HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie
Notices

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

Where do the great Soviets rank?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
08-29-2010, 12:56 PM
  #1
Up the Irons
Registered User
 
Up the Irons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Canada
Country: Canada
Posts: 7,321
vCash: 408
Where do the great Soviets rank?

I've noticed in all least comparison and ranking threads that the great Soviet don't get alot of love. Kharlomov gets a bit, and Fedorov and Bure were not Soviets as adults. I mean, was Bourque or Robinson better than Fetisov? (not IMO). Was Lafleur better than Kharlomov? (close one). Was Dryden better than Tretiak? (if yes, not by much). The KLM line gave Gretzky and Lemieux all they could handle, which means they must have been at least up there in calibre. What about Mikailov, Yakushev, Maltsev.

I'd put Fetisov and Kharlomov in the 20 alltime, allthough Fetisov might go in the top 10 when considering importance and impact on the game. The guy was a huge reason for the first Russians playing in the NHL and is now the Minister of Sport for the country known as Russia. Kharlomov is somewhere around were Lafleur is ranked, because I consider them comparable talents.

Tretiak probably ranks comparably with Billy Smith or Grant Fuhr.

Mikailov, in the range of Yzerman or Sakic. Makarov and Larionov with Trottier and Perrault.

I don't remember too much of Yakushev and Maltsev.

Up the Irons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 01:07 PM
  #2
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,927
vCash: 500
Makarov should be ranked right up there with Fetisov IMO. The guy was the dominant offensive player for the USSR for a decade, both domestically and internationally. I don't rank Larionov nearly so high.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 01:08 PM
  #3
Big Phil
Registered User
 
Big Phil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Country: Canada
Posts: 25,509
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustE View Post
I've noticed in all least comparison and ranking threads that the great Soviet don't get alot of love. Kharlomov gets a bit, and Fedorov and Bure were not Soviets as adults. I mean, was Bourque or Robinson better than Fetisov? (not IMO). Was Lafleur better than Kharlomov? (close one). Was Dryden better than Tretiak? (if yes, not by much). The KLM line gave Gretzky and Lemieux all they could handle, which means they must have been at least up there in calibre. What about Mikailov, Yakushev, Maltsev.
I think the Russians still get a lot of love. Canadians hated them, but respected their abilities. Look no further than the opening ceremonies of the 1972 Summit Series. It was Game #2 in Toronto and after Canada got waxed badly you would assume that the fans would boo the Russians mercilessly. Wrong. Today, yes they would thanks to society, but in 1972 they didn't. They cheered all of the Russians when they were named - especially Kharlamov who got the biggest cheer.

Now IMO, Bourque and Robinson were better than Fetisov. I wish we saw him in the NHL in the 1980s but we didn't. Still, I have a hard time seeing him be as dominant as they had been. Dryden is better than Tretiak by a hair I think even though Dryden was woeful whenever he played the Soviets. The KLM line was awesome. The 1987 Canada Cup proved this, as did the other tournaments. I think Gretzky and Lemieux were better than them though and I think that the reason being that the KLM seemed more dominant is that there wasn't a third man on that Canadian line that could compare to the KLM

Quote:
I'd put Fetisov and Kharlomov in the 20 alltime, allthough Fetisov might go in the top 10 when considering importance and impact on the game. The guy was a huge reason for the first Russians playing in the NHL and is now the Minister of Sport for the country known as Russia. Kharlomov is somewhere around were Lafleur is ranked, because I consider them comparable talents.
You probably will get some flack for this one because putting Fetisov top 20 of all-time is a little tricky when he isn't for the most part among the top 10 defenseman of all time. Most would have him around 10-15 though.

Quote:
Tretiak probably ranks comparably with Billy Smith or Grant Fuhr.
On projection alone, yeah I can see that. Tretiak is on some top 10 lists of hockey people, smart hockey people. I am not one of those people that puts him there but he wouldn't be out of my top 15.

Quote:
Mikailov, in the range of Yzerman or Sakic. Makarov and Larionov with Trottier and Perrault.
That's pretty high for Mikhailov. Then again we have so little to judge him by other than just projection. Makarov on the other hand has often been compared to a guy many of us predict would have been just as good as Kurri in the 1980s but still behind Bossy. It would be hard however to see how Makarov would work without the KLM line. Larionov probably shouldn't be in the same company as Trottier. A few years ago I remember a thread on this very board comparing Larionov to Oates career wise and it was very close with varying opinions.

Big Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 01:28 PM
  #4
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,927
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post


You probably will get some flack for this one because putting Fetisov top 20 of all-time is a little tricky when he isn't for the most part among the top 10 defenseman of all time. Most would have him around 10-15 though.
THis isn't really true. On the last HOH Top 100 list, Fetisov was the 9th defenseman and in the discussions, he was considered much closer to Robinson at 8 than he was to Chelios/Park at 10/11.

Quote:
On projection alone, yeah I can see that. Tretiak is on some top 10 lists of hockey people, smart hockey people. I am not one of those people that puts him there but he wouldn't be out of my top 15.
I rank Tretiak on the same level as Benedict, right below the "big 7," but I do realize that is kind of a copout rating.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 01:49 PM
  #5
Infinite Vision*
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 2,861
vCash: 500
People have to keep in mind how much chemistry these teams had as well. They played together for so long and it showed with their really quick puck movement. It would have been interesting to see what they could have done in the NHL in the 80's though. From watching him I'd say Makarov was a clear clut above any NHL forward in the 80's besides Gretzky and Lemieux.

