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If Everyone Knew Bure Could Be Drafted in 1989, How Soon Would He Have Been Picked?

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12-06-2011, 02:26 PM
  #26
tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
You sure about this?
Yep. Renberg had been hobbled by a badly swollen ankle and was replaced by a rookie Dainus Zubrus prior to that series. Terry Murray put Renberg back with Lindros and Leclair for part of Game 1 till it was obvious he couldn't keep up (though he did manage an assist), then moved him back to the Brind'Amour line (I think) and put Zubrus back with Lindros and Leclair.

The first game with a limping Renberg, Lindros had 2 assists. The next time he scored was that meaningless goal in Game 4. Zubrus was -4 with 4 shots and no points in the series.

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12-06-2011, 02:30 PM
  #27
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I don't know if I'd go as far as saying he was more talented than the big three, but Kozlov was an underrated player on that team (and later in Atlanta for that matter). He had some slick offensive skill that tended to get buried behind the recognition that was heaped on his teammates. A healthy, fully-realized Kozlov could have been a second-level star player.
i never saw kozlov play pre-accident, so i can't say for sure. but i have definitely read before (can't find the source) that some scouts considered him "even better than bure, fedorov, and mogilny" before he lost a year of development and some of his excellent skating ability to injuries after his car crash in moscow. people were saying this around '92, when kozlov was still an unknown, having yet to make it as an NHL regular-- i should note that the quotes i remember from twenty years ago made sure to mention that kozlov as a teenager was better than the big three when they were teenagers, not necessarily projecting that he would be as good a pro as them. none of bure, fedorov, or mogilny had his 100 points yet by this point either.

another thing to note is that kozlov was, i think, the highest russian drafted before kovalev in '91. kozlov was a third round pick in 1990, while bure and fedorov went later in '89. this might be a result of before/after the fall of the berlin wall, but by the 1990 draft it was still very uncertain whether kozlov could have ever made it to NA in his prime.

this is an interesting story:

Quote:
What Kozlov didn't mention is that the Wings were able to get him out of Russia because he and then-Russian junior teammate Taras Kirilov were involved in a car accident which both claimed Kirilov's life and resulted in extensive facial reconstructive surgery for Kozlov.

Before the accident, the wan-faced Kozlov had a rather large nose, a cocky attitude, and a scouting report indicating that he'd be the next Pavel Bure, but the car accident gave him his ticket out of Russia, as he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Craig Custance in 2007:

April 17, 2007, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: [Kozlov] was driving and never saw the bus that hit his car and instantly killed his teammate, a defenseman for the Red Army.

It's still too painful to talk about, Kozlov said.

"I know I'm going to live with that the rest of my life," he said. "It's tough. I talked to his parents and they told me, 'You have to play for both of you.' His mom told me, 'You have to play for my son and yourself.'"

Kozlov's family knew rehab and recovery in the U.S. would give him the best chance at fulfilling the potential that had already made him a star in Russia. Polano knew it, too, and immediately flew to Moscow to visit Kozlov at the hospital and get him out of the country. They needed to get Kozlov released from the army, and knew enough people behind the scenes to get it done.
"They found a way to make some papers, fake papers about a disability saying I cannot play hockey anymore," Kozlov said. "I was released from the army with these documents."
Said Polano: "That was handled behind the scenes. Everything we did wasn't exactly legal. There were some things that had to be done."

Kozlov got his release and was off to Detroit for recovery, with no intentions of playing for the Red Army again. He never would, as the Red Wings battled in courts to keep Kozlov in America.
It cleared the way for Kozlov to start his NHL career. With the Red Wings he won a pair of Stanley Cups, and still owns a Detroit record with 12 game-winning goals in the playoffs. In all, he'd register 79 points in 114 career playoff games.
also, off topic but kozlov reportedly did everything he could in atlanta to help dany heatley after his own car accident.

http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2009..._kozlov_r.html


another interesting question: if there was no cold war, how high would kozlov have gone in the extremely loaded 1990 draft? his reputation seems to me like he could have been as high as sixth. jagr would have been top three, i think, given how he destroyed the WJC as a 17 year old. nolan, nedved, and primeau were all regarded as sure things, so them all having played in the CHL probably would have given them the benefit of the doubt over the less proven kozlov. and probably ricci, who was ranked number one going in, would have gone fourth or fifth ahead of kozlov, even though ricci's stock was falling (or, rather, though nolan, nedved, and primeau's stock all rose).

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12-06-2011, 02:47 PM
  #28
tarheelhockey
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That's really interesting, I've never heard that story before.

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12-06-2011, 09:53 PM
  #29
vecens24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Yep. Renberg had been hobbled by a badly swollen ankle and was replaced by a rookie Dainus Zubrus prior to that series. Terry Murray put Renberg back with Lindros and Leclair for part of Game 1 till it was obvious he couldn't keep up (though he did manage an assist), then moved him back to the Brind'Amour line (I think) and put Zubrus back with Lindros and Leclair.

The first game with a limping Renberg, Lindros had 2 assists. The next time he scored was that meaningless goal in Game 4. Zubrus was -4 with 4 shots and no points in the series.
I still believe it to be an indictment that Bowman thought Lidstrom was stronger defensively since he was the one out there against Lindros-Leclair.

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