Putin is pretty good with this kind of stuff. He supports a lot of Russian athlete's in various sports. One of his favorites is Sambo which is seen at events frequently as it's the national sport I think? Also you see him supporting MMA due to the crossover from Sambo.
He's a better skater than Russell Crowe, and he looked untouchable out there.
On a serious note, although he is in great shape for his age, he is an old guy and hockey takes a different set of muscles than he is used to using, so I don't think anyone expected him to be a superstar. Actually, I think it is pretty cool he played. I'm pretty sure he could do some sick dangles around Bettman, if noone else!