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How good would have Valery Kharlamov been in the NHL?

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02-11-2013, 08:38 AM
  #1
Vikingstad
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How good would have Valery Kharlamov been in the NHL?

Just saw a couple vids of the guy, you could tell his skill level was through the roof. Had he come over and played in the NHL, what do you think his career would have been like?

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02-11-2013, 08:43 AM
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I Hate Chris Butler
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Bure-esque with Stastny points? A more dynamic Hull? I don't know how much he'd score, but I bet he'd be among the leaders every season. Hard to say.

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02-11-2013, 08:51 AM
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Crease
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He was extremely gifted. Watch some of his highlights from the Summit Series before the Clarke slash. The NHL was truly deprived of incredible Russian talent back in the 70s and 80s.

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02-11-2013, 08:54 AM
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gifted88
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The History section will be able to tell you more about him.

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02-11-2013, 09:39 AM
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Enigmatically good.







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02-11-2013, 11:56 AM
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spiny norman
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The History section will be able to tell you more about him.
Good idea ... moved to the History forum ...

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02-11-2013, 12:13 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Yeah, Bure-sque is likely it. 50-60 goals and 40-50 assists a year if he stayed healthy. Similar to Orr, he took a lot of risky chances and he might have damaged his knees with that kind of play. It also depends what team he played for. Although he could take the puck from center and go to the net he would still require some decent puck moving defense men and a good center and wingers on his team. Don't forget the Red Army was an all-star team and his production was partly a result of the room the others created too. Had he been stuck in Colorado or Washington, he might never have had the skating room needed. His goal against Montreal in the NY's game is a thing of beauty. A burst of speed and a deceptive backhand? timed perfectly.

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02-11-2013, 12:59 PM
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^

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
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7F1QQnB11k

1972 Summit series, game 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYnveEDunfQ

1975-76 Super Series, CSKA vs NY Rangers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imfi326oLzc

1975-76 Super Series, CSKA vs Boston Bruins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Txy4u_b8ds

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02-11-2013, 01:17 PM
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Well he fell off after his first car accident, atleast statistically.

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02-11-2013, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by VerySuperFamous View Post
Well he fell off after his first car accident, atleast statistically.
Actually, I don't think there was a significant drop in his numbers post accident (1976). He never really dominated points-wise, e.g. his linemates Petrov and Mikhailov often outscored him even before the accident. I think the only big international tournament where he won the scoring title was the 1972 Winter Olympics (none at the World Championships), and was it only 1 scoring title in the Soviet league?

I've seen some games from 1977-80 where he almost looks like the Kharlamov of old, but he had definitely lost a step and he was a bit inconsistent.


Last edited by VMBM: 02-12-2013 at 02:09 AM.
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02-11-2013, 01:53 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Yeah, Bure-sque is likely it. 50-60 goals and 40-50 assists a year if he stayed healthy. Similar to Orr, he took a lot of risky chances and he might have damaged his knees with that kind of play. It also depends what team he played for. Although he could take the puck from center and go to the net he would still require some decent puck moving defense men and a good center and wingers on his team. Don't forget the Red Army was an all-star team and his production was partly a result of the room the others created too. Had he been stuck in Colorado or Washington, he might never have had the skating room needed. His goal against Montreal in the NY's game is a thing of beauty. A burst of speed and a deceptive backhand? timed perfectly.
Kharlamov was known as a very good playmaker, so I don't really understand the Bure comparison. The comparison I've heard most often is "Guy Lafleur," but that makes a lot of assumptions. One is how well Kharlamov could have handled the more physical NHL. Clarke slash aside, Canada went into later series with the intention of roughing him up, and did meet with some success.

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02-11-2013, 02:00 PM
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02-11-2013, 02:01 PM
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Karlamov was one of the most conditioned athletes in the world at that time. Soviets put huge focus on their atheltes and strength and conditioning and they were lightyears away from everyone else. One major reason why they dominated the athletic world from the 60's right up to the fall of the Soviet Union.

The first ever professional trainer for a sports team was Marv Marinovich in the 70s for LA Raiders. His training derives from Soviet training. And the NHL didnt start personal trainers or true strength and conditioning up until the 90's maybe later.

So my point is that he was already in one of the best shapes having trained with the Soviet Union. People underrate conditioning and IMO he would have been one of the best in the NHL because of his training for hockey.

Idk what kind of awards he would have won but he would have been consistantly one of the best in points his entire career.

