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03-27-2011, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Harry Sinden
There were three defensemen on the two Soviet teams who would win the Norris Trophy in our league - Fetisov and Kasatonov of the Central Army team and Bilyaletdinov of the Dynamo
Boston Globe - January 12, 1986

Sinden was talking about the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cups

Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, D

The Bilyaldetdinov-Pervukhin pairing was the USSR's second great pairing for almost a decade, behind Fetisov-Kasatonov.

Bilyaletdinov was a six-time IIHF World Championship gold medalist for the Soviet Union. He also won the Olympic gold medal in Sarajevo in 1984 and was part of the Soviet squad which captured the 1981 Canada Cup. Bilyaletdinov also played in the 1976 and 1984 Canada Cups.

Considering the Soviet Union of Bilyaletdinov's era was stronger than it ever was, and that you could make a very plausible argument that its top end talent was just as good as Canada's, minus Gretzky and Lemieux, it's quite obvious to me that the USSR was a hell of lot more than just the Green Unit at this time.

He played aggressive, hard hitting shut down hockey

Originally Posted by Kings On Ice
He was assigned all the dirty work in the defensive zone, and he did it with the commitment of a kamikaze pilot. He was a model defenseman, playing an aggressive, heavy-hitting North American style of hockey
(thanks jarek)

Originally Posted by The Red Machine
...coming along to supplement and then supplant Davidov and Vasiliev on the nationals were two other Dyanamo defensive stars - the crafty Vasily Pervukhin and the tough Zinetula Bilyaletdinov
He's 17th all time in goals by a defenseman in the Soviet League, which tends to indicate that he won't bring much offense at this level, but won't handle the puck like a grenade, either.

He was a big part of the USSR gameplan against Gretzky in the 1981 Canada Cup

Originally Posted by 1981 Canada Cup
...If the Soviets and Canadians won their semi-final games and met in the one game final then the Canadians would be favoured by a long shot.

Sure enough this came to pass, and what was about to happen next was the ultimate shock to Canada's system yet witnessed- even more so than in the final game of the 1979 Challenge Cup. Tikhonov and the coaching staff had gone through the reels and devised a plan to keep Gretzky's behind the net antics at bay. Soviet defenders like Sergei Babinov and Zinetul Bilyaletdinov would be sure of that.

As most of us know, a young Gretzky, in the midst of a then-record-breaking 164 point season but several years away from being "a winner" was frustrated through the first two periods of the game, as the USSR entered the third period with a 3-1 lead. In the third period, the USSR blew out Canada for an 8-1 final victory, but things could have been very different if Gretzky had got going. This is widely considered the worst loss in the history of Canadian hockey.

He got into a rare fight at the World Championships

HELSINKI, Finland, April 21— The unbeaten Soviet Union scored its fifth victory of hockey's world championship tournament today, beating the United States, 8-4, in a game marred by 48 penalty minutes and the ejection of one player from each team.

The result left the disappointing American squad with a record of 0-5.

Kurt Kleinendorst, a forward from Providence College, and Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, a Soviet defenseman, were ejected for misconduct after a fist fight with two minutes left in the second period.

This was the first time two players had been ejected in the tournament.
-NY Times, April 22, 1982

History appears to view him as better than his partner, Pervukhin

-Longterm hfboards poster and fan of Soviet hockey Peter25 told me via PM that there is "no doubt" Bilyaletdinov was a better player than Pervukhin (and he's a big fan of both men).

-Dynamo Moscow was one of the most famous clubs in Russia, dating back to the old USSR. They sadly folded last year.

Dynamo won the first domestic championship and seven more, the last in 2005, and produced a galaxy of legendary players, including Vitaly Davydov, Aleksandr Maltsev, Valery Vasiliev, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and, more recently, Darius Kasparaitis, Alexei Kovalev and Ovechkin.
-NY Times, April 24, 2010 - obituary of Moscow Dynamo hockey team

Notice the inclusion of Bilyaletdinov and not Pervukhin as a "legendary player" of the club.

An "ancient" 31 year old Bilyaletdinov was added to a declining Soviet Club in 1987, out of desperation.

There is a feeling among long-time international observers that the Soviet program is in a state of transition, both in style and personnel. Although the Soviets have been playing hockey for 40 years, their game may be experiencing its first growing pains.

In one move interpreted as desperation, 31-year-old Zinetula Bilyaletdinov was added to the touring squad shortly before the Soviets left for Quebec, although he hadn't qualfied for the national squad in years. (For the Soviets, 30 is nearly ancient in hockey terms. Once past that "golden" age, players are routinely farmed out or given coaching duties.)

The pool of young talent has evidently dried up. The Soviets went victoryless in the recent fight-filled junior championships. [Alan Eagleson] said he couldn't recall seeing a worse collection of Soviet
-Providence Journal, Feb 14, 1987

Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 03-27-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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