Great 1980's Soviet Players - HHOF?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Sens Rule, Jun 30, 2007.

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  1. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    I think the great 1980's Soviet players had relatively disappointing careers.....

    Larionov turned 30 his first NHL year. And he played 15 seasons. Yet he NEVER was an elite player in the NHL. He has ONE PPG season and ONE PPG playoffs. His highs are 50 assists, 71 points and 21 goals in his entire NHL career.

    Oates, Francis had far superior careers AFTER they turned 30 than Larionov did. In fact almost every great NHL player had a far better career past 30 than Larionov did. I know Larionov had his prime in Russia. And he would have needed to adjust for a year or 2 to the NHL game. But that leaves 6 or 7 seasons when he should have been able to put up significant seasons. From age 31/32 through 37/38.

    I would probably induct Larionov but his resume would be better IMO if he NEVER played in the NHL. His career in the NHL was very good and he was a very effective veteran for a long, long time but not at a HHOF level or even the level of a declining HHOFer. He simply was not an elite star in the NHL - he was an elite secondary player.

    All of the Russian greats of the 80's that came to the NHL were somewhat disappointing in my opinion. Fetisov, Makarov, Larionov, Kasatonov, Krutov all failed to impress in the NHL. None ever were truly elite players. Makarov, Larionov and Fetisov did have some good years but their peers from North America or the rest of Europe had far, far, better seasons in the NHL in their early, mid and late 30's than did those great Russian players.

    IMO all would have better HHOF chances had they been like Tretiak and never played in the NHL.
     
  2. Reilly*

    Reilly* Guest


    What?

    What?

    Why do you think this?

    We've gone over this already.

    The HHOF IS NOT the "NHL HHOF".

    Those old Soviet teams were the best teams in the world.

    The KLM line is considered one of the best lines in hockey history.

    I don't even have to go into what those old Soviet players and teams did for Russian hockey.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jun 30, 2007
  3. FissionFire

    FissionFire Registered User

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    Yet those overrated players opened the door for every Russian in the NHL today. Like it or not, guys like Larionov and Fetisov probably had a bigger impact on the NHL than many of the other players (I believe you mentioned Oates and Francis). A little research into a guy like Fetisov might show you just how brutal things were for him when he came to the NHL. You also can't discount different levels of conditioning and nutrition. The Soviets may have had better levels than most, but the equipment and training was nowhere near the level of the NHL at that time. Also, keep in mind these players went for the Soviet-style hockey to the NHL-style hockey. They had to adjust to playing on smaller rinks and a much more physical and obstructive style. I'd bet there are a couple great NHLers of that era who wouldn't be able to excel playing on the larger surfaces and more speed/skill oriented Soviet game if they went to Russia. Just look at some of the Americans and Canadians during the Olympics struggle on the larger ice (I remember Pronger looking especially bad during one Olympics, and he's argubly the NHL's best defenseman).

    So taking all that into account. Learning a new game. Learning a new language. Fighting through abuse and prejudice. Playing in the NHL after their peak years. Yeah, how the HECK couldn't Larionov and Fetisov been dominant from the start. The fact that they both played into their 40's in an era when most players were retiring in their early 30's doesn't tell anything about their abilities. Yep, TOTALLY overrated players who never should have played in the NHL because it just exposed them as fakes.
     

  4. Sorry bud... "OPEN MOUTH... INSERT FOOT"
     
  5. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    The HHOF in reality is the NHL HOF. I am not saying if that is good or bad but it is a reality however they let in Tretiak. I am saying the KLM line might have a better shot at induction if they never came to the NHL. That Fetisov might be more highly regarded if he never played in the NHL.

    Anyway forget the HHOF. I thought those guys would come over and dominate alot more than they ended up doing in the NHL.
     
  6. Frightened Inmate #2

    Frightened Inmate #2 Registered User

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    I sortof agree with the original poster - the soviet players weren't as dominant as many expected them to be when they first arrived over and due to the harsh conditioning practices in the Soviet Union their bodies elite years were gone before they made it over. That shouldn't mean that they are bad player or that they aren't good players, it does mean that their NHL careers can be considered disappointments... in fact I don't see how they can be considered anything but when you think about how Larionov was the Russian equivilant to Gretzky and the numbers just don't show that to be true when they were in the NHL together. Great players no doubt but there should be no mistake their careers in the NHL don't do much to bolster their chances at the HHOF.
     
  7. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    While they were at their best, all prior to coming over to the NHL Larionov was the weakest member of the famed "green unit".
     
  8. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Larionov's NHL career was very respectable and helps his case. The guy whose NHL stint may have unfairly left a bad impression on North Americans was Krutov.
     
  9. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Krutov never met a cheeseburger he didn't like (and eat).

    http://www.russianrocket.de/Teammates/Krutov/hauptteil_krutov.html

    Joking aside who was regarded as the best forward on the KLM line? Makarov I thought. Krutov second? Larionov third?
     
