CCCP Big Red Machine
Posted by simon c on 2009 December 10日 Thursday
CCCP Big Red Machine
Posted by simon c on 2008 October 22日 Wednesday
Straight from the horse’s mouth (from the excellent NY Times Slapshot blog):
Tuesday was a special day in the K.H.L. Vyacheslav Fetisov, already the Russian Minister of Sport and as of last week a senator in the upper house of the federal legislature, was elected chairman of the league board of governors. The 50-year-old ex-CSKA, U.S.S.R., Devils and Red Wings star promptlytold the K.H.L. Web site, “We should develop in the direction of the Far East, and make the league not only European but also Asian.” He said there was interest in joining the K.H.L. from businessmen in Japan, South Korea and China.
Given the 50 percent drop over the last three months in the price of oil — the basis of the Russian economy and of the Gazprom-funded league’s wealth — K.H.L. expansion into other countries seems more and more like a pie-in-the-sky proposition. Falling oil prices and a domestic financial sector hard hit by the current credit crisis have already forced the Russian government to rethink budget and foreign policy initiatives, as the Times’Clifford J. Levy reports. Given such circumstances, does Fetisov really believe that the Continental Hockey League will soon be icing teams in Seoul and Beijing?
He’s said this before, so I guess Slava’s really got KHL’s eyes on Asia, but chances are slim to nil for many reasons, including the ones in the blog post, but if the KHL is interested in Asia, they’re (or is it just he, as in Fetisov) more likely interested in absorbing the Asia League with existing franchises and fanbase (however small) rather than creating new franchises in the Far East. Then again with the level of play in the Asia League, the teams would get slaughtered in the KHL without heavy reinforcements, and that wouldn’t work out well in terms of fostering home grown talent and interest in the game.
But this is most likely just old man talking crazy without having read through any reports or thought through the logistics. Asia League games draw anywhere from a few hundred spectators to a couple of thousand fans at best, far cry from attendance numbers KHL is trying to put up to compete with the NHL. Hockey just isn’t a major sport in North East Asia. (But I’d love to see something like Amur Khavarovsk’s 2nd team play in the Asia League again, that’d be neat and good for Asian hockey development.)
Here’s a fun old time Fetisov and Larionov photo for kicks.
Posted by simon c on 2008 May 18日 Sunday
Ahead of the Centennial Ice Hockey World Championship final to be played later today, the 1980 Miracle on Ice was announced as the #1 story on their international hockey stories of the century list.
The win didn’t change the landscape of the game right away. It was a shocking and unexpected victory, but more importantly, it inspired a generation of American kids to play the game. When USA won its next important international event, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, almost every player on that team pointed to the Miracle on Ice game as their inspiration for wanting to play hockey.
In time, the win also assured the international community that America would be part of the top nations. In the 1976 Canada Cup, for instance, the roster was a who’s who of minor leaguers and collegians. Soon after 1980, that never happened again.
This game was and remains the greatest moment in international hockey because of its impact at the time and its continued impact over time. For 20 college players to defeat a team that trained year round and won virtually every game it played before and after truly is, in a sporting sense, a miracle. There is no other word for it.
That this miracle became something lasting and enduring makes it all the more significant. The greater miracle is that it took a nation with nothing more than a mild interest in the game and made it into a world powerhouse that can today beat any other great nation on any given day. There have been greater teams which have accomplished greater feats over greater periods of time in international hockey, but there is only one game, one team, one moment, that can truly be called a miracle. And nothing can outclass a miracle. Nothing.
And the IIHF also announced the Centennial All-Star Team. The list is Soviet heavy with Tretiak, Fetisov, Salming, Kharlamov, Makarov, and Gretzky. Methinks the voters were weighed towards Europeans, but then again this is an All-Star team for international hockey, and the Soviets dominated international play, so maybe it’s right. It’s interesting that Gretzky’s contributions in the Canada Cup is counted considering it was not an IIHF sanctioned event. But then again, IIHF was not obtuse enough to ignore the great impact the Summit Series and the Canada Cups had on international hockey, even if they were not officially sanctioned events.
The six members of the All-Star Team are:
Goaltender: Vladislav Tretiak (Russia)
First Defenceman: Vyacheslav Fetisov (Russia)
Second Defenceman: Borje Salming (Sweden)
First Winger: Valeri Kharlamov (Russia)
Second Winger: Sergei Makarov (Russia)
Centre: Wayne Gretzky (Canada)
The panel comprised 56 ice hockey experts from 16 countries representing a balance between North American and European countries, and included people who have worked in the game for an extended period and whose opinions are universally respected. One of the 56 votes represented the collective opinion of the staff of The Hockey News.
Tretiak received 30 votes, Fetisov 54, Salming 17, Kharlamov 21, Makarov 18, and Gretzky 38.
Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, opinion | Tagged: canada, canada cup, fetisov, gretzky, IIHF, kharlamov, makarov, salming, soviet, summit series, sweden, tretiak, USA | Leave a Comment »