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08-08-2012, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Page 12:

Sergei Priakin: "the first time a Soviet athlete played with any North American professional sports team."
Not correct. Victor Nechaev played in the NHL in 1982-1983. See:

"USSR Coach Vladimir Tretiak"
The name is Viktor Tikhonov, Tretiak was a goaltender (with the first name Vladislav by the way).
About the 11 months thing, the season indeed wasn't the one that was as lengthy, but the training season itself, as the Soviets were adamant on honing their craft and building their style to match a well-oiled machine, more into an orchestrated piece than a display of individual skill. Surprising how the stereotypical Russian player is always the exact opposite, the inevitable soloist with problems in teamwork. Maybe it's a backlash of both the rigid Soviet system collapsing and thus players/coaches over-correcting, and the fact that only the finest individual talent was imported to the NHL, as lesser talent wasn't worth the hassle. Makes one wonder.

And as for these two points quoted here, you're totally correct. The Nechaev trivia was something my original sources (newspapers of the time) didn't know, so kudos! And the Tretiak-Tikhonov slip-up was a total accident, and something I hadn't noticed so far.. thanks a bunch

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