Sturminator made the fair point that really, we assume a lot of things based on similar amounts of proof as Krutov taking steroids.
But EB makes the good point as to the true degree in which this should damage Krutov's legacy.
What sturm is saying would be fitting under;
Libel: Any posts libeling players, prospects, or hockey personnel. It's not acceptable to post that you heard Player X has a drinking/drug/sex/personal problem from a "good" source. Do not post information that can be considered defamatory without a link to a credible media source. Other forums, personal websites, hearsay, and personal testimonials are not considered credible.
IF Krutov ever took performance enhancing drugs, some people made it look like it would of been the only reason why he was able to retrieve the puck in the corners from Patrice Brisebois
Also, I find it quite humorous that people can claim on just how much steroids can affect a players performances, and make it a rule of thumb, like these effects are very well known and many studies has been done on hockey players. IF, and again I reiterate the IF as it his very important in this case, Krutov took performance enhancing drugs, we cannot quantify how much it affected his performances.
Actually, if Krutov really was a product of steroids, there is no reason to believe he'd be better in the corners than Brisebois. Krutov was short and fairly overweight. North Americans were shocked that someone with such a body type could be so fast and strong....
Larionov and Makarov were more finesse players, so even if they took steroids, it wouldn't really help their games much.
Krutov... his entire game was based on power. Without it, he'd be useless... like he was when he tried to play in the NHL.
In fact, Krutov's drop off in the NHL is exactly what you'd expect from a guy who suddenly got taken off the juice.
You obviously never saw Krutov play. He was a complete offensive player and always dangerous with the puck on his stick. From what I saw of him in the 87 Canada Cup, he was generating as much offence as any Soviet. He and Makarov were the first two PK forwards against Canada, btw. And Krutov was definitely not slow or out of shape.
Watch some video instead of making assumptions.
Agreed, most people viewed Krutov as better than Larionov when the line played together. He's certainly more visually impressive from what I've seen.
Sturm posted a link to accusations about Krutov's steroid use, did he not? If he didn't, I can find one or two quite easily.
No, the "proof" of Krutov's steroid use is not beyond the shadow of a doubt, which is why I don't actually view him as useless. But I definitely don't value him as highly has his resume would have him (arguably the 4th best winger of the 1980s, albeit the decade wasn't exactly the best decade for wingers).
Edit: Of course, there's a very wide range between "useless" and "definite top 200 player, arguable top 150" which is what he would be without the question marks. Maybe EB picked him about where he should be picked...
Double edit: As far as I know, this is the only "credible" source. It comes from a hockey journalist who wrote a book on the Canada Cup and has been re-printed on quite a few websites and newspapers. The Edmonton Journal thought the following was credible enough to print:
I don't know about you, but I felt sick when I read the names such as Roger Clemens linked to steroid use in the Mitchell Report. Unlike Strachan, I don't believe that a big name hockey player has never used steroids. The Soviet Union's sports machine was infamous for its use of performance-enhancing drugs.
For instance, there are suspicions that the great Vladimir Krutov used steroids.
HockeyAdventure.com once interviewed Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province about this.
Q: "In Larionov’s autobiography, his famous 1988 letter to Ogonyok is reprinted. He states that all members of the “Green Unit”–including Vladimir Krutov–refused to accept mysterious injections from national team doctors prior to the 1982 World Championships in Finland. However, in Gretzky to Lemieux, you write: “Larionov intimated that Krutov had been fed steroids on a consistent basis when he played for the national team that helped account for his great strength on the puck.” So the picture is a bit murky. Is it your view that we’re looking at an East German women’s swimming team-type scenario, so to speak?
A: "That’s my view, but to be clear, we’re talking about Krutov here, not Larionov. I talked to two members of the Vancouver Canucks organization who were around when both players came over in 1989, and they both said one of the reasons Krutov was so bad was because he’d been cut off from his supply of steroids. Can I prove that? No."
Alright, after much deliberation and painful thinking, I'm going to take LW Baldy Northcott. He adds speed, lots of grit and defensive ability to my 2nd line. It'll add a nice dimension to that line and give me lots of flexibility for what to do with my center there as well.
I think this bio will really improve McGee's stock. It not only shows that he was ridiculously skilled and fast, but also that he was extremely tough, could be physical, and played a solid defensive game:
C Frank McGee
Hockey Hall of Fame Member
4x Stanley Cup Champion(consecutive, 4x participant)
135 goals in 45 career regular season and cup games
63 goals in 22 career playoff games
4x 1st in Goal Scoring in Cup Challenge Playoffs(only played in 4)
One-eyed Frank McGee was the cornerstone of one of the greatest teams in hockey history. During his tenure with the Ottawa Hockey Club and Ottawa Silver Seven, the franchise won or defended the Stanley Cup over three consecutive years from 1903 to 1905. McGee's superior puckhandling skills and gifted scoring touch made him one of the most feared offensive threats of his day.
