Top 10 Russian hockey players all-time(link)

Discussion in 'Russia' started by MaxV, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Atas2000 Registered User

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    So here is my attempt:

    1.Kharlamov
    2.Bobrov(a most complete athelete in an ancient greek sense of the word)
    3.Maltsev(no idea why he gets so underrated)
    4.Tretiak(yes,a little bit of scorer bias on my part. Obviously Tretiak was absolutely unique)
    5.Firsov
    6.Mikhailov
    7.Bure
    8.S.Fedorov
    9.Fetisov
    10.Konstantinov(I think many will understand the pick)

    Datsyuk will be on that list when his career is over.
     
  2. Yakushev72 Registered User

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    My reaction would be:

    1. It would be hard to justify placing Maltsev ahead of Fetisov on the list. Both players had entirely different impact and effect on Soviet hockey and the accomplishments of the team.

    2. The placement of Bobrov is largely symbolic, because the nature of hockey was so much different, so much less competitive in the 1950's when he played.

    3. I would place Tretiak at least several places lower than No. 4. He was much more highly rated in the West, where people knew him from the '72 Series, than he was in the Soviet Union and Europe. His terrible slump in 1979-80 cost the USSR some major tournament losses, most especially the 1980 Olympics, before he recovered in 1981 with a great performance in the Canada Cup final.

    4. I would not place Konstantinov on the list. He was an outstanding defensive defenseman in the NHL, but I can't agree that he is one of the 10 best Russian hockey players in history.
     
  3. Atas2000 Registered User

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    1.That I think is the typical CSKA vs. Dynamo thing. CSKA players get overrated, because they were on those CSKA teams, always in the spotlight. I have no idea how Fetisov being a huge defenceman no doubt outshines such a talent like Maltsev. Maltsev's impact was beyond enormous. Ppl just tend to forget that.

    2.There is nothing symbolic about it. Obviously Tikhonov would agree with me.

    3.It needs a reminder sometimes, but when I rewatch the games with Tretiak I remember what real goaltending was like.

    4.It is obvious that there is alot of extrapolating in this, but I seriously think he would have left a legacy that huge. And no, he wasn't a defensive defenceman.
     
  4. VMBM Touch a mountain... m'kay?

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    Hmm, wasn't probably thinking properly, when making that comment. Of course Kasatonov could or even should be in the top 20, if not quite in the top 10.

    I think Maltsev might be 'a top 5 talent' of all-time, but not quite a top 5 player.

    Maltsev achieved bigger things at a younger age than many others (e.g. IIHF Directorate best forward at the 1970 & 1972 WHC), but he was playing with other great players then (e.g. Firsov, Kharlamov, [Vikulov]). After the 1972 Series - when he didn't have the same level of linemates anymore - he couldn't quite reach similar heights again, at least not very regularly. I also think that he wasn't such a clutch player as Firsov, Kharlamov, Mikhailov etc were. He sometimes disappeared in the games vs. Canada/NHL and Czechoslovakia.

    Agreed. As a historical sportsman and a pioneer, maybe, but purely as a hockey player? Not so sure about that.

    Sure, some of his 'raw stats' look impressive, but with the exception of the 1954 World Championships, he didn't really dominate at any notable international hockey tournaments. Granted, he was already over 30 years old, when he got to play in them.

    --

    BTW, any Russian top 10 list without Sergei Makarov is just not right.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  5. Yakushev72 Registered User

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    1. I could care less about CSKA vs. Dynamo, only about Russian hockey. Both players were exceptionally talented with distinctive styles, but IMO, there is a huge gap in their accomplishments on ice representing the national team. Fetisov's accomplishments and record of leadership is much heralded, so I won't bother going over it, but the question about Maltsev is: did he ever really accomplish anything or lead to team success? He didn't score big goals in '72, '74, '76, '79 or '80. He was a great talent, even an outstanding football player in addition, but he didn't have the same positive effect as Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Yakushev, Fetisov, Makarov and so on.

    2. I worshipped Tikhonov, but he was a teammate of Bobrov's, so he may have been biased. As I recall, you didn't use Tikhonov's top 5 as your own top 5, and if not, why not?

