Valeri Kamensky

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Passchendaele, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Passchendaele

    Passchendaele Registered User

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    How good was he?

    Was a regular in the Soviet League at 16, played at the 1987 Canada Cup despite being only 21 and did really well. Huge cog on the '96 SC winning roster.

    Saw some footage of him and he looked supremely skilled, though the stats don't really reflect this.
     
  2. Kshahdoo

    Kshahdoo Registered User

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    I actually never though back to his junior time, he would become a star. And on that line with Bykov and Khomutov he was just a support guy to two superstars for a while. But after CC87 he really improved his status and became a top player. As to the NHL, well he wasn't bad, as far as I remember. But as I understand, people expected more from him.
     
  3. Albatros

    Albatros Registered User

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    Yeah, Bykov and Khomutov going to Switzerland instead of Québec really hurt him. Together that line could have dominated in the NHL as well, but Kamensky was the 3rd guy supporting Bykov's and Khomutov's magic and without them was sort of robbed of his destiny (yet still winning it all).
     
  4. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    two soviet union guys who had very productive NHL careers, won cups, but never became superstars: valeri kamensky and slava kozlov. i heard/read both guys being described as more talented than any of mogilny, fedorov, and bure before their injuries.

    i always took that with a grain of salt, because people love what-ifs, but is there any truth to it?
     
  5. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Kamensky was really, really underrated during his career and continues to be so after it in my opinion...he was a monster. Big frame, very skilled, bomb of a shot. Unfortunately, he didn't want to be "on" 100% of the time, but when he wanted to do something ridiculous with the puck, he definitely could...kind of like Alexei Kovalev in a lot of ways...

    I don't think he was quite as talented as Alexander Mogilny, but Kamensky could do some damage for sure...
     
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  6. Albatros

    Albatros Registered User

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    I think it's a bit optimistic, some saw Kozlov on par with Bure but I don't think he was ahead of the three before his accident. Also I'm not sure if his own injuries really were such that they seriously hampered him physically after his eventual recovery, there was a lot of foul play by all sides involved in his case.
     
  7. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    if he was that would be something. mogilny was the most talented player i ever saw in person.

    oh? i don't know anything about this. please do tell.
     
  8. Staniowski

    Staniowski Registered User

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    IMO, Kamensky was never as good as Mogilny, Fedorov, or Bure. But he was very dynamic, and we saw what he could do playing with Bykov and Khomutov. He certainly had very elite skills. But I think he needed to play with other great players to an extent.

    Kozlov was 1 year younger than Bure, and they were the 2 best players of those age groups in Russia. Kozlov was the youngest player to ever play in the top league in Russia, at 15 years old. He was very talented with the puck, and I think he had some puck skills that were superior to Bure, but Bure was a much faster skater, and that was the big difference between them.
     
  9. Albatros

    Albatros Registered User

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    So as you know Kozlov caused a serious car accident killing his former teammate Tarasov and injuring himself. The Red Wings had actively tried to get him defect already earlier and used the opportunity to bribe doctors who gave Kozlov a suitable diagnosis in order to get him released from the Red Army. The army people weren't buying it so they also got their share, and some more for the Tarasov family to make the legal case go away.
     
  10. Hockeylife1938

    Hockeylife1938 Registered User

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    Remember Slava Bykov and Andrei Khomutov :




    They chose Switzerland's League for its living environment rather than the NHL's $.

    The 3 assembled could have earlier offered the Stanley Cup to Colorado avalanche, as in 1999 for example...
     
  11. VMBM

    VMBM You done put me in a trick bag

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    I don't quite understand that comment; many other Soviet players were (super)stars and/or regulars on the national team already at 21 (or younger), like Maltsev, Kharlamov, Makarov, Krutov, Fetisov... I don't think he was very unique in that sense.

    In the '87 Canada Cup, I was slightly more impressed by his linemates Bykov and Khomutov (and of course, by Makarov and Krutov), but a few months earlier in the '87 Rendez-Vous, he was arguably the best Soviet player - maybe the best even if all the NHL All-Stars are included; he just played super hockey in those two games, especially in g2.

    Kamensky was quite aggressive and feisty, and along with his skills, big frame and youth, you'd think he would have had a somewhat better NHL career. Injuries did not help.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  12. ehhedler

    ehhedler Teuvo Teräväinen fanboy

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    What is the time-line on the Kamensky injury? Because he never posted any stats in Russia that would indicate he was any better than Bure at least at any age really. Bure had 17 goals and 26 points in 32 games as a 17–18 year old.
     
  13. Ivan13

    Ivan13 Just a flesh wound!

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    Val was unreal, and had skill to burn. I often wondered how he would've looked in the NHL had he not suffered that horrible leg injury.
     
