Archive for October, 2009

29
Oct
09

Sergei Fedorov

Sergei Viktorovich Fedorov
Last Team: Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Number: 18
Position: Center
Height: 6’1″/185 cm
Weight: 202 lbs/91 kg
Shoots: Left
Born: December 13, 1969 in Pskov, RUS
Drafted: Selected by Detroit Red Wings in 4th round (74th overall) of the 1989 Entry Draft

Strengths: Fedorov has been one of the best all-around hockey players for over two decades. He was fast and his defensive qualities were better than those of many defensemen. Whether playing for his club or for the national team, Fedorov’s leadership qualities were irreplaceable.

Weaknesses: Sergei Fedorov’s production had been in decline in his last few seasons. He was no longer the dominant playmaker he previously was.

Biography: As a boy growing up in Pskov – an ancient city near Russia’s western border – Sergei had a lot of potential as a hockey player. He was accepted by the legendary Red Army’s junior team at the age of 15. After a vigorous regimen of training, Fedorov did very well. Sergei became friends and linemates with fellow rising stars Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny. Their line helped “CCCP” not only win back-to-back junior championships, but the World Championships as well at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1990, Sergei took advantage of an opportunity to make it to the NHL. Fedorov’s defection was not as highly publicized as Mogilny’s, but it was still an important event for hockey. Not knowing English, Sergei joined the Detroit Red Wings with a new number – 91. After his first season Fedorov was chosen to the NHL’s all-rookie team. In the 1993-94 season, Fedorov trailed only Wayne Gretzky in league scoring! That year he won the Hart Trophy (as the Most Valuable Player), the Pearson Award (as MVP chosen by players), and the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward). Sergei was a vital part of Detroit’s Stanley Cup wins in 1997 and 1998, although he missed most of the 1997-98 season due to a contract holdout. The Carolina Hurricanes offered him a $38 million 6-year deal, but the Red Wings matched it. The year before, Fedorov earned a whopping $20 million ($2 million salary + bonuses)! That money helped him create the Sergei Fedorov Fund that helps children not only in Detroit, but in Russia as well. Although becoming a U.S. citizen, Sergei of course continued to play for Russia. He was a key part of Russia’s silver and bronze medal finishes at the 1998 and 2002 Olympics. During the 2001-02 season under Scotty Bowman’s coaching, Fedorov experimentally played defense. Sergei is a rare player who can be committed to defense, but still be the best offensive player on the ice. This was shown in the 2002 playoffs, in which Fedorov recorded 19 points. In 2003, Sergei decided for a change and signed with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. In 2005, he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. After a few mediocre non-playoff years, Fedorov rejuvenated with the Washington Capitals, where he had a leading role in taking them to the playoffs in 2008. In the same year, Fedorov made a successful return to the national team, playing on a line with his Capitals teammates Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin, and leading Russia to its first World Championship gold medal since 1993. In 2009, Sergei returned to Russia to play with his brother Fedor for KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Fedorov was an irreplaceable leader on Metallurg, but retired in 2012 after 26 years of professional hockey. Sergei is now the general manager of CSKA Moscow – the hockey club that made him a star.

Club Stats:

Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
1985-86 Dynamo-2 Minsk (USSR-2) 15 6 1 7 10
1986-87 CSKA Moscow 29 6 6 12 12
1987-88 CSKA Moscow 48 7 9 16 20
1988-89 CSKA Moscow 44 9 8 17 35
1989-90 CSKA Moscow 48 19 10 29 22
1990-91 Detroit 77 31 48 79 +11 66
1991-92 Detroit 80 32 54 86 +29 72
1992-93 Detroit 73 34 53 87 +33 72
1993-94 Detroit 82 56 64 120 +48 34
1994-95 Detroit 42 50 30 50 +6 24
1995-96 Detroit 78 39 68 107 +49 48
1996-97 Detroit 74 30 33 63 +29 30
1997-98 Detroit 21 6 11 17 +10 25
1998-99 Detroit 77 26 37 63 +9 66
1999-00 Detroit 68 27 35 62 +8 22
2000-01 Detroit 75 32 37 69 +12 40
2001-02 Detroit 81 31 37 68 +20 36
2002-03 Detroit 80 36 47 83 +15 52
2003-04 Anaheim 80 31 34 65 -5 42
2005-06 Anaheim/Columbus 67 12 32 44 -2 66
2006-07 Columbus 73 18 24 42 -7 56
2007-08 Columbus/Washington 68 11 30 41 -5 38
2008-09 Washington 52 11 22 33 +4 50
2009-10 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 50 9 20 29 +25 47
2010-11 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 48 7 16 23 +4 40
2011-12 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 43 6 16 22 +6 36
Totals USSR/KHL Reg. Season 310 63 85 148 210
Totals KHL Playoffs 38 7 11 18 -1 26
Totals NHL Reg. Season 1248 483 696 1179 +261 839
Totals NHL Playoffs 183 52 124 176 +38 133

