazan before the KHL debuted in 2008, turning to Togliatti. Koshechkin would split his first KHL season between Lada and Metallurg, before joining Severstal for three seasons, returning to Magnitogorsk in 2013. It was with Metallurg that Koshechkin would see his most success, making the playoffs in all ten seasons spent there, capturing the Gagarin Cup in 2014 and 2016, also winning league Top Goaltender honours in those championship seasons. In his twenty years in the RSL / KHL, Koshechkin amassed a 334-234-86 regular season record with 90 shutouts, along with another 90 wins and 16 shutouts in the playoffs, making the postseason in all but one of his pro seasons, retiring as the all-time KHL leader in games, wins, saves and shutouts.
Never playing in Russia’s junior system, Koshechkin would not debut for The Big Red Machine until the 2007 World Championship, his first of six Worlds appearances (2007, 2009-11, 2013, 2018), collecting a trio of medals, with Gold in 2009, Silver in 2010 and Bronze in 2007. Koshechkin would only make one Olympic appearance, as the starter for the Olympic Athletes From Russia squad that captured Gold at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, going 5-1 en route to Russia’s first Olympic title since 1992, making the Olympic All-Star Team in the process. Koshechkin also competed on the Euro Hockey Tour on nine separate occasions between 2006 and 2018, capturing three Tour championships in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Koshechkin captured the IHLC seven times over the course of his career, winning first in 2006, with the seventh and final coming in his Olympic finale in 2018. We wish Vasili and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!