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11-06-2009, 04:33 PM
  #74
Hedberg
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Country: Canada
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C Alexander Almetov



1963 World Championship Gold Medalist
1964 Olympic Gold Medalist
1965 World Championship Gold Medalist
1966 World Championship Gold Medalist
1967 World Championship Gold Medalist

International Hockey Legends:
Quote:
One of the reasons he is long forgotten is very few North Americans knew much of him when he actually played. Some Europeans may remember better, but his contributions in Russia will always be remembered.

Almetov, like most Russians, was a well trained forward when it came to skating, puckhandling and passing, though he was never an elite scoring threat. Part of that was because Almetov was a superior defensive forward. In fact he was a mainstay on the Russian penalty killing units perhaps the best PK man of his generation.

Anatoli Tarasov wrote the following in his book Road to Olympus:

"Perhaps sports fans who have seen our national team in action have noticed that whenever we have one man short, Alexander Almetov is sure to appear on the ice. When it comes to individual play, a question of holding on to the puck and beating off a superior force, Almetov is in a class by himself! He is not a solist, he is a star in the good sense of the word."

He was an effortless skater but more impressively he was incredibly efficient and intelligent on the ice, a true master of the game.

Almetov's strong point, according to coach Tarasov, was much like that of Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky wasn't even born when Almetov joined the Russian national team mind you, but the two shared an uncanny knack of always being at the right place at the right time. Tarasov actually compared him to a chess player, who plans out an attack before the play even begins. This is why Almetov almost always led an attack.

On the national team Almetov played second fiddle to the great Vyacheslav Starshinov, the team's #1 center. But Starshinov had the ultimate compliment for him:

"In my opinion, he played practically flawless hockey all the time."

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