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02-19-2013, 11:25 PM
BillyShoe1721's Avatar
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Philadelphia is happy to select D Vitaly Davydov, probably the second best Russian defenseman pre-1970 behind Ragulin.

6x Soviet 1st Team All Star(1962, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970)
Soviet 2nd Team All Star(1971)
3x Olympic Gold Medalist(1964, 1968, 1972)
9x World Championships Gold Medalist
Named Best Defenseman 1967 World Championships(scored zero points)

Vitaly Davydov, Dynamo, Moscow, age 27, height 5-7, weight 157 pounds, though having an unimpressive build for defense work, is pluckier than everyone else and skillfully applies body-checking technique, feeds neat passes...

A rock-solid defencemen; though smaller than average, played on three golden Olympic squads, highlighting an international career that also included nine consecutive World Championships from '63 to '71.

"For all his skill and meticulous execution, Davydov went unnoticed in comparison to power-looking defencemen like Nikolai Sologubov. But the future three-time Olympic champion was always quick to defend himself physically, and through a courageous struggle eventually took his rightful place on the USSR team."

"It was (undrafted coach) who re-made Davydov from a winger into a defender, a star of world hockey. He saw that the young player would not mind playing tough, often engaging opponents, and most importantly - was a fast skater, which is very important for a defender."

"Vitaly Davydov was the living embodiment of Dynamo Moscow. Fast, maneuverable, willing to sacrifice himself for his team, extraordinary will and dedication, with an inspiration not only to play but also to train, Davydov always served as an example for his teammates. He was a giant in spirit - nothing and nobody could stop Vitali."

Finally, there's an incredible story as dictated by an undrafted coach about Davydov's toughness:

"It was in the U.S., in Colorado, where we met with the Canadian team. In the second period, forward Roger Bourbonnais, seeing that he could not honestly win the duel with Davydov, struck him with his stick across his jaw as if it were ax. Davydov fell, but he saw that a Canadian had picked up the puck and was now skating towards the USSR goal. Davydov jumped up and, clutching his left arm to the blood-stained face, rushed after him.

Vitaly overtook the Canadian player, knocked the puck off him, and took a penalty.

But Vitaly had had enough. When he returned to the bench, Davydov lost consciousness.

The hospital diagnosed that Davydov's lower jaw was broken by in eight locations. "What kind of will would it take, despite the excruciating pain, not to rush to doctors and to help his goalkeeper..." wondered (undrafted coach)".

Vitaly Davydov's absence from the 1972 Summit Series is a bit of a mystery.

Davydov was one of the best players in Soviet hockey history in the years prior to 1972. However a controversial coaching change seems to have prevented Davydov's participation in the series.

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