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10-17-2009, 10:09 AM
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Vladimir Shadrin, C

Arthur Chidlovski on Shadrin:
Vladimir Shadrin established himself as a premiere top ranked Soviet center in the 1970's. He was a slick passer with a powerful and accurate shot on goal. Shadrin was a driving force behind the success of the famous Spartak's line in Team USSR. Most of his goals and assists came as a result of his team work with Alexander Yakushev. Shadrin showed a top level performance at both ends of the ice. He was a distinguished master of penalty killing. His remarkable mastery became a subject of hockey books when Shadrin, XXXXX and XXXXX managed to overcome a 2-men advantage of Chechoslovakia in a key game at the Olympics in 1976.
Yuri Lukashin, Sports Life in Russia:
The excellent performance of Alexander Yakushev can in part be attributed to Vladimir Shadrin. Aside from averaging one point a game, Shadrin was the best Soviet defensive forward in the series.
Second in scoring for the Soviets in the '72 series with 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, and +7.
Tied for the scoring lead in the 1976 Olympics (5 goals, 5 assists).
Twice part of the best Soviet line (1973, 1976)
Second team Soviet all-star (1973)
213 goals in 445 games in Soviet league play
71 goals in 168 games for the Soviet national team

It's true that there isn't as much info as I'd prefer on Shadrin. While he wasn't a dominant scorer in the Soviet league, I'm not drafting him to be a dominant scorer. Nik also made a good point that second assists weren't recorded in the USSR, so Shadrin would miss those as a playmaking, defensively responsible centre. The statistics in general are lacking - we don't have plus-minus data, we don't know what role he played on the power play, etc.

However, we know that he played on the Soviet national team for ten years, from 1968 to 1978. During much of that time he played on the second line and was a top penalty killer. In the absence of other evidence, that suggests that he was a very good player. The Soviet national team was competitive with Canada's best over this time, and he played a key role.

I think coaches are the ones that evaluate players best. The key is to look at what they do with the players, not what they say. Clearly the Soviet coaches must have thought highly of Shadrin if he was an important player for the national team for so long.

Here are a few quotes on Shadrin from the archives of the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. They generally support the fact that Shadrin was an important player on the Soviet national team for many years.

Globe and Mail, January 9, 1976:
Aggie Kukulowicz tells the following story from his vantage as the NHL's interpreter in the box: "Redmond came in and said Shadrin was a son-of-a-*****. I asked him why didn't he tell Shadrin that. He said it was a good idea and I passed the message on. Shadrin answered "but he's a professional and I'm only an amateur" to which Redmond replied "tell the...he's no more an amateur than a ..." Shadrin told me to tell Redmond he only makes $200 a month and wanted to know how much Redmond makes. By this time they were looking at each other and smiling. Redmond then said "tell him he's not very smart, but he's all right anyway."

Shadrin, 27, actually is very smart. He is a petro-chemical engineer, specializing in mathematics.

For 11 years Shadrin has been centring for the big, loping Wing forward Alexandre Yakushev. Shadrin said he'd like to retire soon.
Toronto Star, August 31, 1978:
The Soviet Ice Hockey Federation is prepared to start giving its older players permission to play in North America, and several - including national team star Vladimir Shadrin - could be playing in the World Hockey Association within the next year.

The negotiations were so successful that only three months ago the Edmonton Oilers thought they had made a deal that would have made the 30-year-old Shadrin a playing coach with the club.

Oiler vice-president Larry Gordon said that they were extremely close to a deal when the Soviets said they would have to wait another year.
Boris Mayorov on the 1976 Canada Cup in the Toronto Star, August 15 1981:
We went to Canada without such important men as Boris Mikhailov, Vladimir Petrov, Valeri Kharlamov, Vladimir Shadrin, and Alexander Yakushev, using untried players instead...Now we have a more orderly process for replacing our most famous players without losing good results.
Milt Dunnell in the Star, January 4, 1983
The Soviet hockey factory has been able to churn out replacements for such stars as Viacheslav Starshinov, Anatoli Firsov, Vladimir Shadrin, the incomparable Rags Ragulin - just to name a few who would have been welcomed by any coach in the NHL.
Finally, here are some Russian language sources on Shadrin. I've run the through Google Translate and cleaned them up a little, so please forgive the poor translation.

Russian Hockey Stars:
Vladimir Shadrin as a hockey player was not an outstanding figure - specific, pronounced physical qualities did not differ. However, for Spartak and for the USSR national team he has been extremely useful. What is Shadrin’s secret?

First of all, it should be noted he had brilliantly developed hockey sense. In Shadrin’s game no big drops, disruption. For his linemates, he provided the puck and subtly and skillfully, and most importantly, on time. Hockey valued - from Shadrin’s stick it very rarely went to the opponent.

A man of high culture, there was no need to make him train. There was no need to monitor the behavior of Vladimir in the home - he valued his reputation. Coaches always appreciated Vladimir Shadrin for high degree of organization, for understanding the role of the Frontline in the link. He was a long-time partner of Alexander Yakushev and in his own club and the USSR national team.
Intro to an interview with Shadrin from 1976
Soviet hockey has had many wonderful forward trios in its 30 year history. The lines of XXXXX, XXXXX, XXXXX, Starshinov before, links Petrov's line and Shadrin's line today. And in each such great unit, a weighty role belongs to the center-directing role.

In this sense, it is difficult to overestimate the contribution to the successes of the USSR national team - European champion, world and Olympic champion, as well as the Moscow club Spartak - now the champion of the USSR - Honored Master of Sports, a Knight of the Order of Honor and medals "For Labor Valor" Komsomolets Vladimir Shadrin.
Shadrin's penalty killing reputation came not from the Summit Series, but from a game in the 1976 Olympics.
In Austria, the USSR team, surely wins the match for the match goes to the finals of the tournament, where it awaits a crucial match with a team of Czechoslovakia - traditionally "inconvenient" rival.

In the first period, the Czechs secured quite a good start, going ahead 2:0. "Moment of Truth" in the game came when two Soviet forwards were sent off with penalties, and the Czechs had almost a 2 minute power play.

Coach of the USSR, XXXXX walked slowly along the narrow corridor between the players and the rink. With defenders he determined rather quickly - XXXXX and XXXXX. The forward remained. XXXXX looked each of the players in the eye... Despite the fact that the "battle" exploded Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Yakushev, in the eyes of Vladimir Shadrin he read the determination to take the game itself ... And this unit did not let him down - indeed, the rivals almost failed to create real threats to Tretyak's goal in these dramatic moments. And soon the game was perelomlen, and we eventually won 3-2.

The heroes of this game traveled to the locker room almost on all fours. Team trainer Oleg Belakovsky then quite seriously said: "For all health indicators, guys, you need to put in intensive care ..."
Subsequently, the journalistic question "What is the most important quality hockey Shadrina?" Coach XXXXX and XXXXX gave synonymous replies: "Reliability. Reliability of all - life on the hockey ground.
The bottom line is that Shadrin played on the Soviet national team for 10 years, spending most of that time as the second line centre. The Soviet coaches knew hockey. Shadrin could play.

Last edited by overpass: 10-18-2009 at 11:22 AM.
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