Infinite Vision* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 01:51 PM
  #6
jcbio11
Registered User
 
jcbio11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bratislava
Country: Slovakia
Posts: 2,352
vCash: 50
IMO Soviet greats (along with Slovakian and Czech ones) from before the iron curtain collapse don't get nearly enough respect around here (HFboards). It can be attributed to the fact that the majority of posters here are north american (boards are english afterall). Same goes for the HHOF, I believe there's only one European (Peter Stastny) in the commitee.

I believe that if NHL was still without Russians, Slovakians, Czech, etc., people here would be arguing how players like Malkin, Ovechkin, Chara are nowhere near the level of Crosby or Pronger.

IMO, the top 100 list is flawed. There's a clear north american bias.

Just look at how Peter Stastny bum rushed the NHL in the 80s. He was far from being considered the best player in the former eastern block, yet he came over and dominated. He took the horrible, horrible Quebec team and made them competitive. In the 80s, he was often second to only Gretzky himself.

jcbio11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 02:40 PM
  #7
begbeee
Registered User
 
begbeee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Slovakia
Country: Slovakia
Posts: 4,126
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post
IMO Soviet greats (along with Slovakian and Czech ones) from before the iron curtain collapse don't get nearly enough respect around here (HFboards). It can be attributed to the fact that the majority of posters here are north american (boards are english afterall). Same goes for the HHOF, I believe there's only one European (Peter Stastny) in the commitee.

I believe that if NHL was still without Russians, Slovakians, Czech, etc., people here would be arguing how players like Malkin, Ovechkin, Chara are nowhere near the level of Crosby or Pronger.

IMO, the top 100 list is flawed. There's a clear north american bias.

Just look at how Peter Stastny bum rushed the NHL in the 80s. He was far from being considered the best player in the former eastern block, yet he came over and dominated. He took the horrible, horrible Quebec team and made them competitive. In the 80s, he was often second to only Gretzky himself.
This is very close to my opinion. Every word.
Bolded parts are very right and true.

begbeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 02:45 PM
  #8
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,927
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post

IMO, the top 100 list is flawed. There's a clear north american bias.
As a North American, I agree. But then you take it too far:

Quote:
Just look at how Peter Stastny bum rushed the NHL in the 80s. He was far from being considered the best player in the former eastern block, yet he came over and dominated. He took the horrible, horrible Quebec team and made them competitive. In the 80s, he was often second to only Gretzky himself.
Stastny "bum rushed" the NHL, but he was 24 when he made his North American debut - right about when players were usually entering their primes. The season before (age 23), he had just won the Golden Stick for best player in the Czech league.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 02:46 PM
  #9
begbeee
Registered User
 
begbeee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Slovakia
Country: Slovakia
Posts: 4,126
vCash: 500
My older post from another thread:

I am always wondering how different is point of view from Canada and Euro on the best players and teams.
In any comparision of similar players always the one from Canada is better
I have som points:
1. Best europlayers know how to beat best Canadiens (Canada Cup 76 or Series in 72)
That means they were on same level.
2. When some of the best euros came to NA they play as one of the greatest (Salming, Stastny, Kurri..). That means their skills were on the same level as best NA players.
It is pity that we have no players from Soviet Union until 1990 to compare, but it is not far from right that they could established themselves same way as best players from Sweden, Finland or CzechoSlovakia.
3. Dont forget how shocking was transition from communism to capitalism for CzechoSlovaks or Russians and they had to played on small sized rinks. There is a point that if Canada players should emigrated to Russia or CzechoSlovakia, they would had same problems with transition in commie system and large sized rinks and some of the canadiens all-time greats would not whitstand this transition.

Opinion? Discuss.

begbeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 02:58 PM
  #10
jcbio11
Registered User
 
jcbio11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bratislava
Country: Slovakia
Posts: 2,352
vCash: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
As a North American, I agree. But then you take it too far:



Stastny "bum rushed" the NHL, but he was 24 when he made his North American debut - right about when players were usually entering their primes. The season before (age 23), he had just won the Golden Stick for best player in the Czech league.
Okay first of all it was the Czechoslovakian league. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, I am sorry. It's just that he is also a Slovakian and he played for a Slovakian team in that Czechoslovakian league.

Now on topic - I never said Stastny was some sorf of bum. He was an accomplished superstar player in the eastern block, yet he was never considered to be the absolutely best. Could it be that had some other eastern superstar players defected in the 80s that they would be placed much higher in the all time lists now? I believe so.

jcbio11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 03:01 PM
  #11
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,927
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post
Okay first of all it was the Czechoslovakian league. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, I am sorry. It's just that he is also a Slovakian and he played for a Slovakian team in that Czechoslovakian league.
Eh, sorry. I'm usually pretty good about calling it that.