  10. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

  11. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Makarov

    I'd rank the five

    Fetisov
    Makarov
    Krutov
    Kasatonov
    Larionov
     
  12. ThatOneGuy*

    ThatOneGuy* Guest

    Larionov was 5'9 160-170lbs at the very most during the mid 90s. Nobody that size really dominated. If he had jets like Bure, then sure he could have put up more points but that wasn't his game. The way I see it, Pavel Datsyuk is everything Larionov would have been if was conditioned properly to play in the NHL. I mean Dats was Larionov's size when he got drafted. He never had a chance of making it to the big league until he added alot of size, about 25lbs.

    Larionov definitally belongs in the HHOF though, moreso then Oates and even Francis.
     
  13. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Thing to remember is that the Russian system chewed you up and spat you out, they expected 30 year olds to be broken down and worn out.
     
  14. Wisent

    Wisent Registered User

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    That is absolutely correct. When you read any book about Russian hockey (especially the one from Tarasov, he mentions it several times in there) there is always an emphasis on youth. Just read the training planms of them. Normal day: get up at 0400, train til 0700, have your army day, train inbetween, at the end of the army day train again until 2200 or so. Next day, same procedure. I would have loved to see a guy like LaFleur (who was not the biggest fan of training) go through that.
    If players hit the 32 they were considered already over their peak.
    Another example: Hull played well over the normal age. Hull played a game and Tarasov watched it. After teh game they came to talking. hull had a few points and was a better scorer than anyone on the ice. He asked tarasov what he thought of the game. Tarasov took out his notes and told him that he played well but he was not that good because he moved about a tenth of what every other player moved on the ice. That just shows what is the focus of Russian hockey at that time. Conditioning was everything. I have little doubt that a Soviet player of teh 70s or 80s had much better fitness scores of any other player of that time. As a result of that, they burned out early.
     
  15. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Keep in mind when these guys entered the NHL they werent young pups anymore. They werent old and washed up either but Makarov was 31. Insert him in the NHL in 1984 and the only winger that may ahve been better than him would be Bossy. Larionov hardly had a disapointing NHL career either. I mean three Cups is nothing to frown on. Besides neither one of them was Gretzky - no one was - and although Gretzky had some great seasons after 31 his best years were in his 20's too.

    Makarov for the Hall for sure. Larionov for sure. Fetisov in probably a top 15 defenseman of all time, he deserves his induction. Krutov left a bad taste in our mouths at such a young age (30) so its hard to put him in. Kasatonov I dont think people remember how great he could be.
     
  16. deathtoespn

    deathtoespn Registered User

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    If you look at the footage, Krutov shines

    This is a wonderful discussion but I really wonder how much you have seen of Vladimir Krutov?
    The 1987 Canada Cup finals series was his apex where he showed that he had the complete package--his wrist shot, his speed, his strength and courage, but that was not all.
    The 1983 tour, especially the game against the Minnesota North Stars where he was the player of the game was spectacular--yet how many of you folks have seen this?
    There are other great games where Krutov showed he was the best of the three forwards on the "Green Unit" and in my opinion he had a better wrist shot than Makarov, was a better passer and was faster. Was Makarov more of a pure scorer? Yes, but who was in front of the net for most of those goals--certainly not Larionov!
    When you look at the footage--and there is lots of it available--you will find that Krutov was the most complete player on the KLM line. That he did not fare well in his ONE season in the NHL was due to all the abuse his small frame had taken over the decade that he shone.
    I had a conversation with Bob Mcammon, the Vancouver Canucks head coach the season Krutov played in the NHL, in 1997 while he was scouting for an NHL team in Phoenix Arizona. I asked him "Bob, you had the great Krutov on your squad for a season--what happened with him?" And Mcammon replied--"No question about it, he was one of the best to come out of their system, but when he got to Vancouver, he was done."

    I suggest you get the DVD footage, especially the 1983 NHL tour and the World Championships from 83,86 and keep your eye on Krutov. The things he did on the ice, against the best players in the world at that time, was simply beautiful. For me, he and Fetisov were the best of their generation.
     
  17. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    I would flip almost everything yuo had to say around with makarov. Makarov was the more complete and all-around player and also the better playmaker. Krutov however was a pure goal scoring machine.

    Makarov was better than Krutov.

    On the five Krutov's chances at the Hall were definitely hurt the most by his NHL experience.
     
  18. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    Just for comparison's sake, Larionov was about 1.5 years older than Oates, and I really doubt the inch or two Oates had on him made much of a difference. Adam Oates was a MUCH better player in the NHL (like 40 points better in any given season), and they played in the exact same era, with very little difference in size, style, or age.

    I havn't seen enough of Larionov outside the NHL to really make judgement. Maybe his game declined quite a bit by the time he made it to the NHL at 29.

    But I've always felt the same way the original poster does. For an "all-time great", his NHL career was VERY underwhelming.
     
  19. Jungosi

    Jungosi Registered User

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    As Wisent already mentioned the practice and schedule were really hard. I know some athletes that have worked under a similiar system in the DDR , most of them were done for at the age of 30-32.
     
  20. Wisent

    Wisent Registered User

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    I completely agree.
     

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