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  14. ehhedler

    ehhedler Teuvo Teräväinen fanboy

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    Injuries, age and talent taken into consideration Kamensky had a very good NHL career.
     
  15. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    The notion that Kamensky was labeled more talented than Mogilny or Bure looks like a misconception to me. Here's how Kamensky ranked in Soviet Player of the Year voting through age 24: 5th, 10th, 11th. His best season was in 1989-1990 (aged 24) when he was ranked #5 but in the same year Pavel Bure (aged 18) was already ranked #7.

    From all accounts I've seen, Kamensky's biggest single strength was his unreal acceleration, and he lost that quality when he broke his leg in a pre-Canada Cup exhibition game in August 1991. Thus the Kamensky NHL fans got to see was not the same player he had been from 1986-1991.

    And yes, how good would Bykov and Khomutov have been in the NHL? After all:

    Bykov/Khomutov > pre-1991 Kamensky > post-1991 Kamensky
     
  16. Troubadour

    Troubadour Registered User

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    Watcha meaning?

    If you mean what I think you do, you're really really high on Alex. If you mean what I don't think you mean, you probably should have run into Bure :laugh:
     
  17. ehhedler

    ehhedler Teuvo Teräväinen fanboy

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    I think Pat Quinn was of that same opinion, regarding Mogilny.
     
  18. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Mogilny at the end of his career when he couldn't skate any more, he could still dance guys while standing still...he was silly good from a stickhandling perspective...
     
  19. Staniowski

    Staniowski Registered User

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    Fedorov always said that if the 3 of them- Fedorov, Mogilny, Bure - had a race to determine fastest skater, Mogilny would finish 1st, Bure 2nd, and he (Fedorov) 3rd.

    I think Mogilny's complete array of talents - skating (speed; quickness; agility), shooting (snapshot; slapshot; shooting in stride), stickhandling, passing - are somewhere around the top of any list of the most talented players ever. These things are always debatable, but very few players have ever possessed the all-around individual talents of Mogilny.

    Here he is at the age of 19:

     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  20. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    This may seem random but Mogilny always struck me as a guy with great hand eye coordination. He wasn't out there tipping pucks or anything but I always noticed that he was exceptional at receiving passes. He also gave off an air of not caring more than almost any other player I can recall.

    Kamensky is a guy I remember fondly. I didn't know or remember about his leg injury, that makes his NHL career make more sense in retrospect. He impressed whenever I saw him with USSR and he had great flashes in Colorado and Quebec. Also, of course:

     
  21. Troubadour

    Troubadour Registered User

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    Always? Even after he beat him at the All Star Game? Was it in 94? That would be way too modest.
     
  22. Staniowski

    Staniowski Registered User

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    Fedorov has said multiple times that Mogilny was faster than him...I don't think he's being modest; I think he really believed it. They are the same age and played a lot of hockey together when they were teenagers. They would be well aware of each other's talents.

    From watching them myself, I think Mogilny was faster when they were younger - teenagers, early 20s - but I think Fedorov probably was faster as they aged. At least that's my feeling.

    And I think Fedorov was a better skater in some regards than Mogilny. Fedorov certainly made great use of his exceptional skating.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  23. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    as theo notes above, an exhibition game before the 1991 canada cup. what a dog of a tournament for the soviet team: no mogilny (defected), no bure (defection risk), no kamensky.

    thanks. so are you suggesting that how bad kozlov's injuries were is debatable?

    i'm just talking about all the players i've personally seen play live. which isn't actually that many all-time greats, but includes sakic, fedorov, lidstrom, datsyuk, the sedins, doughty, among others. i never saw gretzky or the penguins though.

    and yes, i thought mogilny was the most talented of all those players. he had the best shot i've ever seen, the best hockey sense, such an underrated passer and underrated defensive player, and could just do the most out there. this was '96 mogilny, so he wasn't crazy fast anymore but there was just this sense when you watched him that motion was a natural movement, just so graceful and yet game-breakingly dangerous at the same time.

    bure is my favourite player of all time. he was the better and more effective player overall, because of his drive. but when mogilny was on, he could do more, at least to my eyes.

    mogilny broke his leg in the 1993 playoffs against montreal.
     
  24. Iapyi

    Iapyi Registered User

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    According to Wayne Gretzky any guy who has ever played hockey is better then he was.
     
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  25. Albatros

    Albatros Registered User

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    Maybe debating injuries is not so necessary, but apparently he most of all hit his head pretty badly and recovered adequately with four months rest. Because of the other consequences of his accident he has admitted that he was battling depression for years though, in Atlanta he was then hired to mentor Heatley.
     

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