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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Vladimir Krutov

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Old
03-16-2017, 08:40 PM
  #1
Eye of Ra
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Vladimir Krutov

Why did he only play 1 season in NHL and why did it go so bad? Larionov, Makarov, Fetisov and Kasatonov all had good NHL-careers but not Krutov.

If Krutov would come to NHL in his prime, what type of impact would he had?

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03-16-2017, 10:05 PM
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JustAShadow
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He came over fat and out of shape.

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03-16-2017, 10:28 PM
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Unfortunately, he was fond of donuts -- an indulgence easily given into in Canada.


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03-16-2017, 11:55 PM
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Passchendaele
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He has to be one of the most overrated Russian forwards in history IMO.. His numbers were awful at a still youngish age.

Oh, also ballooned.. don't see how this would have been any different had he played in the NHL starting at 20. You can't teach work ethic.

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03-17-2017, 12:09 AM
  #5
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He was an example of why coming from USSR to NA was like coming to another galaxy, where people looked like humans, but everything other was different. Krutov was rised by Soviet system. Not just about hockey, but about the style of life. He came to another world and couldn't find himself there.

Makarov being a PPG player in his few first NHL seasons (and he was was 2 years older, than Krutov) makes his feat really astonishing. People just don't understand the difference between USSR and NA back to then. Pity Krutov couldn't find himself in NA hockey, he was a genius.


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03-17-2017, 12:11 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
He has to be one of the most overrated Russian forwards in history IMO.. His numbers were awful at a still youngish age.

Oh, also ballooned.. don't see how this would have been any different had he played in the NHL starting at 20. You can't teach work ethic.
Lol, watch Canada Cup 87 and compare him to some all time great Canadians.

This is 100 best Krutov's goals.


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03-17-2017, 12:31 AM
  #7
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Originally Posted by Kshahdoo View Post
He was an example of why coming from USSR to NA was like coming to another galaxy, where people look like humans, but everything other was different. Krutov was rised by Soviet system. Not just about hockey, but about the style of life. He came to another world and couldn't find himself there.

Makarov being a PPG player in his few first NHL season (and he was was 2 years older, than Krutov) makes his feat is really astonishing. People just don't understand the difference between USSR and NA back to then. Pity Krutov couldn't find himself in NA hockey, he was a genius.
Yeah, pretty much this. He was a big guy just naturally, stout, had like a double chin at 18 or 19... nickname was "Tank"... brilliant hockey player, Russian to the core so yeah, had problems adjusting to the North American way of life & clashed with Canucks Coach Bob McCammon. Felt he wasnt being used properly, wasnt getting enough ice time, couldnt get his groove going sitting on the bench for 15 minutes then playing for 3.... When he showed up for Camp the next year, the club claimed he was overweight & out of shape & that was that however.... perhaps both parties just concluded, mutually agreeing that he'd be happier back home.

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03-17-2017, 03:14 AM
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Culture shock mostly.

There are other less prolific, or perhaps less dramatic, examples. When Bryan McCabe came over to Sweden in 04–05 and played with HV71 in the SEL on big ice he apparently looked like a slug and struggled mightily on both ends of the ice. Had 1 goal and 0 assists in 10 games with the club. Next season he was back in Toronto and scored 19 goals and 68 points in 73 games.

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03-17-2017, 05:22 AM
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When he winded his career down in Sweden he took a division 2 team to division 1 his first season. He was out of shape and didn't move that much on the ice but sometimes he stepped up his game and was the best player on the ice. He also liked his vodka a lot which contributed to being out of shape (first hand info). To much freedom to fast. He just couldn´t adjust to his new life.

He certainly has earned his spot in history as one of the best winger of all time. I have fond memories of him, Larionov and Makarov skating circles around the best teams in the world. And the surpised look on the faces of much bigger players after running in to those iron men. Krutov was built like a tank!

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03-17-2017, 08:21 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
He has to be one of the most overrated Russian forwards in history IMO.. His numbers were awful at a still youngish age.

Oh, also ballooned.. don't see how this would have been any different had he played in the NHL starting at 20. You can't teach work ethic.
Yeah, I disagree. His work ethic was excellent earlier in his career.

Look, imagine living hockey 11 months out of the year, no off season, no time to enjoy life.

Once he escaped from Tikhonov all he wanted to do is just live by his terms.

I disagree that he is overrated, might be underrated as he was an awesome player.