Quote:
Now on topic - I never said Stastny was some sorf of bum. He was an accomplished superstar player in the eastern block, yet he was never considered to be the absolutely best. Could it be that had some other eastern superstar players defected in the 80s that they would be placed much higher in the all time lists now? I believe so.
Oh, I do agree with this. Fetisov and Makarov in particular are considered "what ifs" by a lot of North Americans.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 03:27 PM
  #12
Canadiens1958
Registered User
 
Canadiens1958's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 15,106
vCash: 500
Peter Stastny

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post
Okay first of all it was the Czechoslovakian league. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, I am sorry. It's just that he is also a Slovakian and he played for a Slovakian team in that Czechoslovakian league.

Now on topic - I never said Stastny was some sorf of bum. He was an accomplished superstar player in the eastern block, yet he was never considered to be the absolutely best. Could it be that had some other eastern superstar players defected in the 80s that they would be placed much higher in the all time lists now? I believe so.
Peter Stastny should not be viewed as an island in the NHL. Initially he had the advantage of playing with his brother Anton followed by Marian. So from the standpoint of adapting to the NHL game he had advantages that other Europeans who were alone on a team did not have. Also his style and skill set were well suited for the NHL of the 1980's.

Would other potential European defectors have had the same advantages? Doubtful. The post 1990 wave of Europeans never showed a 1 - 1 correspondence between their success in Europe and the NHL. Some simply did not make-it, like Krutov others moved from team to team before finding their niche, like Hasek, Larianov and Fetisov.

Using their WC performance as an indicator is interesting but iffy. Basic issue being the separation between individual, line or unit play. A line or a unit would have enjoyed many advantages when adapting to the NHL. Broken up and split amongst 3-5 teams might have produced significantly different results.

Canadiens1958 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 04:22 PM
  #13
Starchild74
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 324
vCash: 500
FIrst of all the great Soviet players were amazing and a delight to watch. I wish they would have played in the NHL before 1990 and it would have been great to see guys like Larionov, Makarov, Fetisov, Tretiak and Kharlomov. Of course these were not the only good Soviets that I would have loved to see in the NHL.

But let's be honest here. It is hard to compare players that you do not get to see that much and play mostly against non NHL talent. I mean in the 72 series the Soviets gave all that Canada could handle. In some games they flat out dominated the Candians. But let's put it in perspective for a moment. The great Soviet teams that we saw played against NHL talent only a few times. Especially best on best. '72'74 , '76, '81, '84, '87, and '91. Now how many games is that really. About what 50 total games in these tournaments. The Soviets did play against NHL teams as well but once again there was not too many games.

The other times we saw the Soviets play like in world championships or olympics were when they were playing amateur players. Now could you imagine if the Montreal Canadiens of the 70's went and played an amateur team in Canada. They would destroy them and every player would look even better then they already did against NHL talent

I am not taking anything away from the Soviets players but they did not play a schedule like the NHL and did not play against the best players in the NHL on an every day basis. For the most part we only saw those players play as a Soviet team for only a fraction of their careers. I mean if you look at the 72 series and watch the performance of Dryden or Esposito you would think that these goalies were not very good. Why? becasue it was only 8 games. You can not only take a few games and make an assesment on a career or compare to players you have seen play often

For example lets take a look at Tretiak. For most of the people who follow hockey the main times we saw Tretiak play were 8 games in '72, and 7 games in '74. A total of 11 Canada Cup games and 19 Olympic games which of course were against amateur hockey players not high caliber opposition compared to the Soviets. That is a total of 45 games we saw Tretiak play. Now some who were fortunate to see other games like the world championship games which I believe he played in like 100 or so of those games. That is still only about 145 games. How can you honestly say that in only seeing a total of 149 games of a player that he is better then Dryden when some people saw almost every game he played. If you only take a short window of a players career and then compare him to someone that is hard. Alot of times when trying to rank the Soviet players against the NHL players it is more of what might have been or what he was like and could have been if we saw him more or if he played in the NHL

THe KLM line was amazing to watch and matched Canada in a lot of ways. However these guys played together all the time and had chemistry. In the 87 Canada Cup Gretzky and Lemiuex never played together before. It was a short tournament but when the games were on the line in the final 3 games. Gretzky and Lemieux came through and to a degree dominated them. Could you imagine Gretzky and Lemieux playing on a team together for a whole year. They would make the KLM line forgetable. Of the three players who were on the KLM line only two had a decent careers in the NHL. Most of the great stuff that the line did once again was against amateur players not NHL caliber talent

Igor Larionov by some is considered the Wayne Gretzky of Soviet hockey players. At least in the 80's. When he came to the NHL you could see his playmaking abilities and that he was an amazing player. Because we only saw him a few times with the Soviet team and as an older almost past his prime in the NHL we know he was great but how can you compare him when either you have not seen him play much in his prime and the fact he never played against stiff competition in his prime as if he would have in the NHL

I think the Soviet players get enough credit for how great they were but can not be truly valued because they never played in the best league in the world. Where it is not just talent alone that brings success. Look at Kent Nilsson or an Alexander Daigle both had amazing talent but never ended up being what they could have been. So we can never know if any of those great Soviet players could have handled a full NHL season and playoffs year after year.