National Team Stats:

Year Tournament GP G A PTS PIM
1987 World U20 6 0 0 0 8
1988 World U20 7 5 7 12 0
1989 World U20 7 4 8 12 4
1989 World Championship 10 6 3 9 10
1990 World Championship 10 4 2 6 10
1991 Canada Cup 5 2 2 4 6
1996 World Cup 5 3 3 6 2
1998 Olympic Games 6 1 5 6 8
2002 Olympic Games 6 2 2 4 4
2008 World Championship 9 5 7 12 8
2010 Olympic Games 4 0 4 4 6
2010 World Championship 9 2 4 6 12
Totals U20 Level 20 9 15 24 12
Totals Senior Level 64 25 32 57 66

Photo Gallery:

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22
Oct
09

Ilya Kovalchuk

Full name: Ilya Valerievich Kovalchuk
Team: New Jersey Devils

Number: 17
Position: Left Wing
Height: 6’3″/191 cm
Weight: 230 lbs/104 kg
Shoots: Right
Born: April 15, 1983 in Tver, RUS
Drafted: Selected by Atlanta Thrashers in 1st round (1st overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft

Strengths: Kovalchuk’s awesome skating ability and shot can fool many players when he has the puck. Kovalchuk has the potential to top the league in scoring and he is one of the most exciting players to watch. His defensive work is improving.

Weaknesses: Kovalchuk is a passionate player, but can be prone to taking undisciplined penalties. He needs to be ready when opponents are after him.

Biography: Ilya Kovalchuk grew up in Tver, northwest of Moscow. Even though Kovalchuk was born more than a decade after the 1972 Summit Series, he remembers the event very well. His father repeatedly played tapes of those games for Ilya. Kovalchuk wears number 17 simply in honour of Valeri Kharlamov. While being so young, Kovalchuk already had an enormous impact on his teams. He helped elevate Spartak Moscow to Superleague status as he led them to a 1st-place finish in 2001. Same year, at the Under-18 World Championship, Kovalchuk was the tournament’s best player and won gold. He then became the first Russian and only the fourth European ever to be selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft. Kovalchuk immediately was a force for the Atlanta Thrashers. Ilya and fellow rookie Dany Heatley were amazing together and led their team in scoring. Kovalchuk was chosen to represent Russia at the 2002 Olympics, playing well on a line with his idols Igor Larionov and Sergei Fedorov. At the 2002 NHL Young Stars Game, Ilya ripped the game with 6 goals. Unfortunately, Kovalchuk’s season was cut short after he dislocated his shoulder. Had that not happened, he would have won the Calder Trophy as NHL’s best rookie. While being only twenty years old, Ilya already had developed a reputation for his cockiness, which his teammates love and opponents hate. Also, he was caught in a few games with illegally curved sticks. Kovalchuk’s second season was also full of ups and downs, but he continued to establish himself as one of the league’s best scorers. In 2004, he already won the Rocket Richard Trophy for most goals. During the NHL lockout, Kovalchuk played for the star-studded Ak Bars Kazan team in Russia. Prior to returning to the Thrashers, Ilya played a few games for Khimik in 2005. In January 2009, he was named the captain of the Thrashers. However, Kovalchuk’s greatest achievement to date was scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals against Canada in the final of the 2008 World Championship on Canadian ice. At the next year’s World Championship, Kovalchuk was the tournament MVP as he led Russia to another gold medal, cementing his status as a sports hero of Russia. Russia finished second at the 2010 World Championship, but Kovalchuk played great hockey on a line with fellow masters Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin. In February 2010, Kovalchuk was traded from Atlanta to the New Jersey Devils – the team he ended up signing a long-term $100 million contract with that summer. Ilya’s time as a Devil has been a rollercoaster so far. The Devils lasted only one playoff round in 2010 and got off to a horrible start next season. After sitting dead last in the NHL mid-season, New Jersey dramatically switched gears to finish within six points of a playoff spot. Timely game-winning goals by Kovalchuk propelled the Devils’ comeback, although the season was among his least productive. In 2011-12, Kovalchuk rebounded to finish in the top-5 in NHL scoring. He was also the top scorer in the first three rounds of the 2012 playoffs, in which New Jersey lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the six-game final. Ilya played through the playoffs with a back injury. In September 2012, Kovy returned to Russia to play for St. Petersburg during the NHL lockout.

