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04-27-2011, 10:21 PM
Hawkey Town 18
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Vyacheslav Bykov

Shoots: Left
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 165lbs
Born: 7/24/1960

Soviet League 1980-1990
430GP – 195G – 170A – 365Pts
League Champion: 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89

Soviet League MVP Voting Top 5

1988-89: 2nd
1989-90: 3rd
1985-86: 5th

Swiss Nationaliga A 1991-1998

263GP – 200G – 330A – 530Pts

Soviet/Russian National Team 1983-1995 (did not play 84, 92, 94)
100 GP – 43G – 43A – 86 Pts
Olympics: 2 Gold (88, 92)
World Championships: 5 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze
European Cup Champion: 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89

1987 Canada Cup
9GP – 2G – 7A – 9 Pts
(5th Overall in Tournament behind Gretzky, Lemieux, Makarov, Krutov)

Rendez-vous '87 NHL All Stars vs. Soviet Union
2GP – 1G 1A – 2Pts

1989 World Championship All Star Team
MVP Izvestia Tournament: 1989
1990 Soviet League All Star Team
Swiss Nationaliga All Star Team: 92-93 and 93-94
Swiss Nationaliga Playoff All Star Team: 92-93
Top Scorer Swiss Championship: 92, 93, 94

Parts of a biography from (translated French to English with google translate)
On the ice, Slava Bykov compensates his small size, inherited from his father, with his agility. Accustomed to being the smallest, he learned avoidance, speed and passing, and develops in him the qualities that make the glory of the Soviet hockey, focusing on building the game on skates, it feels lighter. His speed and ice cover makes him a natural center player.

Some people find a vocation by reading Pushkin or Tolstoy. More maths in respect of his studies, Bykov was educated with Tarasov on his bedside table ... Anatoli Tarasov, the founding father of Soviet hockey, the creator of the system of CSKA, which he bought the book during a trip to Ekaterinburg.

He had never been considered among the best players in the country or even city opens its doors to twenty years of senior team of Traktor Chelyabinsk, then the seventh best team in the USSR.

When he got his first shirt, the young Slava was frightened by a conversation about a possible robbery, "regardless of the furniture, he exclaims to his parents, provided it does not override my jersey. " And to better illustrate his point, he places it under his pillow while he slept.

Small and without complex

Bykov does not occupy any place in Traktor. For this new season 1979/80, the coach Gennady Tsygurov aligns the center of the first block with his right Valeri Belousov, one of the fastest players in the championship, which will become a great coach, and left the worker Pavel Ezovskikh. The rear Nikolai Makarov and Gennady Ikonnikov complete the "five" memorable, based on the intelligence game starting center. Everyone comes up with the obvious, a new hockey genius appeared in Chelyabinsk. What did she then, this dreary industrial town, to give birth to many famous hockey players? Not that here is born a race of giants. Makarov as before him, Bykov is only 1m72 and has no obvious genetic predisposition for ice hockey, just a great temperament. His talent is not explained, as his opponents are not explained how he was able to steal the puck or rout so so unpredictable. Bykov is that is no complex, even against the big stars of Soviet hockey. Gay and friendly, he emerged as the leader of Traktor, as well as outside on the ice as soon as the worst of times.

From his first full season, Slava is the best scorer of Traktor and is convened by Viktor Tikhonov to CSKA Moscow, a gateway to the national team. But it does not feel ready and decided to stay another year in Chelyabinsk,

The integration in the national team is a new success. From his first cap against Czechoslovakia in Prague, Slava Bykov, put in trust by the former Shalimov, scored a goal and an assist. Yet, when he played his first world championship in 1983, knows his international career to a halt due to non-sports business. When traveling abroad, it was customary to give pocket money to players so they can buy their friends and relatives that the goods do not generally found in the Soviet Union. During an hour of shopping for such a tour in Sweden in December 1983, Bykov triggers the ringing of a porch and was immediately accused of trying to steal clothing. It tries to stammer a few words in English explaining that he intended to pay, but he did not know that the box was on the floor and not the exit, obviously having little experience department stores.

Nevertheless, the damage is done. The time it takes place understand, he missed the plane and created a scandal. The Western press pounces on the case and denounced the evil of Soviet astounded by the wealth of the west and forced to fly to dress his son. Because of this story that takes a political turn, poor Bykov suffers even a KGB interrogation on his return to Moscow because he was suspected of being a spy for the West. Tikhonov is the influential that the fate of the nest, thereby ensuring that the player himself is still more indebted and devoted. Bykov is still suspended by his federation and spleen and the 1984 Olympics. Viktor Tikhonov even decides not to select either the Canada Cup for a few months later, without providing any explanation.

In the shadow of the KLM

The absence of Bykov went relatively unnoticed because the hockey world has eyes only for KLM, the magic line of 80's. Bykov is viewed abroad as a player as another one of those Russians supposedly interchangeable and without personality. Yet his playing is really worthy of attention. The striking detail in Slava is his butt bigger than himself. Choose a stick as long is atypical, but it gives him a mastery of space. His knowledge of the investment is supplemented by a phenomenal slide, to which he adds the creative improvisation that unseats the defenses. His only relative weakness is to be found in gambling bets.

Fortunately, it is still possible to shine in his shadow. We did not come to grips twice daily for daily training without progress. In the Soviet championship, the opponent often deploys all his energy to muzzle the KLM line Bykov and then performs the work to affirm the relentless domination of CSKA. Internationally, revenue Anti-KLM are less advanced, but the world championships 1989, Vyacheslav Bykov must break the deadlock in a decisive 1-0 victory against Czechoslovakia.

