Valeri Kamensky

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Bravid Nonahan, Dec 26, 2010.

View Users: View Users
  1. Bravid Nonahan

    Bravid Nonahan carlylol = القسوة

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    10,974
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    84
    Location:
    أو&#1585
    I know this is a pretty random guy to talk about. But I recall as a child watching the Nordiques/Avalanche play and I thought he was a pretty good player. However I don't remember much else.

    Can anyone help me out here? What was his playing style, and what were his strengths?
     
  2. Padan

    Padan Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kamensky back in his day was immensely talented, and also had a wicked shot. Not a heavy one, but a nasty and accurate wrister. He wasn't a sniper, but was a great skills guy and distributor of the puck (better than Kovalev).

    He could see the play develop and make it happen on a par with (or better than, at that time) Forsberg - remember that he grew up learning and playing in a Russian system that was the world's best.

    He was a good skater - quick but not with great top-end speed. I've a strong feeling he was an even better skater before he got to the Avs.

    He wasn't a guy to put on the boards down low to protect the puck or parked in front of the net, since he wasn't particularly strong. He worked best in space and dishing to his linemates - Lemieux (never afraid to take a shot) and Forsberg (who seemed to take nifty passes and want to make even niftier ones back).

    The book on him from an opponents perspective was to hit him hard, early, and often and you wouldn't see him below the faceoff circles for the rest of the game (i.e. he wasn't a big fan of contact). He wasn't the most formidable back-checker, though knew where to be on the ice in his own zone and was reasonably responsible.
     
  3. Bravid Nonahan

    Bravid Nonahan carlylol = القسوة

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    10,974
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    84
    Location:
    أو&#1585
    Thanks for the scouting report! I knew he was a talented player but I wasn't sure of his playing style.
     
  4. DisgruntledGoat*

    DisgruntledGoat* Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Messages:
    4,301
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I always felt that Kamensky was a bit underrated on those Avalanche teams of the late '90s. That'll happen when you're playing with Forsberg and Sakic, I guess, but Kamensky was real game-breaker; give him the smallest window and he had the speed and hands to exploit it.

    The poster above mentioned that he came out of the Russian system and that's a good point because he was one of the last of the 'old-school', trained-in-the-Soviet system Russians to come over, and he was kind of the sterotypical Russian player of the time.

    Great skater, tremendous hands, great vision, sometimes a little guilty of playing too much of a east-west game, sometimes more interested in scoring style points than scoring goals, and not great in a real physical game.

    He scored one of the prettiest goals ever, too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZ1_kjTsDk&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  5. Freudian

    Freudian Clearly deranged

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    44,889
    Likes Received:
    4,268
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Location:
    is everything
    I loved watching him play. He was the personification of the most elegant aspects of Russian hockey. Effortless skating and great stick handling. He was the perfect compliment to Lemieux and Forsberg, who brought enough physicality and ruthlessness to allow Kamensky room to contribute. One of the more entertaining lines of the 90s.
     
  6. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,929
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Helsinki, FInland
    I saw him mainly as a youngster playing for USSR - on the great line with Bykov and Khomutov. Big, great skater with a dangerous shot. As much as any player I've ever seen, he had the ability to make those "wow, did you see that?" kind of plays - although they were more like flashes of brilliance rather than him controlling the game a la Orr, Gretzky etc.
    Unfortunately, he had a slight consistency problem (when playing for USSR, at least): on some nights he was the best player on the ice (see the 2nd game of 1987 Rendez-Vous, for example), but sometimes he would be near invisible.
     
  7. Padan

    Padan Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One thing that surprises me is how Kamensky didn't score more points when playing with Forsberg and Ozolinsh on a nightly basis (and Sakic at times). He only reached the PPG mark twice in his entire NHL career.
     
  8. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,337
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kamensky played regularly with Sakic not Forsberg.
     
  9. Padan

    Padan Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kamensky usually played with Forsberg and Claude Lemieux (the famous "United Nations Line") while Sakic played with Scott Young/Keith Jones and Adam Deadmarsh.
     
  10. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    7,799
    Likes Received:
    1,389
    Trophy Points:
    109
    kamensky was really good, actually outscored forsberg in the playoffs when colorado first won the cup, but i guess he played too much in the shadow of fedorov, bure and mogilny, and never put up the great regular seasons

    also while he was a great fit with quebec|colorado i don't think his game was really a great fit for the league, he was probably too much schooled in the soviet game and when he came into the league as a 23 year old he never really played into it
     
  11. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    47,176
    Likes Received:
    935
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Awards:
    This was definitely true in the 1996 playoffs (which makes Sakic's playoff numbers even more impressive), but I think there were other times when Kamensky regularly played with Sakic.
     
  12. Padan

    Padan Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Marc Crawford didn't really change up his lines, the Kamensky-Forsberg-Lemieux line was pretty much set in stone. Kamensky probably played with Sakic when Forsberg was injured though.

