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08-09-2012, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Krutov was 29 years old and one of the best players in the world when he left the USSR. He was only 5'9 but he was all muscle and played a power game - his nickname was "the Tank." He comes to North America and in only 4 months, the muscle all turns to flab and he's barely NHL calibre if at all.


Then there is Krutov (29). By the late 80s, he had probably become makarov's equal as one of the best players in the world. He comes to North America and in 4 months isn't even an NHL-calibre player anymore. Then there is this from an interview with Ed Willes, author of Gretzky to Lemieux: The Story of the 1987 Canada Cup:

When I say Krutov's sudden fall leads to concerns about how good he actually was, that's what I mean.
I think we've had this discussion before, but I'll just repeat my point: It's been shown time and time again that the NA track-and-field athletes were using just as much doping as the Soviets and the East Germans during the eighties. Why would we assume the situation in the hockey world would be different? To claim that the Soviet players were using and the NA were not without anything really pointing to this is just biased.

And Krutov's demise was not primarily because of lack of strength but lack of fitness. The guy gained weight, fell into alcoholism, and wasn't fit enough to play in the 2nd tier Swedish league. That's not a typical drop-off.

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