To some degree Soviet players are ranked a little too high at times because of how they played agaisnt Canada. We felt that we were far superb then the Soviets. THey could not match up against us when best on best. The truth is they were good and played great. It is like because we were so shocked and having them beat us in '81 and if it wasn't for Henderson's goal a tie in '72. We start to talk like and act like these guys were better then some of the NHL greats. WHen the truth is more like this. In a short tournament anything can happen. The U.S.A miracle in 1980 was proof of that. They beat the Soviets but none of their players were as good as the SOviets they just played better as a team. Did the Soviets do well in the Canada Cup's and Summit series becasue they were just as good as us talking about their elite players or was it becasue they were a team that played together all the time. That their elite players were good but now we over evaluate them because they competed against us so well.

I am not trying to take anything away from the great Soviet players as some of them were amazing and fun to watch. I just find it hard to try and compare a player who played in the toughest league in the world as far as hockey goes to one who didn't whether they are Soviet, Czechoslovakian, or Canadian It is just very tough.

Starchild74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 04:49 PM
  #14
BillyShoe1721
Terriers
 
BillyShoe1721's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Country: United States
Posts: 17,249
vCash: 50
Send a message via AIM to BillyShoe1721
I'd take Fetisov over Robinson, but not Bourque.

BillyShoe1721 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 05:58 PM
  #15
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 12,321
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post
IMO Soviet greats (along with Slovakian and Czech ones) from before the iron curtain collapse don't get nearly enough respect around here (HFboards). It can be attributed to the fact that the majority of posters here are north american (boards are english afterall). Same goes for the HHOF, I believe there's only one European (Peter Stastny) in the commitee.

I believe that if NHL was still without Russians, Slovakians, Czech, etc., people here would be arguing how players like Malkin, Ovechkin, Chara are nowhere near the level of Crosby or Pronger.

IMO, the top 100 list is flawed. There's a clear north american bias.

Just look at how Peter Stastny bum rushed the NHL in the 80s. He was far from being considered the best player in the former eastern block, yet he came over and dominated. He took the horrible, horrible Quebec team and made them competitive. In the 80s, he was often second to only Gretzky himself.
And what of the great Fetisov when he came to North America? To say he was mediocre would be kind.

Its pretty hard to judge guys that played their prime in Europe. I think North American fans on this site are pretty fair with Europeans that have played in the NHL for their best years.

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 06:47 PM
  #16
Up the Irons
Registered User
 
Up the Irons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Canada
Country: Canada
Posts: 7,321
vCash: 408
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiLLY_ShOE1721 View Post
I'd take Fetisov over Robinson, but not Bourque.
far enough. but the point is Fetisov is up there near the top 5. I mean i'm sorry, but he was better than Brad Park.

Its just my feeling that the best Soviets had to be among the best Canadian players (save 4,99,66) based on the fact that their matchups were extremely close, and my eyes could tell that they were just as fast, more creative, had more finesse than our Canadian boys. We beat them on shear determination, brute force and downright dirty tactics. But 72 proved that Canada was behind the Soviet Union in the finesse and passing departments (some would say we still are although i don't think so).

the top 5 Soviet players, I believe, ought to be right up with our best, scattered between 10th and 50th alltime. It even seems ridiculous the not one Soviet would be in the top 10, like Canada holds all 10 positions. Really?

Up the Irons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 07:22 PM
  #17
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,927
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustE View Post
far enough. but the point is Fetisov is up there near the top 5. I mean i'm sorry, but he was better than Brad Park.

Its just my feeling that the best Soviets had to be among the best Canadian players (save 4,99,66) based on the fact that their matchups were extremely close, and my eyes could tell that they were just as fast, more creative, had more finesse than our Canadian boys. We beat them on shear determination, brute force and downright dirty tactics. But 72 proved that Canada was behind the Soviet Union in the finesse and passing departments (some would say we still are although i don't think so).

the top 5 Soviet players, I believe, ought to be right up with our best, scattered between 10th and 50th alltime. It even seems ridiculous the not one Soviet would be in the top 10, like Canada holds all 10 positions. Really?
The reason there is no Soviet in the Top 10 is similar as to why there is no goalie in the top 10 - there is no consensus best Soviet player of all time. If you look past historical mythology (which has Khalarmov as the consensus best Soviet of all time like it has Rocket Richard as a top 5 player of all time), you see that any of Kharlamov, Tretiak, Fetisov, Makarov, and Firsov has a case for the best Soviet of all time.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 08:35 PM
  #18
JackSlater
Registered User
 
JackSlater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 7,047
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustE View Post
far enough. but the point is Fetisov is up there near the top 5. I mean i'm sorry, but he was better than Brad Park.

Its just my feeling that the best Soviets had to be among the best Canadian players (save 4,99,66) based on the fact that their matchups were extremely close, and my eyes could tell that they were just as fast, more creative, had more finesse than our Canadian boys. We beat them on shear determination, brute force and downright dirty tactics. But 72 proved that Canada was behind the Soviet Union in the finesse and passing departments (some would say we still are although i don't think so).

the top 5 Soviet players, I believe, ought to be right up with our best, scattered between 10th and 50th alltime. It even seems ridiculous the not one Soviet would be in the top 10, like Canada holds all 10 positions. Really?
If you look at the very best Soviet players ever there seems to be a valid reason to exclude each of them from positions in the all time top ten. Kharlamov unfortunately saw his career ended prematurely. His actual resume as a player also seems a bit weak compared to his legend. Fetisov ultimately failed to impress when he did arrive in North America, at least compared to what one would expect from one of the top ten players of all time. Makarov was a good player when he arrived in North America but he also didn't impress as much as one would expect from an all time top ten player. Tretiak is certainly a great goaltender, but to be in the top ten he would basically have to be considered the greatest goaltender ever, and not many people seem to be willing to give him that honour. For Firsov or Bobrov there are questions about their level of competition.

