Is Gonchar one of the top 5 Russian defenseman ever? I was just curious because I was checking the stats of Russian defenseman of the past while and hes always near the top in points. Just wondering if he would crack the all-time top 5.
He's probably a top 5 Russian NHLer, but definitely not if you include guys who played for the old Soviet Union.
This is how I would rank them:
1. Slava Fetisov
2. Valery Vasiliev
3. Alexei Kasatonov
4. Alexander Ragulin
5. Sergei Zubov
6. Vladimir Konstantinov
7. Vladimir Lutchenko
8. Sergei Gonchar
Nikolai Sologubov could also have been better than Gonchar, we just don't know because his played against questionable competition.
Gonchar is almost certainly one of the top 5 NHL Russian defensemen. Who would round out the top 5? Andrei Markov? I can't even think of a 5th (Kaspiritus isn't technically Russian). Edit: Er, I mean Fetisov and Kasatonov did play in the NHL, but I still don't really consider them "NHL defensemen."
Certainly top 5 in just the NHL. If we are to include Fetisov and Zubov to this list who is better? Zubov is a question mark in my mind as it is. This could arguably make Gonchar #2 behind Fetisov for Russian NHL defensemen. Certainly Markov hasn't and probably won't pass him and I can't imagine anyone in the next 10-15 years either