McGee enjoyed a successful Canadian Amateur Hockey League debut with Ottawa on January 17, 1903, by scoring two goals in a 7-1 victory over the famous Montreal Amateur Athletic Association. This proved to be a prelude to an even greater achievement as he netted five goals against the Montreal Victorias three weeks later. A month after this, Ottawa captured the Stanley Cup at the expense of the Victorias and successfully defended a challenge from Rat Portage (later Kenora, Ontario). During the four games against these two clubs, McGee scored seven times and established a reputation for being at his best in Stanley Cup matches. A short time later, the Ottawa club became known as the "Silver Seven." The name was a tribute to the success attained by an outstanding unit of seven players that often changed - except for Frank McGee.
The 1904 and 1905 seasons witnessed an even greater period of success for McGee. On February 25, 1904, he scored a then record five goals in the second game of Ottawa's successful Stanley Cup defense against the Toronto Marlboros. He duplicated this achievement a month later while helping to defeat the Stanley Cup aspirations of Brandon, Manitoba.
The Silver Seven won the championship of the Federal Amateur Hockey League in 1905 with Frank McGee leading the way with 17 goals in only six games. In January, Ottawa successfully beat back the challenge of Dawson City. It was in this series that McGee put forth his, most legendary performance by scoring a Stanley Cup record of 14 goals in the second match. During the 23-2 rout, the Ottawa star at one point recorded eight consecutive goals in less than nine minutes. A month later, he scored the winning goal in the third and deciding game versus the challengers from Rat Portage - while playing with a broken wrist.
The following year, McGee enjoyed a strong regular season with 28 goals in seven games. His last memorable showing in Stanley Cup competition took place in February and March 1906 when he scored six goals in a two-game sweep of Queen's University and then recorded nine goals during a two-game annihilation of Smiths Falls. At the end of March, the Silver Seven's three-year stranglehold on the Stanley Cup came to an end following a two-game series against the Montreal Wanderers. Ottawa fell short by a 12-10 aggregate score, but McGee played particularly well in the second match.
McGee retired prior to the commencement of the 1907 season. He was the focal point of one of hockey's early dynasties and his superior abilities enabled him to form potent forward combinations with the likes of xxx, xxx and xxx, xxx and xxx. Frank Patrick said: "He was even better than they say he was. He had everything - speed, stickhandling, scoring ability and was a punishing checker. He was strongly built but beautifully proportioned and he had an almost animal rhythm."
Frank McGee's accomplishments are astounding, considering his best years with Ottawa's Silver Seven came after he lost sight in one eye and before the tender age of twenty-three. “One-Eyed” McGee's record of fourteen goals in one Stanley Cup match still stands 105 years later.
Being a referee only made him miss playing more, so despite the risks, he joined the Ottawa Senators in 1903. Despite the rough-sounding nickname, “One-Eyed” McGee became known for his immaculately clean and pressed uniform and play-making.
At only 5'6,” he was one of the smallest players in a brutal game. Size never mattered though, as Frank scored two goals in his first game to help Ottawa win. Soon thereafter, he was averaging three goals (or more) a game, and his 63 goals in 22 Cup games stands as a pre-NHL era record. His most notable accomplishment, a record fourteen goals in a single Cup game came on January 16, 1905 against the Dawson City Nuggets. Eight of those goals were scored at nearly a goal-a-minute pace.
McGee's remarkable skill and accuracy helped lead Ottawa to three consecutive Stanley Cup championship years from 1903 to 1906, defeating the Rat Portage Thistles, Winnipeg Rowing Club, Toronto Marlboros, Brandon Wheat Kings, and Montreal Wanderers along the way. He wasn't the only star of the club, merely its brightest, playing alongside fellow future Hall of Famers xxx, xxx, xxx and Tommy Smith.
When the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted its first members in 1946, Frank “One-Eyed” McGee was one of them. In 1966, he was also inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. A fitting tribute to not only a hockey hero, but also a national hero.
Tom Phillips played in six Stanley Cup series and stands up well in the scorers for playoff games. He was undoubtedly a great player who was compared favouably with Frank McGee…
-Trail of the Stanley Cup
Out west, Phillips was often called the greatest player in the game, much like Frank McGee in the East.