Ultimately it's hard to make a case for any of those players being top ten, although I agree that some, Makarov in particlar, should be rated higher.

JackSlater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 09:33 PM
  #19
Big Phil
Registered User
 
Big Phil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Country: Canada
Posts: 25,509
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustE View Post
far enough. but the point is Fetisov is up there near the top 5. I mean i'm sorry, but he was better than Brad Park.
That would make a great poll though that's for sure. Let's not assume Park doesn't have an argument on his side. Personally I'd put Fetisov outside the top 10 defensemen. On my list, Coffey is ahead of him.


Quote:
the top 5 Soviet players, I believe, ought to be right up with our best, scattered between 10th and 50th alltime. It even seems ridiculous the not one Soviet would be in the top 10, like Canada holds all 10 positions. Really?
That isn't too hard to believe. Canada was the only country for the longest time that could compete with anyone. We didn't start losing the Gold medal at the Olympics until 1956. This was with our amateurs by the way. The best players in the NHL in 1956 were playing in the NHL. So when you look at it that way, there is a much less chance for a Soviet player to crack the top 10. The non Canadian player in my mind (considering Chelios being the best American ever is nowhere near worthy of this talk) would be either one of Jagr, Hasek or Lidstrom, probably one of the first two IMO. Euros don't get sold short, they just weren't very good before let's say the 1960s and it makes sense, the rest of the world hadn't caught up to Canada yet, therefore Canada is going to have the best players of all time right?

Big Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 09:50 PM
  #20
Hardyvan123
tweet@HardyintheWack
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,553
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starchild74 View Post
FIrst of all the great Soviet players were amazing and a delight to watch. I wish they would have played in the NHL before 1990 and it would have been great to see guys like Larionov, Makarov, Fetisov, Tretiak and Kharlomov. Of course these were not the only good Soviets that I would have loved to see in the NHL.

But let's be honest here. It is hard to compare players that you do not get to see that much and play mostly against non NHL talent. I mean in the 72 series the Soviets gave all that Canada could handle. In some games they flat out dominated the Candians. But let's put it in perspective for a moment. The great Soviet teams that we saw played against NHL talent only a few times. Especially best on best. '72'74 , '76, '81, '84, '87, and '91. Now how many games is that really. About what 50 total games in these tournaments. The Soviets did play against NHL teams as well but once again there was not too many games.

The other times we saw the Soviets play like in world championships or olympics were when they were playing amateur players. Now could you imagine if the Montreal Canadiens of the 70's went and played an amateur team in Canada. They would destroy them and every player would look even better then they already did against NHL talent

I am not taking anything away from the Soviets players but they did not play a schedule like the NHL and did not play against the best players in the NHL on an every day basis. For the most part we only saw those players play as a Soviet team for only a fraction of their careers. I mean if you look at the 72 series and watch the performance of Dryden or Esposito you would think that these goalies were not very good. Why? becasue it was only 8 games. You can not only take a few games and make an assesment on a career or compare to players you have seen play often

For example lets take a look at Tretiak. For most of the people who follow hockey the main times we saw Tretiak play were 8 games in '72, and 7 games in '74. A total of 11 Canada Cup games and 19 Olympic games which of course were against amateur hockey players not high caliber opposition compared to the Soviets. That is a total of 45 games we saw Tretiak play. Now some who were fortunate to see other games like the world championship games which I believe he played in like 100 or so of those games. That is still only about 145 games. How can you honestly say that in only seeing a total of 149 games of a player that he is better then Dryden when some people saw almost every game he played. If you only take a short window of a players career and then compare him to someone that is hard. Alot of times when trying to rank the Soviet players against the NHL players it is more of what might have been or what he was like and could have been if we saw him more or if he played in the NHL

THe KLM line was amazing to watch and matched Canada in a lot of ways. However these guys played together all the time and had chemistry. In the 87 Canada Cup Gretzky and Lemiuex never played together before. It was a short tournament but when the games were on the line in the final 3 games. Gretzky and Lemieux came through and to a degree dominated them. Could you imagine Gretzky and Lemieux playing on a team together for a whole year. They would make the KLM line forgetable. Of the three players who were on the KLM line only two had a decent careers in the NHL. Most of the great stuff that the line did once again was against amateur players not NHL caliber talent

Igor Larionov by some is considered the Wayne Gretzky of Soviet hockey players. At least in the 80's. When he came to the NHL you could see his playmaking abilities and that he was an amazing player. Because we only saw him a few times with the Soviet team and as an older almost past his prime in the NHL we know he was great but how can you compare him when either you have not seen him play much in his prime and the fact he never played against stiff competition in his prime as if he would have in the NHL

I think the Soviet players get enough credit for how great they were but can not be truly valued because they never played in the best league in the world. Where it is not just talent alone that brings success. Look at Kent Nilsson or an Alexander Daigle both had amazing talent but never ended up being what they could have been. So we can never know if any of those great Soviet players could have handled a full NHL season and playoffs year after year.