    3. I remember Tretiak's performances in the Challenge Cup, '79-80 NHL Soviet Super Series, and the 1980 Olympic Games, when he was so bad that he almost individually cost important Soviet victories. I think he could be top 10, but I disagree with putting him at 4.

    4. I loved Konstantinov as a player, but I don't consider him to be one of the 10 best Russian players of all time, so we will have to disagree on this.
     
  6. Atas2000 Registered User

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    If you start nitpicking you can find flaws in the game of any player on any list. And so it happend they all played on great teams with other great players. Does this mean they were all "just" products of their linemates?

    So you are saying we should cut Beliveau, Richard and Howe from any all time greats list because they played the game at the same time as Bobrov and their achievements aren't comparable to later careers?

    What I don't get ist that absurd obsession with tournaments and team achievements when talking about single players. Yes, Bure doesn't have a Stanley Cup ring. So what? What did Maruice Richard dominate? The NHL? It's just a national championship of sorts, just like the soviet one. And what's most important is the fact that all those championships and cups and gold medals are team achievements.


    Why? He was a great scorer, yes, but on the all-time list I'd see it as a question of personal preference.
     
  7. VMBM Touch a mountain... m'kay?

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    Oh, come on now; you can't compare the level of play in the NHL and in the Soviet Union/Europe in the 1950s. I shouldn't even even need to argue about this. Bobrov was 'a big fish in a small pond' compared to Béliveau et co.

    I am talking about individual achievements, rather than team achievements; i.e. if Bobrov was the 2nd best Soviet player of all-time, I think he would have been named the best forward at the World Championships(/Olympics) more than just once (1954); instead he was beaten by the likes of Bill Warwick (1955) and Jack McKenzie (1956), i.e. Canadian guys who weren't apparently good enough to play in the NHL.

    He arguably has the most impressive resume (e.g. 9 Soviet league scoring titles, 3 MVPs) of any Soviet skater ever, and he was the best forward on the most dominant version of the Soviet national team ever (1980s). Plus having watched him throughout the Eighties (and even nowadays on DVD or YouTube), it is hard for me to understand someone not being impressed by his playing and skills.
     
  8. Atas2000 Registered User

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    Sorry what? That's just NHL egotism.

    Let's talk about players and their play, not some absolutely meaningless "awards".


    Again resume? Being on the best team doesn't make the player better. Everybody is impressed, there are just others who are at least just as good.
     
  9. Yakushev72 Registered User

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    In regard to forwards, I would rate Makarov as the 2nd best forward in Russian history, only slightly behind Kharlamov. His traits were very similar to Kharlamov, and his amazing skating and puck handling skills were always on display in big games against the top levels of competition, when all the pressure was on. This is in contrast with Maltsev, who has no record of scoring big goals in big games when they were really needed.
     
  10. VMBM Touch a mountain... m'kay?

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    Why should all the awards and other recognition be labeled as meaningless? There is a reason why players win those awards and/or scoring titles. Usually, if you are playing great, you will get recognition and you also do well statistically. In this regard, Makarov is head and shoulders above any other Russian forward and, like said, he was amazing to watch too: on offense or on penalty kill... you name it.
     
  11. mydogsparty Bobby Orr

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    I’m going to bump this 10 year old thread and ask where guys like Ovechkin, Malkin, Fedorov, Kovalchuk & Datsyuk fit into a list of all-time greatest Russian hockey players?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  12. MaxV Registered User

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    Ovechkin, Malkin and Fedorov are firmly in the top 10. You could make a case for Bure also. Kovalchuk and Datsyuk are in top 15.

    This is my opinion.
     
  13. Peter25 Registered User

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    It's hard to form a top-10 but I would say that top three are Fetisov, Tretiak and Mikhailov in no particular order. They are the top three winners and leaders in Soviet hockey history.

    After those three I would rank Kharlamov, Petrov, Maltsev, Makarov, Krutov, Kasatonov, Firsov, Starshinov and Vasilyev. This is my top 12.