Club Stats:

Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
1999-00 Spartak-2 Moscow (RHL-3) 2 2 1 3 14
1999-00 Spartak Moscow (RHL-2) 49 12 5 17 75
2000-01 Spartak Moscow (RHL-2) 40 28 18 46 78
2001-02 Atlanta 65 29 22 51 -19 28
2002-03 Atlanta 81 38 29 67 -24 57
2003-04 Atlanta 81 41 46 87 -10 63
2004-05 Ak Bars Kazan 53 19 23 42 72
2005-06 Khimik Moscow Region 11 8 5 13 24
2005-06 Atlanta 78 52 46 98 -6 68
2006-07 Atlanta 82 42 34 76 -2 66
2007-08 Atlanta 79 52 35 87 -12 52
2008-09 Atlanta 79 43 48 91 -12 50
2009-10 Atlanta/New Jersey 76 41 44 85 +10 53
2010-11 New Jersey 81 31 29 60 -26 28
2011-12 New Jersey 77 37 46 83 -9 33
2012-13 SKA St. Petersburg 36 18 24 42 +21 12
2012-13 New Jersey 37 11 20 31 -6 18
Totals RHL/KHL Reg. Season 100 45 52 97 108
Totals RHL Playoffs 4 0 1 1 0
Totals NHL Reg. Season 816 417 399 816 -116 516
Totals NHL Playoffs 32 11 16 27 -8 31

National Team Stats:

Year Tournament GP G A PTS PIM
2000 World Juniors U18 6 2 3 5 6
2001 World Juniors U18 6 11 4 15 26
2001 World Juniors U20 7 4 2 6 37
2002 Olympic Games 6 1 2 3 14
2003 World Championship 7 4 0 4 6
2004 World Championship 6 3 1 4 6
2004 World Cup 4 1 0 1 4
2005 World Championship 9 3 3 6 4
2006 Olympic Games 8 4 1 5 31
2007 World Championship 9 2 5 7 10
2008 World Championship 8 2 6 8 52
2009 World Championship 9 5 9 14 4
2010 Olympic Games 4 1 2 3 0
2010 World Championship 9 2 10 12 2
2011 World Championship 9 3 5 8 6
2013 World Championship 8 8 5 13 29
Totals U18 Level 12 13 7 20 32
Totals U20 Level 7 4 2 6 37
Totals Senior Level 96 39 49 88 168

Photo Gallery:

09
Oct
09

Alexander Ovechkin

Full name: Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin
Team: Washington Capitals
Number: 8
Position: Left Wing
Height: 6’2″/188 cm
Weight: 230 lbs/105 kg
Shoots: Right
Born: September 17, 1985 in Moscow, RUS
Drafted: Selected by Washington Capitals in 1st round (1st overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft

Strengths: Alexander Ovechkin is a passionate all-around power forward with remarkable goal-scoring capabilities. He is strong, defensively conscious, and plays the physical game really well. Ovechkin is a once-in-a-generation talent for his NHL club and for Russia.

Weaknesses: Ovechkin can have a limited presence in a hockey game and may find himself playing decreased minutes of ice time. Ovechkin can also be prone to making dangerous physical plays, putting himself at risk of injury. Ovy’s scoring rate has been inconsistent in the past few years.

