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Soviet players in top 10 of all time- do they belong there?

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Old
09-20-2006, 12:44 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by canucksfan View Post
An interesting point was raised also. If the Soviets player played in the NHL in the 70's how well would they have done.
Against the pylon defensmen of the 70's I think they would've done pretty well.

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09-20-2006, 12:53 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by XploD View Post
Against the pylon defensmen of the 70's I think they would've done pretty well.
The pylon defensemen? You make it sound like no-one could skate in that league.

The red army should have pounded the Habs 17-2 in that 1976 new years game instead of getting skated out of the rink all evening if your call here is correct.12 goals by the mighty Kharlamov himself. In reality,they got outskated all game by Lafleur and company.

The pylon defensemen? maybe in the old joke of a world championships the Soviets dominated they were.You grew up watching them skate circles around teams like Poland for too long i'd say.That would cloud anyones judgement.

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09-20-2006, 01:01 PM
  #53
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Against the pylon defensmen of the 70's I think they would've done pretty well.
You only weaken your argument with a statement like that. Yeah, Bobby Orr, Brad Park, Serge Savard, Larry Robinson (still the standard for the big, mobile defenceman), Guy Lapointe, Denis Potvin, Barry Beck, none of those guys could skate. They just lumbered on the ice, absolutely useless, only getting points because they would chip the puck off the glass and into the neutral zone, where their fleet-footed forwards would take over.

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09-20-2006, 02:08 PM
  #54
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The defensemen looked like pylons in the Challence Cup final which I have on tape. Robinson, Potvin and Salming looked like they didn't belong to the same ice as the best Soviet players like Makarov, Mikhailov, Kapustin and Balderis.

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09-20-2006, 02:13 PM
  #55
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I'm sure if this question was asked the other way around, on a Russian forum, only Gretzky and Lemieux would crack the all-time top 10 list.

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09-20-2006, 03:01 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Wisent View Post
Igor Larionov once said that Kharlamov was the best player he had ever seen.
Ah patriotism...

How it can sway the opinion of a perfectly sensible man...

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09-20-2006, 03:02 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Paxton Fettel View Post
I'm sure if this question was asked the other way around, on a Russian forum, only Gretzky and Lemieux would crack the all-time top 10 list.
Please, don't speak ill of Russian hockey fans...

I would liek to think they are a bit more knowledgable than you give them credit for.

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09-20-2006, 03:44 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by KariyaIsGod View Post
Please, don't speak ill of Russian hockey fans...

I would liek to think they are a bit more knowledgable than you give them credit for.
He's not joking,except that i doubt Gretzky and Lemieux would make their top 20 lists either.

top 50 maybe.

Right behind Viktor Kozlov and Darius Kasparitis.

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09-20-2006, 03:45 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Peter25 View Post
The defensemen looked like pylons in the Challence Cup final which I have on tape. Robinson, Potvin and Salming looked like they didn't belong to the same ice as the best Soviet players like Makarov, Mikhailov, Kapustin and Balderis.
Yeah,sure.

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09-20-2006, 03:51 PM
  #60
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I think A LOT of people are underrating the Soviets here.

Who cares how they would have performed in the NHL - its a hypothetical. All we can do is judge them based on their play against the highest level competition.
Fact is, the Soviets always (repeat always) skated neck and neck with the best the NHL had to offer.....many times making them look foolish. Heck, in '87 Gretzky, Lemieux, Bourque, Messier, etc. were only a goal better than the Soviets despite the Russians having a goalie that couldn't stop a beach ball.

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09-20-2006, 04:21 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Zine View Post
I think A LOT of people are underrating the Soviets here.

Who cares how they would have performed in the NHL - its a hypothetical. All we can do is judge them based on their play against the highest level competition.
Fact is, the Soviets always (repeat always) skated neck and neck with the best the NHL had to offer.....many times making them look foolish. Heck, in '87 Gretzky, Lemieux, Bourque, Messier, etc. were only a goal better than the Soviets despite the Russians having a goalie that couldn't stop a beach ball.
Pretty much sums it up.

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09-20-2006, 05:20 PM
  #62
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A lot of people here are stating that the Russians in the 70s and 80s would have had no problem dominating in the NHL. That`s all hypothetical. The NHL game is much more physical and the schedule is far more grueling (80 games + playoffs vs. 48 games and no playoffs). I mean no disrespect to the great Russian players of the past, but ...