To some degree Soviet players are ranked a little too high at times because of how they played agaisnt Canada. We felt that we were far superb then the Soviets. THey could not match up against us when best on best. The truth is they were good and played great. It is like because we were so shocked and having them beat us in '81 and if it wasn't for Henderson's goal a tie in '72. We start to talk like and act like these guys were better then some of the NHL greats. WHen the truth is more like this. In a short tournament anything can happen. The U.S.A miracle in 1980 was proof of that. They beat the Soviets but none of their players were as good as the SOviets they just played better as a team. Did the Soviets do well in the Canada Cup's and Summit series becasue they were just as good as us talking about their elite players or was it becasue they were a team that played together all the time. That their elite players were good but now we over evaluate them because they competed against us so well.

I am not trying to take anything away from the great Soviet players as some of them were amazing and fun to watch. I just find it hard to try and compare a player who played in the toughest league in the world as far as hockey goes to one who didn't whether they are Soviet, Czechoslovakian, or Canadian It is just very tough.
A ton of good points here and I will follow it by saying that for guys like Makarov and Fetisov, some people on here are ranking them on what they might have done in the NHL and not taking into account what they actually did in the NHL.

Fetisov especially falls under this spell for the topic writer who has him possibly in the top 10 of all time which is stretching it immensely here IMO.

Lets look and see what he did in the NHL.

Offensively he had 2 pretty decent years his 1st one in 90 were his line was 72-8-34-42 plus 9 in his 31st year.

His other decent season was with Detroit in his 37th year were his line was 69-7-35-42 plus 37.

Overall his NHL line is from age 31-39 is in 9 seasons 546-36- 192-228 plus 114 which is okay but not the type of line that you would expect from a guy being mentioned as the 10th greatest player of all time or one of the top 10 Dmen of all time IMO.

I like Fetisov and was very impressed what he did internationally but it is a small amount of games and we have to judge every player on his entire career and what he actually did. I don;t think that at any time in the NHL that he was a top 10 Dman and maybe for a couple of years he might have been a top 20 guy.

His NHL resume has been overlooked or excused by some people when taking the rankings into consideration and this is faulty IMO.

The same thing goes for Makarov.

there is no doubt that some of the Russian players would have integrated very well into the NHL like more recent guys like Bure and AO but this is really part of the what if equation and the actual NHL resume of both of these players has not been taken into full account IMO.

Hardyvan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 11:40 PM
  #21
lazerbullet
Registered User
 
lazerbullet's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 684
vCash: 500
I think that Makarov is the best Russian (Soviet) player. He had it all. He could pass, score, play solid defense, create chances thanks to his excellent vision or speed. Oh... and he played against the best forwards of all-time and didn't look a lot worse.

Frankly... I would take him over any current Russian superstar. Ovechkin is on the way to be top-20 (maybe top-10) player of all time and I think Makarov was miles better in every department (expect scoring goals and hitting obviously).

lazerbullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-29-2010, 11:52 PM
  #22
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,927
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
A ton of good points here and I will follow it by saying that for guys like Makarov and Fetisov, some people on here are ranking them on what they might have done in the NHL and not taking into account what they actually did in the NHL.

Fetisov especially falls under this spell for the topic writer who has him possibly in the top 10 of all time which is stretching it immensely here IMO.

Lets look and see what he did in the NHL.

Offensively he had 2 pretty decent years his 1st one in 90 were his line was 72-8-34-42 plus 9 in his 31st year.

His other decent season was with Detroit in his 37th year were his line was 69-7-35-42 plus 37.

Overall his NHL line is from age 31-39 is in 9 seasons 546-36- 192-228 plus 114 which is okay but not the type of line that you would expect from a guy being mentioned as the 10th greatest player of all time or one of the top 10 Dmen of all time IMO.
31 years old. 31! The guy had to adjust to a completely different style of play at 31. Not to mention that Soviet players usually burned out early due to the vigorous training routine.

You know why the USSR let the players from the Green Unit play in the US, but younger players like Mogilny had to defect? Because Soviet Hockey knew they were past their primes.

Quote:
I like Fetisov and was very impressed what he did internationally but it is a small amount of games and we have to judge every player on his entire career and what he actually did. I don;t think that at any time in the NHL that he was a top 10 Dman and maybe for a couple of years he might have been a top 20 guy.
He was the best defenseman in the Soviet Union by far. And if you don't think the best players in the Soviet Union could skate with NHLers, then I really don't know what to say other than watch the Summit Series, Canada Cups, and the careers of younger Soviets who actually did get to play in North America.

Quote:
His NHL resume has been overlooked or excused by some people when taking the rankings into consideration and this is faulty IMO.
No, what is faulty is judging a player based only one what he did when he was past his prime, trying to adjust to a new style of play. Fetisov really didn't adjust to North American hockey until he went to Detroit and found a coach that knew how to use him. By that time, he was 36.
Quote:
The same thing goes for Makarov.
Makarov was the best player his age in the NHL, despite having to adjust to a completely different type of hockey.

