What's Buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Fake KHL coach dupes players into signing contracts

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy
Getty Images

View photo

Getty Images

Last month, emails were received by some people in the hockey world from “Coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.” You might know him as the man who was behind the bench for Russia during the 2014 Olympics and is now the head coach for Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL.

The man claiming to be Bilyaletdinov said he was looking for new recruits and to let them know if they were interested:

Spam? Sure. Why would a professional coach of Bilyaletdinov's stature email random people around the world looking for players when Ak Bars is a team with money? But some agents and players took the inquiry seriously and began to communicate with the fraudster. Eventually, the KHL side began receiving follow up messages about already signed contracts. That’s when they took the matter much more seriously and on Friday they released a statement.

From Ak Bars (Google translated):

In the second half of July this year in the hockey club "Ak Bars" began to address many hockey agents in connection with the receipt of letters from the destination coach.zinetula@hotmail.com , who claimed to be the head coach of the hockey club "Ak Bars" Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and requests help with search forwards for your team. 
Until recently, these messages were considered by us no more than a curiosity and a bad joke. However, in the last days of the e-mail began to come to the club signed contracts (in English and Russian) with a number of North American players. Attention is drawn to the contents of the Compilation of contracts in Russian with a lot of factual errors.

The Ak Bars release also noted that any contracts signed between players and "Bilyaletdinov" are obviously not legally binding. Whoever was behind this scam is a resident of the West African country of Benin.

No word on if any personal information was given up during the communication between the fraudster and players who signed contracts.

- - - - - - -

Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (11)
  • WHL Roundup: Brayden Burke leads Hurricanes in 9-0 rout over Ice

    LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Brayden Burke scored one goal and assisted on three more, Stuart Skinner stopped all 18 shots he faced and the Lethbridge Hurricanes blanked the Kootenay Ice 9-0 on Thursday in Western Hockey League action. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 8 hours ago
  • OHL Roundup: Alex DeBrincat leads Otters in 3-2 victory over Rangers

    ERIE, Pa. - Alex DeBrincat's empty-net goal 17:54 into the third period stood as the winner as the Erie Otters edged the Kitchener Rangers 3-2 on Thursday in Ontario Hockey League action. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 9 hours ago
  • QMJHL Roundup: Carozza scores OT winner as Remparts edge Sea Dogs 4-3

    SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Massimo Carozza scored 2:26 into overtime to lift the Quebec Remparts to a 4-3 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Thursday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 11 hours ago
  • Flames-Coyotes Preview

    The Calgary Flames are near the bottom of the NHL's overall standings, and they'll likely stay there unless they find a way to improve their play away from home. With coach Bob Hartley potentially shuffling his lines, the Flames seek just their … More »

    AP - Sports - 11 hours ago
  • Penguins-Blue Jackets Preview

    An angry Sidney Crosby refuted the idea that there is a rift between him and Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux. An angry John Tortorella called the Columbus Blue Jackets' latest victory lucky. The Blue Jackets managed to shut down Crosby and … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 hours ago