    And a tier below them are the likes of Khomutov, Bykov, Shadrin, Yakushev, Larionov, Kapustin, Bilyaletdinov, Luchenko, Tsygankov, Ragulin, Bobrov, Alexandrov, Vikulov, Davydov, Shalimov, Pervukhin, Babinov, Almetov, Loktev, Kuzkin, Balderis, the Golikov brothers, Zhluktov etc.
     
  14. Atas2000 Registered User

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    Datsyuk is a better player than either one of them though. Fedorov would win if he wasn't a mental case. Malkin is a force on the offence(except for faceoffs. And there it begins), but Datsuyk is by far a more complete player with no weaknesses he erased on the way to his peak. Also more skilled than Malkin with the stick and that speaks volumes. Ovechkin is a tremedous goal scorer, no question, but overall a tad behind.
     
  15. Atas2000 Registered User

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    Regarding the post you quoted, it's actually good. That's how tough of a challenge it is to break into the top 10.

    Today's stars might challenge for the spots 7-10 maybe. Also Bure is an omission I would not make. Fedorov and Bure are pretty much even to me. Only Bure's career was cut short.

    It's

    Datsuyk
    Fedorov
    Bure
    Malkin
    Ovechkin
    Kovalchuk

    to me.

    And I would put Datsuyk over Maltsev.

    Edit: two KHL divisions are named after players. Kharlamov and Bobrov. Guess that's who's engraved in history.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  16. MaxV Registered User

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    You guys are VASTLY underrating Malkin and Ovechkin imo.

    Two players who are top 3 in the world during their era.

    Modern players in general are highly underrated. People compare NHL stats from different eras as if it’s comparing apples to apples. That league has undergone tremendous changes over the years.

    - Look at the goalies, notice that no one uses the phrase “butterfly style goalie” anymore. Could it be that EVERY goalie is a butterfly style goalie? How about their equipment? No difference, huh?

    - Do people seriously not understand that there is a significant difference between a league of only Canadian players and one with players from all over the world? Forget the fact that Soviet and Czech/Slovak players only arrived in numbers in the 90s, what about USA, Sweden, Finland and even other non-traditional western countries like Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Denmark and others? NHL even has a star player from friggin Slovenia. Yeah all those awesome 1970s NHLers that put up video game numbers vs guys who could barely skate were far better then the modern players.


    What Malkin and Ovechkin have accomplished is absolutely spectacular.

    I get it, we wish that they had better resumes for the NT, but the teams that they’ve played for were flawed. It’s not like the 90s guys have a ton of international hardware, heck most of them viewed representing the NT as a disgusting chore.
     
  17. Atas2000 Registered User

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    My evaluation maybe not too obvious, but does rest on a premise that the level of hockey declined. It is what I think. There are different takes on it. Some say it's overcoaching and systems, some say the talent pool is dilluted, some say the accessability of the sport to kids goes down(hockey is expensive). I say it's all of the above and add that the existence of nearly independent hockey schools was important too. Now everybody is teaching and preaching the same. Nothing new comes of it. But it is needed for the game to evolve.

    Look, if you put Datsuyk on the KLM line he'd be just as good as any of them. In the peak soviet era he'd probably be a NT player, but just one of them, not the brightest star. They all had his stickhandling, vision and wits. Something very rare nowadays.
     
  18. Atas2000 Registered User

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    -the butterfly style is garbage
    -equipment changes is why Tretiak is so so high up there. He was doing it with the 80s pads. No goalie today comes remotely close.
    -on the other hand scoring on todays goalies relies more on luck than those days. Shoot, get to the rebound, deflect, screen and hope it fonds a hole or the goalie is out of position.
    -the 90s were somewhat the golden age of the NHL, then the effect of destroying european hockey kicked in and here we are. European leagues are meager farm leagues for the NHL. The level dropped. If not for the KHL I don't even know.
    -having a star from Slovenia or a Kölzig who learned hockey in America doesn't mean crap. Drai is the only real german trained star and it is a great one for Germany and german hockey.
    -I don't say what Malkin or/and Ovechkin have accomplished was not great. I just compare them to all-time greats(sic!).
     