In 1989, Makarov, Larionov, Krutov, Fetisov, Kasatonov and Mylnikov all came to the NHL. They were considered the best 6 players in the Soviet Union at the time, therefore they should have dominated the NHL: but they didn`t. Makarov was supposed to be the top offensive player in the world after Gretzky, yet despite joining the leagye`s best offence (Calgary) and getting a ton of power-play time he couldn`t crack the NHL`s top 25 scorers. Fetisov and Larionov were the only two who carved out decent NHL careers. Now a lot of factors need to be considered with that, but the question is that if those guys didn`t completely dazzle the NHL, why is it assumed that Kharlamov and Mikhailov would?

How long has the NHL been completely open to Soviets; 10-15 years? If you were to list the 10 best players in that span, how many Soviets would make the list: likely just Fedorov. If it was a top 20 list then just Fedorov and Bure. Yet it assumed that they make up 50% of the best players before 1990?

I think it`s best to treat them seperately and appreciate them for what they were.

Quote:
Against the pylon defensmen of the 70's I think they would've done pretty well.
That was a fairly ignorant comment. Just curious how often you saw Bill White, Jacques LaPerriere, Serge Savard or Bobby Orr play? Personally when I think of pylon defencemen of the 70s, I think of the game in the Super Series in `76 when the Buffalo Sabres racked up 12 goals against the Soviet Wings. Perreault was skating circles around those guys.

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09-20-2006, 05:27 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
A lot of people here are stating that the Russians in the 70s and 80s would have had no problem dominating in the NHL. That`s all hypothetical. The NHL game is much more physical and the schedule is far more grueling (80 games + playoffs vs. 48 games and no playoffs). I mean no disrespect to the great Russian players of the past, but ...

In 1989, Makarov, Larionov, Krutov, Fetisov, Kasatonov and Mylnikov all came to the NHL. They were considered the best 6 players in the Soviet Union at the time, therefore they should have dominated the NHL: but they didn`t. Makarov was supposed to be the top offensive player in the world after Gretzky, yet despite joining the leagye`s best offence (Calgary) and getting a ton of power-play time he couldn`t crack the NHL`s top 25 scorers. Fetisov and Larionov were the only two who carved out decent NHL careers. Now a lot of factors need to be considered with that, but the question is that if those guys didn`t completely dazzle the NHL, why is it assumed that Kharlamov and Mikhailov would?

How long has the NHL been completely open to Soviets; 10-15 years? If you were to list the 10 best players in that span, how many Soviets would make the list: likely just Fedorov. If it was a top 20 list then just Fedorov and Bure. Yet it assumed that they make up 50% of the best players before 1990?

I think it`s best to treat them seperately and appreciate them for what they were.



That was a fairly ignorant comment. Just curious how often you saw Bill White, Jacques LaPerriere, Serge Savard or Bobby Orr play? Personally when I think of pylon defencemen of the 70s, I think of the game in the Super Series in `76 when the Buffalo Sabres racked up 12 goals against the Soviet Wings. Perreault was skating circles around those guys.
Well put reck

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09-20-2006, 05:49 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Wisent View Post
Thanks for the list.
But I have to say that (as the writer himself said) that these lists create controversy.
Bure is IMO too high on that list while Mikhailov is way too low. And the list omits at least one important name with Starshinov.

And, while I agree that he is great, Tretyak is too high on this list. I wouldn`t have him in the Top5.

But, as always, lists are hard to make.
i think most everyone will agree with that. everything i've heard or read from russians indicates that mikhailov is held in nearly as high regard as kharlamov or tretiak.

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09-20-2006, 06:17 PM
  #65
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why is everyone trying to imagine how these guys would've performed in the NHL?

