The city!

Nizhnekamsk (Нижнекамск in russian) is a city located in the north-east of the Republic of Tatarstan, a federal subject of Russia. The city was built in 1961 as a work settlement for workers of a new industrial complex and it continued to attract more people until  1966 when it was granted the city status.

 The city has a current population of 230 000 inhabitants and is also the administrative center of the Nizhnekamsky District.

Unsuprinsingly, the biggest company located in Nizhnekamsk is "Nizhnekamskneftekhim", one of the most important petrochemical corporations in Europe, with approx. 20 000 employees.

That was for the introduction...

Now meet the team : Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk ! 

October 23rd, 1968 is considered as the official birthdate of the team Neftekhimik, after the Nizhnekamsk Petrochemical Complex workers formed a team to participate to the Tatar ASSR regional championship. 

The team competed in this championship from the 70's to the early 90's, reaching different levels of success within the league along the way. 

End of the season 1990-1991, the team entered the eastern zone of USSR championship and in 1992, they took part in the Premier League, the Russian ice-hockey championship. At that point, the club president was  Boris Seleznev, who benefited from the great support of Gayaz Zyamikovich Sakhapov, the CEO of "Niznekamskneftekhim" petrochemical complex.

This permanent evolution finally led to Neftekhimik's first national title, in the 1994-1995 season, becoming Vysshaya Liga's champion by defeating Apolyarnik Norilsk 3 games to 1.

Following this victory and the good roll the team was on, they decided to give the  IHL, also known as International Hockey League, a try but financial and infrastructure difficulties quickly appeared to be a major problem for expansion and developement.
Thankfully, Nizhnekamskneftekhim director G.Z Sakhapov rapidly intervened and confirmed quick construction of the Ice Palace and also gave his word on the team's developement, which resulted in the team being accepted as part of the IHL in 1995.

Since the IHL ended in 1996, Neftekhimik then joined the newly formed "Russian Superleague", commonly abbreviated as RSL (considered at the time the second best league in the world).

In 2002, Neftekhimik won its second title ever, by winning the now defunct Tempere Cup, in Finland, winning against the Tappara Tempere.

During its time in the RSL, the team reached varying levels of the competition. Highlights include : 6th place in 2001 and 1/8 of playoffs in 2003-2004 (when they battled Metallurg Magnitogorsk) amongst other things.

In a natural evolution, when RSL made space for the brand new and ambitious KHL championship that the whole world knows about, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk was obviously amongst teams to join this exciting competition, attaining a new level of visibility.

KHL results have since then been rather very positive for the team, reaching play-offs on a regular basis and also reaching 6th place in 2009-2010 season, amongst other things.

Hopefully, there is a lot more to come and history has yet to be made for the humble former-petrochemists amateur team to reach the highest place of the best championship in the world !

So, which side are you on ?


The Arena :

The team plays at the SCC Arena, capacity 5500. 

Adress is :     30, Years of Victory,
                      423570 Nizhnekamsk.

The Mascot :

Since 2012, the team's official mascot is called "Kauchonok". He's a little man made of rubber. The story says he was created out of rubber leftovers in the Neftekhim fabric. He was in the last batch to be exported, one evening, but the workers went home and when the store went dark, Kauchonok decided he didn't want to go anyhwere and wanted to stay in Nizhnekamsk to "support the team and be the best cheerleader !". It is said that he likes to play Balalaïka.

You can see Kauchonok skating around the rink before games and also in the stands and outside the arena taking pictures with, fans, kids and grown-ups alike.

The Cheerleaders :

Working on it ( not litteraly ;)).. Here are a bunch of pictures to begin with...

The Fan store and Merchandising :

Only a few stuff is available outside of Nizhnekamsk and/or Russia.

Official jerseys can be bought from official supplier online : www.lutchusa.com

There's a few shirts and goodies on the KHL store HERE or HERE
For official stuff, there's a store in Nizhnekamsk, at the arena, where you can call weekdays between 09:00 - 16:00 Moscow time, but you'll have to speak russian : (8555) 36-86-16. 
They will send you items pictures, They have a bunch of cool stuff to buy, you can see a bunch of them on the picture below...

If all else fail, you can write me and I'll do the necessary !

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