stars that disappointed in the NHL

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by raffael3d, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. raffael3d

    raffael3d Registered User

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    which international stars did disappoint the most in the past 20 years?
    they have to be stars outside of the NHL, and didnt have a big breakthrough in the NHL after coming to it.


    my pick> Vladimir Krutov

    one of the best players I have ever seen in the 80ties. Unable to adjust to NHL, the political change and the new free world was too much for him.
     
  2. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    The biggest problem for Krutov was the Canucks coach was heavily anti-Russian and never used him properly, so he just left, figuring the NHL wasn't worth the stress.
     
  3. Todd Shishler

    Todd Shishler Registered User

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    Dopita was always a big star overseas but didn't do much in the NHL with his chances in Philadelphia and Edmonton.
     
  4. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    It was far more than that. Krutov was horribly out of shape. If it was just because Bob McCammon was "heavily anti-Russian," Krutov would have gone elsewhere and returned to his prior level of dominance. I remember he was cut by a Swiss league team, and wound up playing the final years of his career with a lower-level Swedish team.

    Sergei Starikov was another catastrophe on ice. I remember Hockey Digest, in their report card of the first Soviet players who came to North America in 1989-1990, said of Starikov (paraphrasing): "When the NHL looks at bringing over more Soviet players, Starikov's name will come up as an example of why not to do it again."

    A lot of the Soviet stars who came to North America in the late 80s/early 90s had trouble adjusting. Krutov and Starikov were busts. Kasatonov had his moments, but was essentially a bit player after his first three years, and bounced around the league. Fetisov was very good, but not one of the NHL's best, and nowhere near as dominant as he was in the USSR/on the international stage. While age might be used as an excuse for Fetisov, keep in mind that many of the NHL's top defencemen were of a similar age, and most of those defencemen remained among the elite until they were 40.

    Makarov won the Calder in 1990, forcing a rule change that capped the age to 25. While his regular season numbers were usually impressive, he really struggled in the playoffs. Larionov enjoyed the most success among the veteran Soviets who arrived in 1989, but his first two years in Vancouver weren't really inspiring, and he was a healthy scratch early in his third season until his play caught fire. But at the end of the 1991-92 season, the Canucks let him go to Switzerland for a contract that amounted to about $1 million Cdn. per year. At the time, most people in the game thought Larionov had played his last NHL contest. Who knew?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  5. trevchar1971

    trevchar1971 Registered User

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    My picks would be Vladimir Krutov, who was a bust. Other players have come into the league and were pegged as the next superstars but never really rose to greatness or at least notoriety.... Radek Bonk was supposed to be a superstar but it just never really happened.... same with Valery Kamensky who was very good for a while but never really rose to an elite level the way many had projected at the time....and what about Petr Nedved, by now he should have had a storied career but where did he go wrong.... good players who should have been great.:shakehead
     
  6. Ludwig Fell Down

    Ludwig Fell Down Registered User

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    Good chioces. I would add Alexander Semak to this list as well. I thought he was going to be a star. He had one good year with the Devils and was never able to return to that level.
     
  7. Zine

    Zine Registered User

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    The transition was 10x harder for the first Soviets that came over. Plus, I don't think the NHL understood yet the implications of a 'transition period' - or that one was even needed. Heck, at first, many of Fetisov's and Larionov's own teammates didn't even accept them.

    As for age, I don't know if its an excuse but due to intensive training 11 months out of the year, Soviet players were 'done' by the age of 30 - or at least no longer capable of being elite anymore.
    Kharlamov was worn down and no longer good enough for the national team before he died at 32. Maltsev at 32, Petrov at 33; Vasiliev at 31.
    Ragulin and Starshinov were benchwarming old men during the Summit Series at the ages of 30 and 32 respectively.
     