I mean, before the 1990's, for obvious reasons, the NHL wasn't quite the power league it is now.

and besides, why do you have to succeed in the NHL in order to be recognized a great player? I mean any of the Canadian greats could have sucked in the soviet league ... the only thing we know, is what Zine stated above : when the Soviets faced Canada, they were basically evenly matched.

so if Larionov, Makarov and Krutov were average hockey players by NHL standards(according to their stats), how could they produce such high numbers at the 87 Canada Cup? I mean only Lemieux and Gretzky (hockey's 2 greatest players of all time) had more points than Krutov and Makarov. And Makarov and Krutov were scoring against the best Canadian defensemen ...

so if you ask me, everything is relative. and I seriously doubt that anybody here has seen enough of Canadian AND Soviet hockey to make a valuable list. after all, NHL games were not televised in Russia, same goes for the Soviet league in Canada.

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09-20-2006, 06:20 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
A lot of people here are stating that the Russians in the 70s and 80s would have had no problem dominating in the NHL. That`s all hypothetical. The NHL game is much more physical and the schedule is far more grueling (80 games + playoffs vs. 48 games and no playoffs). I mean no disrespect to the great Russian players of the past, but ...

In 1989, Makarov, Larionov, Krutov, Fetisov, Kasatonov and Mylnikov all came to the NHL. They were considered the best 6 players in the Soviet Union at the time, therefore they should have dominated the NHL: but they didn`t. Makarov was supposed to be the top offensive player in the world after Gretzky, yet despite joining the leagye`s best offence (Calgary) and getting a ton of power-play time he couldn`t crack the NHL`s top 25 scorers. Fetisov and Larionov were the only two who carved out decent NHL careers. Now a lot of factors need to be considered with that, but the question is that if those guys didn`t completely dazzle the NHL, why is it assumed that Kharlamov and Mikhailov would?
I don't think the amount of games or physicality had anything to do with it. They were the best trained hockey players in the world at the time with 300 days of Soviet military-like training per year. Also speed can beat physicality, as a lot of europeans have shown in the NHL as well as north americans.

The thing that made the biggest negative impact on these guys was probably the culture shock and language barriers. Imagine not being able to talk to anybody and leaving your friends and family behind. Some can cope with it better than others, but it will take a lot of focus away from hockey.


Quote:
How long has the NHL been completely open to Soviets; 10-15 years? If you were to list the 10 best players in that span, how many Soviets would make the list: likely just Fedorov. If it was a top 20 list then just Fedorov and Bure. Yet it assumed that they make up 50% of the best players before 1990?
How many Russian players have played 10-15 years in the NHL?

Quote:
That was a fairly ignorant comment. Just curious how often you saw Bill White, Jacques LaPerriere, Serge Savard or Bobby Orr play? Personally when I think of pylon defencemen of the 70s, I think of the game in the Super Series in `76 when the Buffalo Sabres racked up 12 goals against the Soviet Wings. Perreault was skating circles around those guys.
That's 4 players. When I'm talking about defencemen I'm not talking about the Niedermayer's of the 70's. How many fast defencemen were there back then? You've named 4. If the Soviets were to play in the NHL they would have to face more than these 4 defencemen wouldn't they?

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09-20-2006, 06:25 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
A lot of people here are stating that the Russians in the 70s and 80s would have had no problem dominating in the NHL. That`s all hypothetical. The NHL game is much more physical and the schedule is far more grueling (80 games + playoffs vs. 48 games and no playoffs). I mean no disrespect to the great Russian players of the past, but ...

In 1989, Makarov, Larionov, Krutov, Fetisov, Kasatonov and Mylnikov all came to the NHL. They were considered the best 6 players in the Soviet Union at the time, therefore they should have dominated the NHL: but they didn`t. Makarov was supposed to be the top offensive player in the world after Gretzky, yet despite joining the leagye`s best offence (Calgary) and getting a ton of power-play time he couldn`t crack the NHL`s top 25 scorers. Fetisov and Larionov were the only two who carved out decent NHL careers. Now a lot of factors need to be considered with that, but the question is that if those guys didn`t completely dazzle the NHL, why is it assumed that Kharlamov and Mikhailov would?

How long has the NHL been completely open to Soviets; 10-15 years? If you were to list the 10 best players in that span, how many Soviets would make the list: likely just Fedorov. If it was a top 20 list then just Fedorov and Bure. Yet it assumed that they make up 50% of the best players before 1990?

I think it`s best to treat them seperately and appreciate them for what they were.