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02-11-2013, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Kharlamov was known as a very good playmaker, so I don't really understand the Bure comparison. The comparison I've heard most often is "Guy Lafleur," but that makes a lot of assumptions. One is how well Kharlamov could have handled the more physical NHL. Clarke slash aside, Canada went into later series with the intention of roughing him up, and did meet with some success.
How sad is that Canada resorted to breaking his ankle. That incident changed the entire series

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02-11-2013, 02:18 PM
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A definite superstar

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02-11-2013, 02:50 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Kharlamov was known as a very good playmaker, so I don't really understand the Bure comparison. The comparison I've heard most often is "Guy Lafleur," but that makes a lot of assumptions. One is how well Kharlamov could have handled the more physical NHL. Clarke slash aside, Canada went into later series with the intention of roughing him up, and did meet with some success.
I agree he was a very good playmaker. As someone pointed out, it would have been interesting to see him play outside of a rigidly structured system. Who knows, he may have approached Lafleur like assist numbers, but how many wingers in the history of the game averaged 75 assists a year for an extended period? Jagr...I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head. I think he could have handled the physical part of the game had he had the right group of players around him. No one touched Lafleur because of Robinson. The cheapshots might have been rampant though. As another poster stated, his strength and conditioning was likely better than most NHLer's so he could probably handle the bodychecking. But the NHL season is a long grind. There is also the clash of cultures issue. The first Russians to come over had some problems adjusting to North American life. It's really hard to say how disciplined a player coming out of that system could be. Bure did fine. Krutov lived at 7-11.

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02-11-2013, 03:17 PM
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I also think the soviet system limited his effectiveness, evidenced by Kharlamov routinely being the best player on the ice yet being outproduced by teammates. He was very much an instinctual player.
It would have been interesting to see him in a less structured situation whereby he could play "off-the-cuff".

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02-11-2013, 03:17 PM
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I also think the soviet system limited his effectiveness, evidenced by Kharlamov routinely being the best player on the ice yet being outproduced by teammates. He was very much an instinctual player.
It would have been interesting to see him in a less structured situation.
If he was being outproduced by his teammates, how can you say for sure that he was the best player on the ice?

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02-11-2013, 03:56 PM
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I think Kharlamov played a similar style to Saku Koivu, but he was just much more talented and better; he could have done some serious damage in 70's and 80's had he been able to A) come over to the NHL and B) not have his life ended way too early.

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02-11-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Kharlamov was known as a very good playmaker, so I don't really understand the Bure comparison. The comparison I've heard most often is "Guy Lafleur," but that makes a lot of assumptions. One is how well Kharlamov could have handled the more physical NHL. Clarke slash aside, Canada went into later series with the intention of roughing him up, and did meet with some success.
He was pretty known (at least seems to be in some peers) for being a gritty player, I don't have any doubt that he could have handled the NHL.

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02-11-2013, 09:00 PM
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Did Kharlamov get injured a lot?

In the 12 seasons that they played together, Kharlamov missed 63 of CSKA's games, while Mikhailov missed just 12. Given that the Soviet club season was usually only 30-40 games long, Kharlamov's missed time represents 15 percent of his team's games.

I presume most of the missed games are due to injury - if 1976 was the year of Kharlamov's first severe car accident, that would explain the 15 games missed in the 1976-77 season.

Source: Russian Wikipedia (with Google Translate) and Eliteprospects

SeasonKharlamovMikhailov# of games in season
1969424242
1970334444
1971344040
1972313132
1973273032
1974263132
1975313536
1976343636
1977213436
1978293536
1979414344
1980424144

Would this explain why Mikhailov and Petrov usually had higher point totals than Kharlamov even though Kharlamov was usually considered the best player of that line?

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02-12-2013, 02:22 AM
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VMBM
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Would this explain why Mikhailov and Petrov usually had higher point totals than Kharlamov even though Kharlamov was usually considered the best player of that line?
It could explain some of it, but then again, Petrov and especially Mikhailov often outscored him at the World Championships too, and I think they all played approx. the same amount of WC games (overall, Kharlamov does have more WC points than Petrov, though).

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02-12-2013, 05:13 AM
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I've said it many times before, the legend of Kharlamov is much stronger than his actual accomplishments.

Based on the numbers, he's doesn't even challenge for a spot among the top-10 Russians of all time.

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02-12-2013, 06:20 AM
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I've said it many times before, the legend of Kharlamov is much stronger than his actual accomplishments.

Based on the numbers, he's doesn't even challenge for a spot among the top-10 Russians of all time.
If you actually watched some of the games he played (easy to obtain on the interweb), you'd realize what all the hype is about.
He was a magic player, not just an efficient one.

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03-09-2013, 02:12 PM
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Kharlamov is arguably the best forward Russia has ever produced.



If he would have gone over the pond, I can see him among the top 3 forwards in the NHL.

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