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03-17-2017, 08:39 AM
  #11
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What a huge disappointment he was. As a Canucks fan at the time, we were so hyped that this influx of Soviet talent (2/3 of the KLM line) would suddenly drag our team out of the morass that had been the 1980's. No such luck.

Krutov (or as Don Cherry quipped, "Cruton") just couldn't handle the culture shift. After years playing in a system where every element of his on and off ice behavior was monitored and controlled, to suddenly be able to do stuff like walk into a 7-11 at 3:00AM and buy hot dogs for a dollar was too much for him. Plus the Canucks' general pall of failure was strong enough to ruin nearly any career at the time (just ask Barry Pederson). Larionov didn't really blow anyone away during his tenure with the team either.

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03-17-2017, 10:05 AM
  #12
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Originally Posted by MaxV View Post
Yeah, I disagree. His work ethic was excellent earlier in his career.

Look, imagine living hockey 11 months out of the year, no off season, no time to enjoy life.

Once he escaped from Tikhonov all he wanted to do is just live by his terms.


I disagree that he is overrated, might be underrated as he was an awesome player.
Yes I think that this is the key point. Many seem to fail to grasp just how tough life must have been under the training regime of Tikhonov. That Krutov who had spent well over a decade under that training regime no longer had the motivation to keep working hard should not come as a surprise in my opinion. Just listen to what Fedorov said about the CSKA training regime during his HHOF induction speech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAxb6WyYWI4&t=7m55s

Another thing worth noting is that Krutov in an interview with Dagens Nyheter said that he never even wanted to go over to North America but was forced to do so. Here is a post I made about this during the Top 50 Non-NHL European project.

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Yes that is one way of looking at it. Another way is that perhaps Krutov simply was tired of working out after having spent his entire hockey career and most of his life under arguably the toughest training regime in sports history. In an interview with Dagens Nyheter Krutov states that the he was forced to go over to North America by the authorities for propaganda reasons and that he rather would have played in Europe. Considering the choices Krutov made after his NHL-stint it seems like he just wanted to enjoy playing hockey at that point, without all the pressure, after having been released from Tikhonovs training regime. To me it seems like Krutov simply was tired of all that pressure and all the hard work to be among the best in the world and just wanted to enjoy playing hockey without all of that. And after years and years of working out at the limit of what should be humanly possible can we really blame him too much for wanting that? If I personally would have had to endure the CSKA training regime for that long I am not so sure that my first choice would have been to go to the NHL and work hard to continue to try to be among the best either.

http://www.dn.se/arkiv/sport/nu-ar-k...stjarnan-talar

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03-17-2017, 11:29 AM
  #13
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As far as I remember, Krutov (and Kasatonov), unlike Makarov, Larionov and Fetisov, never had problems with Tikhonov. Bure, you know, was on good terms with Tikhonov as well.

Without Tikhonov's regime Krutov just started to destroy himself and died at age 52. It's a known fact, that some people love army style life and some just can't stand it.


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03-17-2017, 12:34 PM
  #14
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In fairness, donuts are delicious and may not have been as readily available in the USSR at the time.

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03-17-2017, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
He has to be one of the most overrated Russian forwards in history IMO.. His numbers were awful at a still youngish age.

Oh, also ballooned.. don't see how this would have been any different had he played in the NHL starting at 20. You can't teach work ethic.
Actually, you can.

The rest of your post is just silly. At his prime he was every bit equal to (possibly even eclipsed) Makarov, making him essentially the best winger in the world.

Remember, Soviet players were pretty much expected to be done by 30. Nobody cared about their longevity or their post-prime life (which led to high alcoholism among older players). The fact that Makarov remained great well into his 30s (and he aged much better than, say, Lafleur) is a testament to his genius. Larionov was just younger. But at his prime, there is no way you can "overrate" a player like Krutov.

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03-17-2017, 01:13 PM
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MaxV
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Originally Posted by Kshahdoo View Post
As far as I remember, Krutov (and Kasatonov), unlike Makarov, Larionov and Fetisov, never had problems with Tikhonov. Bure, you know, was on good terms with Tikhonov as well.

Without Tikhonov's regime Krutov just started to destroy himself and died at age 52. It's a known fact, that some people love army style life and some just can't stand it.
There is a documentary about Green Unit on YouTube with interviews.

Krutov might have respected Tikhonov, but it's pretty clear that he didn't enjoy that lifestyle. He even mentions the birth of his son and never seeing him.