That was a fairly ignorant comment. Just curious how often you saw Bill White, Jacques LaPerriere, Serge Savard or Bobby Orr play? Personally when I think of pylon defencemen of the 70s, I think of the game in the Super Series in `76 when the Buffalo Sabres racked up 12 goals against the Soviet Wings. Perreault was skating circles around those guys.
I'll second that. Very well put.

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09-20-2006, 06:33 PM
  #68
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so if you ask me, everything is relative. and I seriously doubt that anybody here has seen enough of Canadian AND Soviet hockey to make a valuable list. after all, NHL games were not televised in Russia, same goes for the Soviet league in Canada.
True also,Good point.

The best of all time lists are contraversial among people just when including nhl players and becomes impossible when trying to put Soviet players into the mix. Fans on both sides of the argument just have'nt seen enough of each others players to make a list that the majority could agree on.

It's really just too difficult to do..

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09-20-2006, 06:40 PM
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
How long has the NHL been completely open to Soviets; 10-15 years? If you were to list the 10 best players in that span, how many Soviets would make the list: likely just Fedorov. If it was a top 20 list then just Fedorov and Bure. Yet it assumed that they make up 50% of the best players before 1990?
One thing to take into account is that when the Soviet Union collapsed so did the Russian hockey system. In fact, the RSL came inches from disbanding around 1995 or 1996. As a result, player development also suffered. Its not hard to notice that the players born from say 1974 to 1981 have been rather subpar compared to previous generations -- and these are the majority of the players who would have come over in the last 10-15 years.

Its interesting to note that since Russian hockey has sort of got back on its feet (and more money is being pumped into development) Russia has produced arguably 3 of the top 5 'young' forwards in the league (Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Malkin).

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09-20-2006, 06:59 PM
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True also,Good point.

The best of all time lists are contraversial among people just when including nhl players and becomes impossible when trying to put Soviet players into the mix. Fans on both sides of the argument just have'nt seen enough of each others players to make a list that the majority could agree on.

It's really just too difficult to do..
You're very right about that. That's why it bugs me when people say "no Soviet player can be on the top 10 list of all time", as if it was definite.

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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Top 10 overall? Not a chance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Off of that list the only one thats remotely close is Kharlamov.
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Originally Posted by canucksfan View Post
There isn't one Soviet player that would crack the top ten all time.


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09-20-2006, 07:06 PM
  #71
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You're very right about that. That's why it bugs me when people say "no Soviet player can be on the top 10 list of all time", as if it were definite.
I agree.Just like it bugs me when people say nhl players skated on their ankles

Let's face it,both sides have had some tremendous players over the years but we'll never be able to come to a generally shared consensus on any best of list and it mostly has to do with the fact that these players did'nt play in the same league.We'll just have to enjoy the memories of the players we did get to witness on a regular basis and ponder our own individual top 20 lists.

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09-21-2006, 03:21 AM
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Joke of a World Championships?

Well, just as well we could talk about joke of a Canada Cup. At least, the first Canada Cup, since Soviet Union didnīt even have the best possible team there.

And hey, letīs talk about joke of a sport also. There are (still) about 6-7 countries where hockey is being played seriously.

And when you have seen 30-year old rookies (like Makarov and Fetisov were) dominate NHL??? Donīt you think they would have been more productive and dominant had they played in the NHL in their twenties? I think both were better than Peter Stastny and he did pretty well, didnīt he???


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09-21-2006, 04:29 AM
  #73
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Originally Posted by Zine View Post
One thing to take into account is that when the Soviet Union collapsed so did the Russian hockey system. In fact, the RSL came inches from disbanding around 1995 or 1996. As a result, player development also suffered. Its not hard to notice that the players born from say 1974 to 1981 have been rather subpar compared to previous generations -- and these are the majority of the players who would have come over in the last 10-15 years.

Its interesting to note that since Russian hockey has sort of got back on its feet (and more money is being pumped into development) Russia has produced arguably 3 of the top 5 'young' forwards in the league (Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Malkin).
very good point.

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09-21-2006, 05:39 AM
  #74
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Ridiculous issue to argue on, but I will still jump in...