Quote:
there is no doubt that some of the Russian players would have integrated very well into the NHL like more recent guys like Bure and AO but this is really part of the what if equation and the actual NHL resume of both of these players has not been taken into full account IMO.
So judge them on what they actually did - play better than almost every player on the Canadian all-star teams in multiple tournaments, then show it wasn't a fluke by dominating their home league.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-30-2010, 12:10 AM
  #23
redbull
yes yes yes
 
redbull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Country: Canada
Posts: 11,435
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
My older post from another thread:

I am always wondering how different is point of view from Canada and Euro on the best players and teams.
In any comparision of similar players always the one from Canada is better
I have som points:
1. Best europlayers know how to beat best Canadiens (Canada Cup 76 or Series in 72)
That means they were on same level.
2. When some of the best euros came to NA they play as one of the greatest (Salming, Stastny, Kurri..). That means their skills were on the same level as best NA players.
It is pity that we have no players from Soviet Union until 1990 to compare, but it is not far from right that they could established themselves same way as best players from Sweden, Finland or CzechoSlovakia.
3. Dont forget how shocking was transition from communism to capitalism for CzechoSlovaks or Russians and they had to played on small sized rinks. There is a point that if Canada players should emigrated to Russia or CzechoSlovakia, they would had same problems with transition in commie system and large sized rinks and some of the canadiens all-time greats would not whitstand this transition.

Opinion? Discuss.
can't really quantify the adjustment to the culture, the dressing room, the size of the rink, style of play, the long season - it's an adjustment and not quite fair to evaluate on North American terms.

I see your point. But it's all we have to go on in North America. It's equally unfair to evaluate any North American players that have success in Europe. Seems like, historically, it's been sub-par North American players that have a great deal of success in Europe as well.

Generally, the level of play in North America is much better now (with all the European players playing here) but I wouldn't say the same about the 70s and 80s. Impossible to know. I would suspect more depth in North America but elite 20 vs elite 20 players - it was probably very close.

Of the best players I've seen out of Russia (Soviet Union) I'd say Makarov was the best forward and probably played the best in North America as well. Krutov was a disaster in North America but his best days were far behind him.

Larionov could outright play, very impressive even though he was well past his prime. Fetisov on defense was great, but again, well past his prime when he played here.

I saw Kharlamov on tape a few games - he looked extremely talented as well but Makarov was the best Russian I've ever seen. I'd agree with the other posted who believes Makarov, in his prime, was better than Ovechkin. Better all around offensive threat, even though Ovechkin is bigger, faster and has probably the best shot I've ever seen in hockey (arguably).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post
IMO Soviet greats (along with Slovakian and Czech ones) from before the iron curtain collapse don't get nearly enough respect around here (HFboards). It can be attributed to the fact that the majority of posters here are north american (boards are english afterall). Same goes for the HHOF, I believe there's only one European (Peter Stastny) in the commitee.

I believe that if NHL was still without Russians, Slovakians, Czech, etc., people here would be arguing how players like Malkin, Ovechkin, Chara are nowhere near the level of Crosby or Pronger.

IMO, the top 100 list is flawed. There's a clear north american bias.

Just look at how Peter Stastny bum rushed the NHL in the 80s. He was far from being considered the best player in the former eastern block, yet he came over and dominated. He took the horrible, horrible Quebec team and made them competitive. In the 80s, he was often second to only Gretzky himself.

Definite NA bias but it's always flawed since the NHL is always seen as the top league in the world. Especially now with all the top european players playing here. And it's such a unique style of play vs the rest of the world.

For every Salming/Stastny there's a Miroslav Ihanacek.

Sure, Ovechkin and Malkin proved they can play in NA and be great - but there's a lot of KHL "stars" that cannot play in the NHL either. Weinhandl, Marcel Hossa to name two.

There are also NA players that probably wouldn't do well in Europe.

redbull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-30-2010, 12:45 AM
  #24
Dark Shadows
Registered User
 
Dark Shadows's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Canada
Country: Japan
Posts: 7,986
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
31 years old. 31! The guy had to adjust to a completely different style of play at 31. Not to mention that Soviet players usually burned out early due to the vigorous training routine.

You know why the USSR let the players from the Green Unit play in the US, but younger players like Mogilny had to defect? Because Soviet Hockey knew they were past their primes.
Well said.


Quote:
He was the best defenseman in the Soviet Union by far. And if you don't think the best players in the Soviet Union could skate with NHLers, then I really don't know what to say other than watch the Summit Series, Canada Cups, and the careers of younger Soviets who actually did get to play in North America.
Again, well said.


Quote:
No, what is faulty is judging a player based only one what he did when he was past his prime, trying to adjust to a new style of play. Fetisov really didn't adjust to North American hockey until he went to Detroit and found a coach that knew how to use him. By that time, he was 36.
Exactly. People seem to forget just how different the systems were between NHL and Soviet Hockey at the time. Going to a completely different team and league with a completely different manner of playing hockey is still difficult to this day, let alone how different it was back then. Not to mention trying to understand everyone, coaches, teammates, all speaking a different language, and the fact that many of the Soviets who jumped over were treated rather coldly for a long time.
Quote:
Makarov was the best player his age in the NHL, despite having to adjust to a completely different type of hockey.
Yep. People seem to forget that fact. In his first 5 years in the NHL, Makarov outscored everyone in his age bracket.