Biography: Alexander Ovechkin has it in his blood not only to be a superstar athlete, but also a champion. His mother Tatiana won two Olympic gold medals in basketball and his father Mikhail was a professional footballer. Alexander, however, became obsessed with hockey from the age of two. He began playing when he was seven years old, but hard circumstances forced Sasha to abandon the game for two years. With the support of brother Sergei and coaches, Ovechkin continued to develop his hockey skills with the Moscow Dynamo organization. While only sixteen, Ovechkin was already making headlines in the hockey world for breaking the scoring record at the Under-18 World Championship. He scored two hattricks in his first Under-20 World Juniors, leading Russia to a gold medal finish. At seventeen, Alexander became the youngest to ever play and score for the Russian senior national team. Since 2005, he has developed as Russia’s top weapon at the Olympics and World Championships. At the club level, Ovechkin continued to shine with Dynamo until he was drafted by the Washington Capitals as 2004’s number-one pick in the NHL entry draft. In his rookie NHL season, Ovechkin rose to unprecedented heights. As one of hockey’s best players, he won the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year), scored over 50 goals and over 100 points (third in the league), scored one of the most creative goals in hockey history, and became the international face of the game – all in one year. In 2007-08, Ovechkin scored more goals in a single season than any other left wing in NHL history (and won the scoring title too)! In both 2008 and 2009, he received the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player and the Lester. B. Pearson Trophy as the most outstanding hockey player as voted by NHLers. After helping return the Capitals to the playoffs in 2008, Ovechkin joined his teammates Alexander Semin and Sergei Fedorov to form the most dangerous line of the World Championship, propelling Russia to its first gold medal in fifteen years. The 2009-10 season was a heartbreaking one for Ovi, as he did not lead Russia to an Olympic medal, his President Trophy-winning Capitals got eliminated in the first playoff round, and a few NHL games missed due to injury and suspension caused him to narrowly miss out on winning the goals and points scoring races. The following season presented new challenges to Alexander, including having to play while nursing injuries and a new defensive playing system implemented by Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. While Ovechkin’s goal-scoring declined, his overall style of game matured. The next Capitals coach, Dale Hunter, continued to implement a defense-first style and freely limited Ovechkin’s ice time, especially in the 2012 playoffs. After another second round NHL playoff exit, Alex immediately accepted another invitation to join Russia at the World Championship. With Caps teammate Semin and centre Pavel Datsyuk, Ovechkin’s line was the strongest as Russia steamrolled through the elimination round to win the gold – Ovechkin’s second. During the NHL lockout of 2012-13, Alex returned to play for his hometown team, Dynamo. Although he didn’t get a chance to play in the KHL playoffs, Dynamo went on to win the Gagarin Cup and Ovechkin qualified to receive a championship ring, having played over half the season for the team. With the NHL resuming in January 2013, Ovy had a strong bounce-back campaign and led the league in goal-scoring, winning his third Rocket Richard Trophy.

Club Stats:

Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2001-02 Dynamo Moscow 21 2 2 4 4
2002-03 Dynamo Moscow 40 8 8 16 26
2003-04 Dynamo Moscow 53 13 10 23 42
2004-05 Dynamo Moscow 37 13 13 26 +26 32
2005-06 Washington 81 52 54 106 +2 52
2006-07 Washington 82 46 46 92 -19 52
2007-08 Washington 82 65 47 112 +28 40
2008-09 Washington 79 56 54 110 +8 72
2009-10 Washington 72 50 59 109 +45 89
2010-11 Washington 79 32 53 84 +24 41
2011-12 Washington 78 38 27 65 -8 26
2012-13 Dynamo Moscow 31 19 21 40 +13 14
2012-13 Washington 48 32 24 56 +2 36
Totals RHL/KHL Reg. Season 182 55 54 109 104
Totals RHL Playoffs 21 2 4 6 35
Totals NHL Reg. Season 601 371 364 735 +82 408
Totals NHL Playoffs 58 31 30 61 +9 30

National Team Stats:

Year Tournament GP G A PTS PIM
2002 World Juniors U18 8 14 4 18 0
2003 World Juniors U18 6 9 4 13 8
2003 World Juniors U20 6 6 1 7 4
2004 World Juniors U20 6 5 2 7 0
2004 World Championship 6 1 1 2 0
2004 World Cup 2 1 0 1 0
2005 World Juniors U20 6 7 4 11 4
2005 World Championship 8 5 3 8 4
2006 Olympic Games 8 5 0 5 8
2006 World Championship 7 6 3 9 6
2007 World Championship 8 1 2 3 29
2008 World Championship 9 6 6 12 8
2010 Olympic Games 4 2 2 4 2
2010 World Championship 9 5 1 6 4
2011 World Championship 5 0 0 0 4
2012 World Championship 3 2 2 4 2
2013 World Championship 1 1 1 2 0
Totals U18 Level 14 23 8 31 8
Totals U20 Level 18 18 7 25 8
Totals Senior Level 70 35 21 56 66

Photo Gallery:

07
Oct
09

History of Russian Hockey – Part 1

The original version of hockey in Russia since the 1890s was called “bandy.” It was played with a small ball instead of a puck and had the rules of field hockey. Ice hockey was introduced to the Soviet Union in the 1930s and became a national sport following the Second World War. The Russian game of ice hockey was different from the Canadian. A lot of bandy rules were adopted and the philosophy of the game was different.

An early Red Army squad (late 1930s)

An early Red Army squad (late 1930s)

An early Red Army squad (early 1940s)

An early Red Army squad (early 1940s)

The legendary coach Anatoli Tarasov

The legendary coach Anatoli Tarasov

Trainer Arkady Chernyshev

Trainer Arkady Chernyshev

When Anatoli Tarasov became a coach, he changed Russian hockey forever. He masterminded creating his own version of hockey – a game of speed, endurance and winning. He was the master of the team and his players were like chess pieces. When the USSR entered its first team into the World Championship in 1954, they won. Likewise, the Soviet team finished first at the 1956 Olympics. Once Tarasov took over the national team’s reigns, the “CCCP” team won gold at the World Championships in Stockholm in 1963. That was just the beginning of nine consecutive World Championship victories, through to 1971. During that timespan, the Soviet Union also won eight European Championships and three consecutive Olympic gold medals (1964, 1968, 1972). The Soviet hockey program was recognized as the premier in the world and earned the nickname “The Big Red Machine.” Tarasov also coached the Central Sports Club of the Army (CSKA), to seventeen league championships from 1947 to 1974. Tarasov’s colleague – Arkady Chernyshev also played an influential role in the development of Soviet hockey.

1956: first Olympics, first hockey gold for the USSR

1956: first Olympics, first hockey gold for the USSR

Russia's first hockey superstar - Vsevolod Bobrov

Russia's first hockey superstar - Vsevolod Bobrov

The athletic pioneers of the sport were Vsevolod Bobrov and Viktor Shuvalov. Bobrov was a rare star in multiple sports – football and hockey. He captained both the Soviet football team at the 1952 Olympics and the ice hockey national team at the 1956 Olympics. Nonetheless, Bobrov achieved greater success as a hockey player. Shortly after joining the Soviet Air Force hockey team (VVS) managed by Stalin’s son, Vasili, in 1950, Bobrov narrowly avoided death. The airplane carrying the team to Sverdlovsk crashed on approach, but Bobrov was lucky to have overslept on that day and missed the flight. Once the VVS team seized to exist following Stalin’s death, Bobrov finished his career with CSKA. In 130 league games Bobrov scored an astonishing 254 goals, as well as 89 goals in 59 games playing for the national team! Bobrov remained a key trainer until 1979.

Firsov

Anatoli Firsov

The next torch-carrier of Soviet hockey was Anatoli Firsov. He was a forward and played from 1958 to 1974. Firsov was one of the best hockey players ever because of his brilliant skills and extremely hard slapshot. He also innovated many of the moves that today’s forwards use to beat defenders. Firsov started his career with Spartak, and in 1961 joined CSKA, with which he went on to win the Soviet championship nine times. In 474 games, Firsov scored 344 goals. Firsov also won Olympic gold three times (1964, 1968, 1972), the World Championship eight times (1964-71), and was named Best Forward at the World Championship in 1967 and 1971.

To be continued…




Welcome to Russkiy Hockey! This website is dedicated to the most talented Russian hockey players who bring a different game to the NHL - a game of speed, creativity, and discipline. On this site you can find out about the careers and accomplishments of these athletes, as well as about the history of Russian hockey, the latest stats of Russian hockey players, and the national team's successes at international tournaments. Enjoy your visit!

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