  8. Jiri Dopita, Best Player Not in the NHL!!!!!!111111111
     
  9. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Actually, Krutov's biggest problem was his penchant for the foot-long hot dog. I can hardly blame a man that was forced to eat Borscht 3 meals a day for 27 years - I would go on a hot dog eating binge of epic proportions once I tasted freedom, too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2006
  10. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Very true about Krutov and his lack of conditioning. I just don't like how he gets picked on in these threads. He played well in an uncomfortable situation where he was faced with distractions he'd never faced before. Did he dissapoint? Yes. Was he horrid? No.
     
  11. Vikke

    Vikke ViktorAllvin twitter

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  12. Troy Gamble

    Troy Gamble Registered User

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    I agree that Krutov gets a bad rap from Canucks fans. He had 34 points in 61 games in his one season and was considered a dismal failure. Larionov had 44 points in 71 games and was treated well. Perhaps it was their personas more than anything. Larionov never game any indication that he was having trouble adapting to North America, although I have to think he must have had some difficulty with it. Krutov's problems, on the other hand, were well documented and given the expectations in Vancouver at the time it's no mystery why the fans wanted to ride him out of town on a rail.

    Expectations really were out of whack for them. To Canucks fans at the time the addition of Larionov and Krutov was being viewed as adding the Russian versions of Gretzky and Messier (perhaps not quite that high, but much was expected). There was never really any chance either of them would measure up to that standard and the colossal underachievment of Krutov sealed his fate.

    For him it was a case of wrong team at wrong time. If a 29-year-old Russian star came to North America now I suspect the expectations would still be too high, but there would be a much better support network in place, with countrymen playing in every NHL city and the acceptance of European players now much stronger. Would Krutov thrive today? Probably not, but I have no doubt he would fare better.
     
  13. Padan

    Padan Registered User

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    Jorgen Jonsson (brother to Kenny). One of Sweden´s best player in several WC Tournaments, and probably the best two-way player in Europe. But he was fairly mediocre in NY Islanders and Anaheim, and moved back to Sweden and Farjestad.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2006
  14. Pfft

    Pfft Registered User

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    Do injuries exempt a player from being considered a disappointment?

    If you'd ever tried homemade borscht, you'd never choose hot dogs...
     
  15. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    If I had to eat bland Soviet food and came to North America and made big bucks I wouldn't be eating crappy fast food hotdogs but glorious expensive meals at restaurnats with fresh steak, fresh fruit etc, etc. I might still get fat and not be in shape but it wouldn't be from eating crappy junk food.
     
  16. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Only if you believe the bumph being generated by the Canucks (led by Burkie). You need to evaluate the propaganda being generated and compare it to the facts.

    However at the arbitration hearing it was clear there was no verifiable evidence Krutov was not in shape hence the Canucks lost both the transfer fee arbitration and paid up to settle Krutov's salary arbitration case.

    In fact if you look at points per game and points per minute played, Krutov was amongst the team leaders in forwards. Both he and Larionov had massive problems with Bob McCammon who was a noted Sovietphobe.

    The Canucks initially were not going to bring Larionov back for a second season the same as krutov but a lack of NHL centre material changed that plan. The Canucks had even quit paying Larionov's transfer fees like Krutov, as was put into evidence at the arbitration hearing.

    Here is an excerpt from the transcript of the arbitration hearing reprinted in the Vancouver Province:
    The arbitrator had little problem dismissing Quinn's protestations (and credibility) out of hand and and nailing the Canucks to a wall to the tune of $1.3 million plus.

    As the Vancouver Sun reported at the time:
    Basic rule with Quinn and Burke is to check out the facts and ignore the bluff, bluster and blarney being peddled for public consumption.
     
  17. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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  18. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    Not according to the evidence tendered during arbitrations - that is why the Canucks had to pay up.

    You need to distinguish propaganda along with the bluff, bluster and blarney beng put out by the Canucks from fact. there was no verifiable eveidence that he was out of condition and in fact his playing weight was exactly what it had been in his previous three seasons with Central Red Army as the Canucks were forced to concede during the arbitration. The lack of conditioning claim went nowhere when subjected to examination by an independent third party who punted the canucks out of the hearing room wearing a US$1.3 million award.

