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Valeri Kamensky

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Old
12-26-2010, 12:51 PM
  #1
Bravid Nonahan
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Valeri Kamensky

I know this is a pretty random guy to talk about. But I recall as a child watching the Nordiques/Avalanche play and I thought he was a pretty good player. However I don't remember much else.

Can anyone help me out here? What was his playing style, and what were his strengths?

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12-26-2010, 01:40 PM
  #2
Padan
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Kamensky back in his day was immensely talented, and also had a wicked shot. Not a heavy one, but a nasty and accurate wrister. He wasn't a sniper, but was a great skills guy and distributor of the puck (better than Kovalev).

He could see the play develop and make it happen on a par with (or better than, at that time) Forsberg - remember that he grew up learning and playing in a Russian system that was the world's best.

He was a good skater - quick but not with great top-end speed. I've a strong feeling he was an even better skater before he got to the Avs.

He wasn't a guy to put on the boards down low to protect the puck or parked in front of the net, since he wasn't particularly strong. He worked best in space and dishing to his linemates - Lemieux (never afraid to take a shot) and Forsberg (who seemed to take nifty passes and want to make even niftier ones back).

The book on him from an opponents perspective was to hit him hard, early, and often and you wouldn't see him below the faceoff circles for the rest of the game (i.e. he wasn't a big fan of contact). He wasn't the most formidable back-checker, though knew where to be on the ice in his own zone and was reasonably responsible.

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12-26-2010, 01:58 PM
  #3
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Thanks for the scouting report! I knew he was a talented player but I wasn't sure of his playing style.

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Old
12-27-2010, 12:58 AM
  #4
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I always felt that Kamensky was a bit underrated on those Avalanche teams of the late '90s. That'll happen when you're playing with Forsberg and Sakic, I guess, but Kamensky was real game-breaker; give him the smallest window and he had the speed and hands to exploit it.

The poster above mentioned that he came out of the Russian system and that's a good point because he was one of the last of the 'old-school', trained-in-the-Soviet system Russians to come over, and he was kind of the sterotypical Russian player of the time.

Great skater, tremendous hands, great vision, sometimes a little guilty of playing too much of a east-west game, sometimes more interested in scoring style points than scoring goals, and not great in a real physical game.

He scored one of the prettiest goals ever, too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZ1_...eature=related


Last edited by DisgruntledGoat*: 12-27-2010 at 01:01 AM. Reason: Embedding not working
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Old
12-27-2010, 02:01 AM
  #5
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I loved watching him play. He was the personification of the most elegant aspects of Russian hockey. Effortless skating and great stick handling. He was the perfect compliment to Lemieux and Forsberg, who brought enough physicality and ruthlessness to allow Kamensky room to contribute. One of the more entertaining lines of the 90s.

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12-27-2010, 02:14 AM
  #6
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I saw him mainly as a youngster playing for USSR - on the great line with Bykov and Khomutov. Big, great skater with a dangerous shot. As much as any player I've ever seen, he had the ability to make those "wow, did you see that?" kind of plays - although they were more like flashes of brilliance rather than him controlling the game a la Orr, Gretzky etc.
Unfortunately, he had a slight consistency problem (when playing for USSR, at least): on some nights he was the best player on the ice (see the 2nd game of 1987 Rendez-Vous, for example), but sometimes he would be near invisible.

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12-27-2010, 05:26 AM
  #7
Padan
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One thing that surprises me is how Kamensky didn't score more points when playing with Forsberg and Ozolinsh on a nightly basis (and Sakic at times). He only reached the PPG mark twice in his entire NHL career.

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12-27-2010, 06:26 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padan View Post
One thing that surprises me is how Kamensky didn't score more points when playing with Forsberg and Ozolinsh on a nightly basis (and Sakic at times). He only reached the PPG mark twice in his entire NHL career.
Kamensky played regularly with Sakic not Forsberg.

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12-27-2010, 07:34 AM
  #9
Padan
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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
Kamensky played regularly with Sakic not Forsberg.
Kamensky usually played with Forsberg and Claude Lemieux (the famous "United Nations Line") while Sakic played with Scott Young/Keith Jones and Adam Deadmarsh.

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12-27-2010, 02:21 PM
  #10
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kamensky was really good, actually outscored forsberg in the playoffs when colorado first won the cup, but i guess he played too much in the shadow of fedorov, bure and mogilny, and never put up the great regular seasons

also while he was a great fit with quebec|colorado i don't think his game was really a great fit for the league, he was probably too much schooled in the soviet game and when he came into the league as a 23 year old he never really played into it

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Old
12-27-2010, 02:24 PM
  #11
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Quote:
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Kamensky usually played with Forsberg and Claude Lemieux (the famous "United Nations Line") while Sakic played with Scott Young/Keith Jones and Adam Deadmarsh.
This was definitely true in the 1996 playoffs (which makes Sakic's playoff numbers even more impressive), but I think there were other times when Kamensky regularly played with Sakic.

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12-27-2010, 03:13 PM
  #12
Padan
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This was definitely true in the 1996 playoffs (which makes Sakic's playoff numbers even more impressive), but I think there were other times when Kamensky regularly played with Sakic.
Marc Crawford didn't really change up his lines, the Kamensky-Forsberg-Lemieux line was pretty much set in stone. Kamensky probably played with Sakic when Forsberg was injured though.

I also remember that Kamensky broke his leg around '91 or '92 while playing for the national team in Stockholm. His speed was certainly effected after that.

