Avangard Omsk is a professional ice hockey club based in Omsk, Russia. As of 2009, it is a member of the Kharlamov division of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Team colors for Avangard Omsk are red, black and white. .
The team is often referred to as the ‘Hawks’. Avangard Omsk’s logo features a stylized hawk and the team uniforms show hawks wings on the sleeves. The team’s name ‘Avangard’ is translated into English as ‘Vanguard’. The team changed their name several times before settling with ‘Avangard Omsk’. From their founding until 1962, the team was known as ‘Spartak Omsk’, from 1962 to 1967 they were known as Aeroflot Omsk, from 1967 to 1972 the team’s name was Kauchuk Omsk. They changed their name again to Khimik Omsk and then to Shinnik Omsk. They have kept the name ‘Avangard Omsk’ since 1981.
Sibneft, a Russian oil company is responsible for partly financing the team. The majority of the team’s budget, however, comes from the province tax money.
Avangard Omsk has won the Russian Championships once, which was in 2004. They have also won the European Championships Cup once (2005). Notable Avangard Omsk, who have moved on to play for the NHL include: Maxim Sushinski, Stanislav Christov, Alexander Perezhogin and Alexandr Svitov.
In October 2008, the Avangard Omsk team was rocked by the death of a young forward Alexei Cherepanov. After his death, it was determined that Cherepanov had illegal doping drugs in his system. It resulted in the dismissal of club director Mikhail Denisov. The club’s general manager Anatoly Bardin was suspended as well as Konstantin Potapov who serves as the team’s president.
In January 2009, the team signed NHL Alumni Jaromir Jargr to play for the team. The former New York Rangers star was named team captain in replacement of Alexander Svitov.