  19. MaxV Registered User

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    Yeah, I strongly disagree with a lot of that.
     
  20. Caser @RUSProspects

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    Every era has it's own "heroes":

    The Beginnings: Bobrov
    60s: Firsov
    70s: Kharlamov, Tretyak
    80s: Fetisov, Makarov
    NHL era: Fedorov, Bure
    Post-2004: Ovechkin, Malkin

    Good enough for the top 10, imo.
     
  21. Acallabeth Days of glory

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    Yeah, I think it's nearly impossible to make a reasonable list on this matter, mostly because there's very little of what we have watched on pioneering stars like Bobrov or Firsov. When you have to mostly rely on others' opinion, it makes "all time" lists pretty useless. Then there's an obvious issude with the changing game of hockey. Moreover, it's really hard to compare accomplishments of a player like Maltsev, who spent his entire life dominating with Dynamo and Soviet team with no NHL player to compete against (I'm not saying he'd be a lesser player obviously, but there were 2 hockey worlds back then) to a player like Malkin, who has been dominating the NHL and international competition for a decade now, but isn't an Olympic champion or 10-time World champion. We can't really use the statistics as well, because the modern counting approach hyperinflates assists.

    HOH, the most well-read and level-headed subforum here, has had a very hard time placing players like Howie Morenz in their all time lists, and it's very complicated to compare Alexander Ovechkin to Robert Hull. And there's much more information for the NHL. The Soviets and the NHL era Russians should have entirely different lists.
     
  22. Fantomas Registered User

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    If Ovechkin wins at the Olympics somehow he will be #1 easily.
     
  23. Filipp Registered User

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    1. Fedorov
    2. Ovechkin
    3. Bure
    4. Datsuk
    5. Malkin
    6. Kusnetsov
    7. Kucherov
    8. Kovalchuck
    9. Kamensky
    10. Panarin

    For me the rank is made thus as far as everyone could makes alone a game.
     
  24. ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    All right, I'll try to play-
    Yes, yes, yes.

    Here's my attempt:

    1. Alexander Ovechkin, #1 Russian LW- #2 LW all-time.
    2. Viacheslav Fetisov, #1 Russian D, #5 D all-time.
    3. Sergei Makarov, #1 Russian RW, #4 RW all-time.
    4. Vladislav Tretiak, #1 Russian G, #5 G all-time.
    5. Valeri Kharlamov, #2 Russian LW, #3 LW all-time.
    6. Sergei Fedorov, #1 Russian C, #18 C all-time.
    7. Boris Mikhailov, #2 Russian RW, #13 RW all-time.
    8. Valeri Vasiliev, #2 Russian D, #28 D all-time.
    9. Evgeni Malkin, #2 Russian C, #20 C all-time.
    10. Anatoli Firsov, #3 Russian LW, #7 LW all-time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  25. MaxV Registered User

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    That’s solid.

    It’s a tough list to compile. Russian hockey has gone through multiple eras that are very different from each other. I mean guys like Bobrov and Sologubov can certainly have a strong case for this list also, they lose points based on the argument of level of competition.

    Generally, when I discuss this topic I separate pre-1990 and post-1990.

    Pre-1990:
    1. Fetisov
    2. Makarov
    3. Firsov
    4. Kharlamov
    5. Tretiak
    6. Bobrov
    7. Mikhailov
    8. Petrov
    9. Krutov
    10. Vasiliev
    11. Yakushev
    12. Maltsev
    13. Alexandrov
    14. Kasatonov
    15. Starshinov
    16. Sologubov
    17. Larionov
    18. Ragulin
    19. Vikulov
    20. Mayorov

    Post-1990:
    1. Ovechkin
    2. Malkin
    3. Fedorov
    4. Bure
    5. Datsyuk
    6. Zubov
    7. Kovalchuk
    8. Mogilny
    9. Gonchar
    10. Bobrovsky
    11. Kovalev
    12. Khabibullin
    13. A. Markov
    14. Konstantinov
    15. Nabokov
    16. Yashin
    17. Kucherov
    18. Radulov
    19. Tarasenko
    20t. Kuznetsov
    20t. Panarin
     

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