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10-12-2011, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
In my mind, it is not even close. I believe Fetisov is by far the best player among the five you named. IMO, the two greatest defensemen in the history of hockey anywhere in the world are Fetisov and Bobby Orr. IMO, Orr was the most gifted Canadian hockey player of all time, forward or defense, until he was severely hampered by blown-out knees. Orr may have been slightly more gifted than Fetisov offensively, but Fetisov was a better all-around player, and had better leadership qualities. Fetisov was the engine that drove the Soviet teams during his era.

Tretiak would be a close second, were it not for the big gap that he had in his career in the late 1970's and early 80's. Tretiak played deplorably bad hockey in the 1979 Challenge Cup, the 1979-80 NHL Super-Series, and the 1980 Olympic games. Clearly, it is unlikely that if Tretiak was playing well, that the Soviets would have lost the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal. Also, he retired too early, at a time when he was still capable of helping Soviet teams win.
Tretiak won the Olympic Games in: 1972, 1976, 1984. Only in 1980 the Soviet Union defeated the U.S. in the finals. And do not forget that Tretiak went into the 'Team of the century «Centennial All-Star Team».

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