    I also remember that Kamensky broke his leg around '91 or '92 while playing for the national team in Stockholm. His speed was certainly effected after that.
     
  13. matnor

    matnor Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    34
    Location:
    Boston
    Kamensky seems to have played both with Forsberg and Sakic on ES during the shortened '95 season but after that he played mostly with Forsberg (and Lemieux). Of course, he played with both on the PP.

    ES points with Forsberg:

    94/95: 5
    95/96: 25
    96/97: 19
    97/98: 19
    98/99: 9

    ES points with Sakic:

    94/95: 5
    95/96: 8
    96/97: 2
    97/98: 3
    98/99: 4
     
  14. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    9,590
    Likes Received:
    1,228
    Trophy Points:
    109
    That was in an exhibition game against Sweden in August 1991. The injury put Kamensky on the sideline for six months. He only played his first NHL game in late February 1992.

    Kamensky was considered the next Soviet superstar ever since he was voted Soviet MVP of the Rendez-vous 1987 series. In June 1991, when Kamensky was about to join the Nordiques de Québec, Sabres coach Rick Dudley lauded him as "on of the three or four best players in the world". In the NHL he never lived up to this praise of course. Was it because the injury affected his speed? I don't really know.
     
  15. Padan

    Padan Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would also say that Kamensky wasn't a fan of the physical game in the NHL, to say the least. As I mentioned earlier, he would occassionally turn the puck over once an opponent tried to hit him. The Alexey Morozov syndrome?
     
  16. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    27,344
    Likes Received:
    489
    Trophy Points:
    169
    The goal Kamensky scored in Game 2 of the 1987 Canada Cup was staggering. This tied the game with a minute left. This is the kind of play he was capable of doing. I think he had the best shot on that Russian team, it was a laser.

    He translated a bit of that into the NHL too. Remember the goal he scored in between his legs while doing an unintentional spinorama? That was special. He just didn't sustain it for very long. I do agree with someone who said he wasn't physical and a little meek when it came to being hit. I think that led to his shortened career at a high level
     
  17. MS

    MS 1%er

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Messages:
    25,666
    Likes Received:
    6,007
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Kamenski was basically a point-per-game player from 1991-1997 so he was quite effective for a good stretch before dropping off at age 31.

    Was set back by the injuries he suffered in his first two seasons, didn't play a full NHL season until he was 27-28.

    If things had unfolded a bit differently (had been able to come to the NHL younger, hadn't been injured) I think he probably could have had a 100 point season or two. The ability was definitely there.
     
  18. BigBlue11

    BigBlue11 Registered User

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I get to play 3 on 3 and stuff like that every now and then with him
    We usually get a good amount minor pro/college/retired guys like glenn anderson and mark jensen. Kamensky's hockey sense and passing are always BY FAR the best out there.

    Probably not exactly what the OP is looking for but still interesting imo
     
  19. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,929
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Helsinki, FInland
    Great goal by Kamensky in the 1987 Rendez-Vous:



    Slightly reminds me of Crosby's gooolden goal at the Olympics; though here Kamensky is both Crosby AND Iginla!


    And here's a nice set-up for Khomutov's goal - also from the Rendez-Vous:

     
  20. Ensane

    Ensane EL GUAPO

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Messages:
    15,740
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Even though he was in his mid-thirties at the time, he never really recovered from Kirk Maltby's vicious two hand slash that broke his forearm in 1999.
     
  21. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    22,416
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    I thought that from about 88-92 or so he would have been right there with any RW in the world.
     
  22. BwayBshirt

    BwayBshirt Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    3,406
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Butcher
    Location:
    My NY State of Mind
    Yep, these nailed Kamensky's problems in a nutshell.

    Unfortunately, none of this seemed to affect Neil Smith's POV following that 1999 Postseason.

    One of my favorite Euro forwards to watch throughout the '90s, but...and I don't mean to hijack the thread here...Kamensky & Stephane Quintal were tied on my list for most despised players to put on the Rangers' sweater under Smith's tenure.
     
  23. Ozolinsh_27

    Ozolinsh_27 Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    558
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Valeri was one of my favorite all time Avalanche players! He scored their first goal in Denver on opening night, if I remember correctly he split the D for a partial breakaway. :)

    I googled him just to see what came up and it looks like the Avs honoured him sometime last season. There are some nice highlights in it including his famous spin goal.

    http://video.avalanche.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=0&id=76887
     
  24. vecens24

    vecens24 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5,002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    College
    He was one of my first favorite players becuase of early to mid 90s video games. I think the guy who hit the Aleksey Morozov syndrome thing hit the nail on the head. I actually think he and Morozov were similar in a lot more regards than that to be honest. Very similar players in my mind. Morozov had he stayed in the NHL probably woudl have had a season very similar to Kamensky's 85 point '96 season had he stayed over here.
     
  25. cbj21

    cbj21 Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    Shampoo land
    This line made me a hockey fan. Not an Avs fan but hockey fan !!
    :yo:
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"