    If you recall the reason Krutov had to leave part way through the season was because he had to return get visas for his family so that they could join him in Canada afer they experienced some problems with the Canadian embassy in Moscow. He was reportedly a little ticked that he did not get more support from the Canucks in this situation.

    Also unlike Calgary who placed Makharov and his family with a Russian speaking family so his wife and children could adapt more easily, the Canucks provided no such support for Krutov and his family.

    Do you recall the Canucks leaving Bure cooling his heels in LA and then forcing him to pay part of his own transfer fee before signing him to a contract. That idiocy sowed the seeds of dissatisfaction with Bure which would culminate in his trade request.
     
  19. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    I agree except for the part about his lack of conditioning. When put to the proof in arbitration, the Canucks were unable to make out that claim.

    Remember in those days the Canucks basically owned or controlled a good bit of the media and made it their business to try to isolate any sports reporter/columnist who did not sing the company song - Tony Gallagher, Mike Beamish, Dan Russell, etc.

    Remember Burkie trying to get Gallagher fired and the editor in chief (Brian Butters) of the Province taking the front page to respond to the Canucks letter (which he re-printed :biglaugh:) demanding Gallagher be removed from the hockey beat. Butters wrote that he did not tell the Canucks who to play in goal and they did not tell him who he would assign to write about the Canucks. As Jim Taylor pointed out in a hilarious column only Brian Burke could make Tony Gallagher into a sympathetic character.:bow:

    The Canucks tried to ban Mike Beamish from the team bus/plane and the dressing room for what they saw as negative coverage. That one was resolved by a complaint by the sports reporters' association to the NHL.
     
  20. Heat McManus

    Heat McManus Registered User

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    Krutov's lack of conditioning is well documented. One teammate recalls how he rigged up a Ferrid Bueller-like contraption in his room so he didn't have to get out of bed to turn off the light. He stopped at 7-11 (or whatever convienience store is in BC) before and after practice and bought junk food and Big Gulps of soda. He was also nicknamed Vladimir "Crouton".
     
  21. octopi

    octopi Registered User

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    As far as Krutov goes, i heard horror stories about how when Russian guys first came into the league, they were often taunted/ignored by teamates. Like it was junior high or something.:shakehead
     
  22. Slitty

    Slitty Registered User

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    Shows how little you know about "bland Soviet food". The average citizen, yet alone a star hockey player, had all the fresh steak and fruit juice he or she could possibly want. Its the highly unhealthy (although sometimes quite tasty) North American junk food that was lacking in the Soviet Union. Krutov was deprived of crappy junk food, especially when he was forced to eat wholesome nutritious food when in training with CSKA or the national team, and thus binged on it when it became availble to him.
     
  23. roast

    roast Registered User

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    Throw Morozov on that list then as he really never lived up to the billing of best player outside of the NHL. He had 1 20 goal season with the pens and thats when it didn't count for anything. You could see the flashes of greatness but he never carried his dominiant play in the RSL (and still dominant) over to the North American game.
     
  24. Slitty

    Slitty Registered User

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    Well first off, the sausage portion of a North American hotdog was readily availble in abudance throughout the Soviet Union; one could even find a traditional sausage-in-a-bun variation that somewhat resembled a true 7/11 hotdog (although these were never a popular food and therefore weren't sold all over the place). Secondly, although hotdogs are generally disgusting and unhealthy no matter the country where they are manufactured (I prefer Russian hotdogs personally, but would generally avoid eating a hotdog in either hemisphere)... I would certainly take a hotdog over a bowl of borscht. Not that Krutov really had to eat it, but borscht is absolutely vile stuff as far as I'm concerned.
     
  25. Heat McManus

    Heat McManus Registered User

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