How good would have Valery Kharlamov been in the NHL?
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02-11-2013, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
IMO he was more of a playmaker than Bure, though. And more of a team player (well, maybe that's not being fair to Bure, but anyway).
He had the talent and speed, he was very strong on his skates, and he was feisty (even friggin' Harold Ballard liked him!). Pre-1976, the opposition usually needed to use some dirty/illegal methods to stop him. His stats (which don't make him stand out in any special way) don't necessarily do him justice; you really need to watch him to fully appreciate him. During the 1974 Summit series, I think it was Pat Stapleton who said that he feels the Soviets' emphasis on team play was holding Kharlamov back and he would be even better in the North American game.
After 1976 though, he was only the 3rd most important player of his forward line in my opinion (after Mikhailov and Petrov).
Some of his better performances (games) on YouTube:
1972 Summit series, game 1
1972 Summit series, game 3
1975-76 Super Series, CSKA vs NY Rangers
1975-76 Super Series, CSKA vs Boston Bruins
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