Dark Shadows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-30-2010, 12:50 AM
  #25
Starchild74
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 324
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
31 years old. 31! The guy had to adjust to a completely different style of play at 31. Not to mention that Soviet players usually burned out early due to the vigorous training routine.

You know why the USSR let the players from the Green Unit play in the US, but younger players like Mogilny had to defect? Because Soviet Hockey knew they were past their primes.

He was the best defenseman in the Soviet Union by far. And if you don't think the best players in the Soviet Union could skate with NHLers, then I really don't know what to say other than watch the Summit Series, Canada Cups, and the careers of younger Soviets who actually did get to play in North America.

No, what is faulty is judging a player based only one what he did when he was past his prime, trying to adjust to a new style of play. Fetisov really didn't adjust to North American hockey until he went to Detroit and found a coach that knew how to use him. By that time, he was 36.

Makarov was the best player his age in the NHL, despite having to adjust to a completely different type of hockey.

So judge them on what they actually did - play better than almost every player on the Canadian all-star teams in multiple tournaments, then show it wasn't a fluke by dominating their home league.
You are right when Fetisov joined the NHl he was 31 and had to adjust to a different league. I think the point that you might be missing is this. From the age of 31 people saw Fetisov play on a regular basis. He was not a top 10 defenceman in the league and was not the best Russian defenceman in the league. That title goes to Konstatinov. THe thing is that we all know Fetisov was one of the best defenceman for the Soviets no question but in his prime how many games did the average fan see of him. Now what we saw of him he was great but their are other players who played well in the Olympics or Canada Cup too but becasue it is a short tournament you can not say that for sure he is better then someone that you saw all the time. No offence to Fetisov but I rather from what I have seen have guys like Bourque, Potvin, Coffey before Fetisov easily because even though from the handful of games I saw in his prime he might be just as good as those the problem is that it is might be. Just never seen him play against top notch talent for a long period of time in his prime.

Once again just a short window of a player does not show proper evaluation of a player. When a player is drafted in the NHL they just do not watch a few games and say that is our guy. They watch many games to properly evaluate them. For example Mike Liut is a good goalie. Not the greatest goalie ever but in the 80's he was very good. If you watch the final of the Canada Cup in '81 and just watched that game you might think he was a bum and never deserved to be in the NHL. That is why when you evaluate or compare players you have to take into account everything not just one game or a tournament. Fetisov is widely believed to be the best Soviet defenceman ever and I think that is true. Could he have played in the NHL? Of course but to say he would have played in the NHL at the level of a Brap Park or the level we saw in some tournaments is not known and will never be known. You can not deal in what if's or could have been. That is why it is hard to honestly say how great the Soviet players were

I like Fetisov but maybe the reason he played better in Detroit was because they were a good team adn it made it easier for him. To be role player someone to add to the team not be the main guy. The reason Fetisov had problems adjusting to the NHL does not take away the skill or diminish what kind of player he was. It is just that when you compare Fetisov to Lidstrom lets say how can you honestly say Fetisov is better when LIdstrom played against the best players and Fetisov only did that in tournaments.

Sergei Makarov was never ever the best player in the NHL at any time no matter what criteria you may use. He was good but that is it when it comes to the NHL. Sorry but just taking his NHL years only he was never a top ten player in the NHL and in the playoffs except for '94 he never did anything really

I do not want to make it sound as though I am anti Soviet or Russian but you tell me all the Soviets that have played better then the Canadian counterparts. I mean for example are you telling me that anyone on the KLM line was better then Lemieux or Gretzky. That Fetisov was better then Coffey. Now I am not saying that in all the summit series and Canada Cups that no Soviet outplayed a canadian counterpart but to say they all did is a pure joke.

Dominating their home leagues. So Fetisov dominated the Soviet league more so then Orr, Coffey, Bourque, etc...in the NHL. Larionov dominated the Soviet Leagues more so then Lemieux, and Gretzky in the NHL Tretiak dominated the Soviet League more so then Ken Dryden in the NHL. That is what you are saying.

Oh yes the training in the Soviet teams was very rigurous no question. But I ask you when Bobby Orr was getting hit and hitting in the NHL. When Esposito was getting nailed by the broad street bullies of Philadelphia. When Gilbert Perreault had to avoid the reach and hitting of Larry Robinson. That was nothing compared to training. It is alot harder to play a 72 or 80 game schedule where you play 3 games in 4 nights on the road. Have to play every other day in the Stanley Cup playoffs and give it their all. Then training I am sorry. That is why alot of players who play in the NHL whether they be Soviets, Swedish, Canadian etc... can not make it in the NHL or play a long career it is that hard. SO I can not believe that you are saying that the training was the reason why alot Soviet players burned out quickly. Which I am not arguing but if training burnt them out can you imagine having to play games in the NHL, how much that would have burned them out

Starchild74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:17 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. @2017 All Rights Reserved.