Who is the best hockey player in Canada? Nine out of ten people will tell you it is either Frank McGee or Tommy Phillips. Phillips is the speedier, but he has nothing on McGee in the matter of stickhandling and has not the same generalship. Where each shines is in pulling doubtful games out of the fires of uncertainty.
-Montreal Herald, 1906
Here are the best of the pre-and non-NHLers.
THN’s First Team
G: **** ******
D: Hod Stuart
D: Lester Patrick
R: Cyclone Taylor
LW: Tommy Phillips C: Frank McGee
RW: Didier Pitre
-THN's Century of Hockey
the high-scoring McGee.
McGee several times hit Thistles players over the head with his stick.
Phillips and McGee were the stars, both scoring three goals
-Trail of the Stanley Cup
Scoring leaders of all Cup Games in Pre-Consolodation Era(1893-1926):
Frank McGee, the Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby of his era.
The only player to score 14 goals in a Stanley Cup game was Ottawa’s blond McGee, one of the greatest scorers to ever grip a hockey stick or lace on a pair of skates. He weighed all of 140 pounds—if that—but he was a whippet on the ice, a wonder.
More than a century has passed since he played for the Ottawa Silver Seven. They said he was the stuff of legends, and they were right. We still write of McGee’s exploits today. Aware that sportswriters of the day wrote reams of copy about McGee, I culled old newspaper accounts of his Gretzky-like performances and the following, written by some long forgotten sportswriter, is a testament to his greatness:
I followed McGee’s playing career and every match was the same. Away from home, for example, in a furious Stanley Cup series with the Montreal Wanderers, with about 6,000 people all howling “Get McGee!” I saw Frank knocked cold half a dozen times in the one match and honest, he survived to score the last two goals that won the game. No one could slow him up. My, but he was game! Taking the puck and beginning a series of slashing attacks, he finally sailed right into the mouth of the net with two defenders doing their best to eat him alive. He took a dozen nasty cracks and still scored one minute before time. Seconds later, he repeated the feat and was able to skate off smiling.
He seized the puck at center ice, skated in with the speed of a prairie cyclone and shot. I saw him backcheck furiously, dodge here and there, flash from side to side, stickhandle his way through a knot of struggling players, slap the puck into the open net and go down in a heap as he did so. Then I ceased to wonder why this boyish, doll-like hockey star was the idol of the crowd. I too joined in the hysterical shouting for Frank McGee, the world’s greatest hockey player.
...one of the most brilliant and effective players who ever filled that position.
McGee is certainly a wonder and the way be rushes in to block the point or cover point's lift is beautiful. Three times out of four he succeeded in keeping the puck from passing centre, and often caught it before the lift was made.
There are those who still insist that Frank McGee, star of the legendary Silver Seven, was the greatest player of the pre-NHL era. It's a pretty good argument. A center and rover, McGee was a fast skater who could stickhandle and shoot with the very best of them.
He was cut on the head and knocked unconscious by the Wanderers' xxx but still scored three goals...
In 1904-05 in the Challenge Series, McGee missed the first game with a a broken wrist and after being knocked unconscious, as the quote says. Ottawa lost Game 1 9-3. He came back for Game 2, playing with a broken wrist, and Ottawa won 4-2. In the decisive Game 3, again playing significantly injured, he scored 3 goals, including the game winner.
McGee secured the puck from the face and rushed. He lost the puck, recovered it again, dodged one or two, and simply shinnied it into Vics' nets.
He passed to McGee, and Frank fooled a couple of Vics and shot. This was another.
Blind in one eye due to a hockey injury in 1900 and forced to retire, McGee would come back to the game he loved in 1903. At only 5'6, he dominated the sport for four seasons where he won four Stanley Cups with the dynasty Ottawa Hockey Club. In only 45 pro games, McGee amassed 134 goals including his legendary 14-goal performance in the Stanley Cup challenge vs. Dawson City. His playoff performances defined his hockey career. Along with his unbeatable single game goal record, he owns the record for most goals in a series and most Stanley Cup goals with 63 in 22 contests. One of the original Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, his 3-goals a game average is the best ever. 10 years after his final season, Frank McGee would die in battle during WWI. I tried to keep this list about on-ice performances but McGee's story is just too great to leave out. The greatest player in the first decade of hockey, Frank McGee is an icon to Ottawa hockey.
Although he only played four seasons, he was absolutely dominant in those four, and as Boy Wonder said, guys in that era rarely had long careers because hockey was a bruising sport that didn't pay well back then. Better money could be made elsewhere with much less wear and tear on his body. He could have continued were it not for his fear of going blind in his other eye.