Slava is elected as the new captain unanimously by his teammates, both at club level in selection, but the burden of succeeding Fetisov is a heavy responsibility

Two stars in Switzerland

Indeed, Bykov and Khomutov abandoning contracts offered by the Quebec Nordiques, who have drafted a year earlier. After life in the barracks at CSKA, Slava wants to discover the world, not again become a hostage - even highly paid - an alternative system, one of the NHL. It is seeking the closeness and human contact. Khomutov with his accomplice, they set their sights on Switzerland, this small neutral country they still have a picture postcard. Thus two of the best players on the surprise the hockey world by landing in Freiburg Gottιron.

This choice is not understood in Canada where it is inconceivable that one might prefer a club Swiss NHL, Russia where they feared losing their standard of play in a league too low, and even in Switzerland where everyone heard the news clip. 1990, is historic, and Bykov will now No. 90, instead of No. 27 which was hers to CSKA and the national team.

Bykov learns, and he also teaches. Upon contact, it is not only his teammates, the entire hockey Swiss progresses.

The duo then catch up with the national team, which they are now the backbone. They meet in fact always present at the call of the selection, Bykov explains: "It's a patriotic feeling. Or rather, it is not only the love of my homeland, is the love of hockey. Love is selfless. Today, the relationship to the national team goes into a more financial sense. "

Olympics Albertville 1992, vying for the NHL season, Bykov oversees the new wave with Khomutov. He scored the last goal in the final, one that cuts the legs of Canadians, and gets his second Olympic gold medal on behalf of the ephemeral team CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). New Jersey change in 1993, Bykov don for the first time the colors of Russia. In the semifinals, he faced Eric Lindros, the multi-millionaire rookie in the NHL, and won the duel so brilliant, decisive step towards a final championship of the world.

That may be imposed on this man slap that French Canadians hate (Lindros had despised and refused to go to Quebec who had selected the No. 1 draft pick) who explains that the Nordiques back to the load. Even if he has grown older, Bykov is now interested in this new experience, but he does not want to go not without Khomutov. However, his colleague is more reticent. Moreover, Quebec does not offer Slava salary equal to that of his ex-partner Kamensky, while it is well placed to know that he has at least the same level. And most importantly, the Nordiques made the mistake of not talking just about money. Bykov, who feel we do not sincerely interested in him as a man, never will play in the NHL.

This is the first step in a second career. While we expected to take place in the comfort of Switzerland, in 2004 he surprised when he moves his family to accept work at CSKA Moscow, where he succeeded Tikhonov himself. The former club of the army has changed since then. He has no leverage to attract players, and especially it has even less afford to retain them. It is with a very young team, and with a style offensively enthusiastic detonates in Superliga, Bykov that quickly becomes the incarnation of the new generation of Russian coaches. In 2006, he entrusts the keys to the national selection, which, from failure to failure, has spent all coaches of the old guard. The director of the sports committee Fetisov explains why he believes his former teammate capable of being up to standard: "When someone weighs 70 kg and is one of the best centers in the world by playing physical hockey, it is not difficult to understand that all is well in his head."

Joe Pelletier
He languished with unknown teams in Chelyabinsk as he focussed on his studies. He was never even persued for the Soviet youth or junior programs simply because he was undiscovered.

But Cheyabinsk Traktor, the local entry in the top Russian league, invited him to play in 1980. Soon Red Army and national team coach Viktor Tikhonov discovered him and moved him to the Red Army team by 1982. Later that season he played his first games with the national team, winning gold at the 1983 World Championships.

The traditional Soviet centerman is big and strong, focussing on defensive first, always remaining high and with an offensive mandate to headman the puck to his breaking wingers. Tikhonov had great success employing the tiny Larionov as the engine on the top line, he did not fear to put the even smaller Bykov in control of line two.

Even then Bykov was nearly exiled to Siberia after just one season with the national team. While at the 1983 World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. He made international headlines when he was caught shoplifting clothing for his child. Bykov was banned from the national team for over a year, costing him at shot at the 1984 Olympic games in Sarajevo.

Bykov's talent allowed him to return to national team scene and go onto a career highlighted with 5 world championships, 2 Olympic Golds, and 7 Russian league titles. Two of the WCs and the last Olympic gold came with Bykov as team captain, putting him in a group of esteemed Soviet hockey captains such as Mikhailov and Fetisov.

Bykov and Khomutov in particular had incredible chemistry together. They played a smooth, uninterrupted style of game. Their hockey truly was beautiful hockey, an absolute joy to watch. Their criss-crossing skating with dazzling passing displays dizzied the best of defenses and wore down the opponents. The only thing more nimble than their feet was their hands.

When the bigger and more physical Kamensky joined the two tiny puck wizards in about 1986, the Bykov line was considered by many to be the equal of the KLM Line. That was part of the reason why the Soviet Union began allowing veterans to freely play in the NHL. Remember, before the gates were kicked wide open by politics, the first wave of Soviet greats needed permission to come. The authorities allowed the likes of Fetisov, Larionov, Makarov and Krutov to come because a) they were the most vocal and b) they had the Bykov troika ready in line to keep the national team running smoothly while waiting for their young trio of Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny and Pavel Bure to emerge.

The hockey was good, too. Bykov and Khomutov dominated the Swiss league, playing with Fribourg until late in the century.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Jan. 4, 1989
Other Soviet players to watch are forwards Valeri Kamensky and Vyachaeslav Bykov

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