You guys want to assume that Krutov would have been fat had he came over to NHL at 19 instead of 30? That he needed to be disciplined into shape? Ok, we'll never know, but this guy was a star player no doubt about it.

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03-17-2017, 01:15 PM
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Killion
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
Actually, you can.

At his prime he was every bit equal to (possibly even eclipsed) Makarov, making him essentially the best winger in the world.

Remember, Soviet players were pretty much expected to be done by 30. Nobody cared about their longevity or their post-prime life (which led to high alcoholism among older players). The fact that Makarov remained great well into his 30s (and he aged much better than, say, Lafleur) is a testament to his genius. Larionov was just younger. But at his prime, there is no way you can "overrate" a player like Krutov.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxV View Post
Yeah, I disagree. His work ethic was excellent earlier in his career.

Look, imagine living hockey 11 months out of the year, no off season, no time to enjoy life.

Once he escaped from Tikhonov all he wanted to do is just live by his terms.

I disagree that he is overrated, might be underrated as he was an awesome player.
Pretty much this.... Those were vastly different times not just in Russia but so too in North America. Really until the early 90's alcohol & smoking, especially if you came of age in the 50's, 60's & 70's, it was just everywhere, performance athlete or not it was your go-to recreational option... Hell, you could light up & or get lit up just about everywhere & anywhere. For those who didnt live it, live through those era's its just not something one should be judgmental about in looking back on it through the prism of modern sensibilities.... Old Russian proverb; Vodka is our enemy, so we will therefore utterly consume it.... the relationship between Russians & vodka bordering on the mystical, like the Irish & whiskey.....

... which reminds me, Happy St. Paddys all.

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03-17-2017, 03:31 PM
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Yeah, I disagree. His work ethic was excellent earlier in his career.
It was because he had to keep fit. USSR circa 1980.. do you really wonder?

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03-17-2017, 03:38 PM
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I really can't believe there has been no mention of the elephant in room so far...

On topic, Krutov was probably something like the 2nd best forward in the world at some point. Not for very long, but still.

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03-17-2017, 03:38 PM
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Actually, you can.

The rest of your post is just silly. At his prime he was every bit equal to (possibly even eclipsed) Makarov, making him essentially the best winger in the world.

Remember, Soviet players were pretty much expected to be done by 30. Nobody cared about their longevity or their post-prime life (which led to high alcoholism among older players). The fact that Makarov remained great well into his 30s (and he aged much better than, say, Lafleur) is a testament to his genius. Larionov was just younger. But at his prime, there is no way you can "overrate" a player like Krutov.
First off, Makarov was better than him (and one can assume with accuracy that he had Hall of Fame talent). He outproduced him every year of his career.

I'd expect an "all-time great" to do better than 11 goals in the National Hockey League.. especially considering that was the 80s.

I suspect Larionov (who played until he was 43 by the way) would be overrated to the same extend if he hadn't spent a considerable size of his career in the NHL.

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03-17-2017, 03:40 PM
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I really can't believe there has been no mention of the elephant in room so far...

On topic, Krutov was probably something like the 2nd best forward in the world at some point. Not for very long, but still.
2nd best on his team.. maybe. Else? Not a chance.

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03-17-2017, 03:50 PM
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2nd best on his team.. maybe. Else? Not a chance.
Solid rebuttal.

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03-17-2017, 04:13 PM
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On topic, Krutov was probably something like the 2nd best forward in the world at some point. Not for very long, but still.
When?
If I recall correctly, the only period when Krutov was considered by some to be on par/better than Makarov was after ~86 and I think most would agree that Gretzky and Lemieux were 1-2 at that point.

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03-17-2017, 04:19 PM
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When?
If I recall correctly, the only period when Krutov was considered by some to be on par/better than Makarov was after ~86 and I think most would agree that Gretzky and Lemieux were 1-2 at that point.
Hence "probably".. actually means "probably better than Lemieux".

I don't even know if I agree with this myself, but that's probably arguable.

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03-17-2017, 08:47 PM
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Problem with Krutov, unlike with Makarov, is that his NHL experience was so underwhelming that one would wonder how he would fare if leaving Russia isn't an issue early on.

Makarov was excellent, even in his 30s. He in fact had an insane start to his NHL career (including a seven-point game). Whether he was the 2nd best player in the 80s is debatable, but he was certainly on the same level as the Stastnys, Hawerchuks and Savards.

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