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12-27-2010, 03:22 PM
  #13
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Kamensky seems to have played both with Forsberg and Sakic on ES during the shortened '95 season but after that he played mostly with Forsberg (and Lemieux). Of course, he played with both on the PP.

ES points with Forsberg:

94/95: 5
95/96: 25
96/97: 19
97/98: 19
98/99: 9

ES points with Sakic:

94/95: 5
95/96: 8
96/97: 2
97/98: 3
98/99: 4

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Old
12-27-2010, 03:41 PM
  #14
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I also remember that Kamensky broke his leg around '91 or '92 while playing for the national team in Stockholm. His speed was certainly effected after that.
That was in an exhibition game against Sweden in August 1991. The injury put Kamensky on the sideline for six months. He only played his first NHL game in late February 1992.

Kamensky was considered the next Soviet superstar ever since he was voted Soviet MVP of the Rendez-vous 1987 series. In June 1991, when Kamensky was about to join the Nordiques de Québec, Sabres coach Rick Dudley lauded him as "on of the three or four best players in the world". In the NHL he never lived up to this praise of course. Was it because the injury affected his speed? I don't really know.

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12-27-2010, 04:01 PM
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In the NHL he never lived up to this praise of course. Was it because the injury affected his speed? I don't really know.
I would also say that Kamensky wasn't a fan of the physical game in the NHL, to say the least. As I mentioned earlier, he would occassionally turn the puck over once an opponent tried to hit him. The Alexey Morozov syndrome?

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12-27-2010, 09:57 PM
  #16
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The goal Kamensky scored in Game 2 of the 1987 Canada Cup was staggering. This tied the game with a minute left. This is the kind of play he was capable of doing. I think he had the best shot on that Russian team, it was a laser.

He translated a bit of that into the NHL too. Remember the goal he scored in between his legs while doing an unintentional spinorama? That was special. He just didn't sustain it for very long. I do agree with someone who said he wasn't physical and a little meek when it came to being hit. I think that led to his shortened career at a high level

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12-27-2010, 11:15 PM
  #17
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Kamenski was basically a point-per-game player from 1991-1997 so he was quite effective for a good stretch before dropping off at age 31.

Was set back by the injuries he suffered in his first two seasons, didn't play a full NHL season until he was 27-28.

If things had unfolded a bit differently (had been able to come to the NHL younger, hadn't been injured) I think he probably could have had a 100 point season or two. The ability was definitely there.

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Old
12-28-2010, 12:03 PM
  #18
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I get to play 3 on 3 and stuff like that every now and then with him
We usually get a good amount minor pro/college/retired guys like glenn anderson and mark jensen. Kamensky's hockey sense and passing are always BY FAR the best out there.

Probably not exactly what the OP is looking for but still interesting imo

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12-29-2010, 03:52 AM
  #19
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Great goal by Kamensky in the 1987 Rendez-Vous:



Slightly reminds me of Crosby's gooolden goal at the Olympics; though here Kamensky is both Crosby AND Iginla!


And here's a nice set-up for Khomutov's goal - also from the Rendez-Vous:


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12-30-2010, 05:32 PM
  #20
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Originally Posted by Padan View Post
The book on him from an opponents perspective was to hit him hard, early, and often and you wouldn't see him below the faceoff circles for the rest of the game (i.e. he wasn't a big fan of contact). He wasn't the most formidable back-checker, though knew where to be on the ice in his own zone and was reasonably responsible.
Even though he was in his mid-thirties at the time, he never really recovered from Kirk Maltby's vicious two hand slash that broke his forearm in 1999.

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12-30-2010, 07:17 PM
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I thought that from about 88-92 or so he would have been right there with any RW in the world.

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12-30-2010, 07:31 PM
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I would also say that Kamensky wasn't a fan of the physical game in the NHL, to say the least. As I mentioned earlier, he would occassionally turn the puck over once an opponent tried to hit him. The Alexey Morozov syndrome?
Quote:
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Even though he was in his mid-thirties at the time, he never really recovered from Kirk Maltby's vicious two hand slash that broke his forearm in 1999.
Yep, these nailed Kamensky's problems in a nutshell.

Unfortunately, none of this seemed to affect Neil Smith's POV following that 1999 Postseason.

One of my favorite Euro forwards to watch throughout the '90s, but...and I don't mean to hijack the thread here...Kamensky & Stephane Quintal were tied on my list for most despised players to put on the Rangers' sweater under Smith's tenure.

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01-10-2011, 04:11 AM
  #23
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Valeri was one of my favorite all time Avalanche players! He scored their first goal in Denver on opening night, if I remember correctly he split the D for a partial breakaway.

I googled him just to see what came up and it looks like the Avs honoured him sometime last season. There are some nice highlights in it including his famous spin goal.

http://video.avalanche.nhl.com/video...tid=0&id=76887

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01-10-2011, 03:00 PM
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He was one of my first favorite players becuase of early to mid 90s video games. I think the guy who hit the Aleksey Morozov syndrome thing hit the nail on the head. I actually think he and Morozov were similar in a lot more regards than that to be honest. Very similar players in my mind. Morozov had he stayed in the NHL probably woudl have had a season very similar to Kamensky's 85 point '96 season had he stayed over here.

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01-10-2011, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padan View Post
Kamensky usually played with Forsberg and Claude Lemieux (the famous "United Nations Line") while Sakic played with Scott Young/Keith Jones and Adam Deadmarsh.
This line made me a hockey fan. Not an Avs fan but hockey fan !!

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