Comparing these legends is ... a joke. Most of us have not seen lots of them (specially the older ones) ever play. The legend status is due to stats and great stories of our parents, etc. Hockey was different. Most of these all time best could not crack a sure line up place in any NHL team today (athletic shape of the league is on totally different level). The level of commitment and competition has risen ... a lot. Also $$$ involved in this business. This makes that all time thing just a meaningless speculation itself. Every person still has the right to their own heros and motivators in life.

Another issue is comparing Soviet (why not all European) legends with NHL ones. How many Soviet league playes did You ever had a chance to watch my North American friends? Or how many NHL games did You see my Russian buddies? And also international tournaments. Most probably North American guys did not see most of them. In Russia some TV coverages (I remember them being pretty pure in 70s and 80s) were the main place - not many fans travelled to see live games abroad those days... This is just nonsense comparing, where one side practically does not know the other side comparison at all.

Even guys like Fetisov, Makarov, Kasatonov, Krutov... Though they had a short end of their careers in NHL and lets say just a bit more opened World. Tretyak and Kharlamov are practically unknown (unseen) by North American fans. Larionov is almost only serious exception...

Calling any hockey tournament (Worlds, Russian league, NHL, Canada Cup, Stanley Cup, Olympics, etc.) a joke is ... just plain stupid. There are not always the best at Worlds? There are almost always not the best in Stanley Cup Finals (and with the expansion of NHL) not even in Stanley Cup play offs today. Does the fact that Ovechkin, Crosby, Kiprusoff, Thornton, Niedermayer, Lidström, Forsberg, Hasek, Brodeur, Sakic, Hossa, Kovalchuk, Selänne, Kariya, Hejduk, Gaborik, Gomez, etc. etc. did not play in Finals make Carolina winning the series over Edmonton and the Cup make it a joke???

Comparing also the play off perfomances of guys in history (I follow NHL from times when 16 of 21 teams were in the race) with the situation nowerdays is not fair. When back then 76% of players played in play offs, when now this # is 53%...

Next issue is (for me) Kharlamov. His short career and tragic death. Would he have had a comparable career with Larionov? Or would he have in some point vanish like Krutov? Is the lenght of maximum level performance the key. Gretzky. Or one (OK, 5 or 6) super seasons enough? Personally I remember him only vaguely as I saw him on TV only for 2-3 years never live...

So keep on just shouting on each other and have fun! It will not make Kharlamov/Makarov better than Lemieux/Howe or the other way round... But it will help spending some time till the season finally kicks off and we can all talk hockey...

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09-21-2006, 06:14 AM
  #75
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Originally Posted by Marcus-74 View Post
Joke of a World Championships?

Well, just as well we could talk about joke of a Canada Cup. At least, the first Canada Cup, since Soviet Union didnīt even have the best possible team there.

And hey, letīs talk about joke of a sport also. There are (still) about 6-7 countries where hockey is being played seriously.

And when you have seen 30-year old rookies (like Makarov and Fetisov were) dominate NHL??? Donīt you think they would have been more productive and dominant had they played in the NHL in their twenties? I think both were better than Peter Stastny and he did pretty well, didnīt he???
at it's worst the Canada cup was a higher end tournament then the Worlds were in those days,even today it is.Those 2 events are'nt comparable and it does'nt matter if you are a fan of Soviet or NHL hockey.The Canada cup (and todays modern world cup) was/is a much better event in top end quality. The old world championships were'nt much of a test for the old Soviet squads,they were going to win and win rather easily and everyone knows why,let's be honest.

In that sense,why calling them a joke may be a little harsh using them as a great basis of argument is.It was just an uneven tournament with the name world championships and we all know that.


We can talk about who we think the best players are but using the World championships in those days to settle aything is as weak an argument as your are going to make in favour of one over the other. You just have to look at Russia's results in that thing since the break-up of the Soviet Union to see that.

I'd look at their Soviet league stats and results moreso then the old world's myself.I'll give the World championships in those days SOME weight but not overly so.At least it's a better gauge then trying to tell how good Soviet players were from the Olympics back then.I don't know how you could tell anything from that,that was indeed a JOKE.

P.S: makarov and fetisov never dominated the nhl when they were here,why do you think that? The best you can say about them was that Makarov won the calder trophy and as well he should have,he was a great player who was 30 years old at the time.

but their overall careers here were nothing special.If they had have came here in their 20's then yes,it maybe/probably would have.


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