|Born||January 14, 1948,|
|Died||August 27 1981 (aged 33),|
|Pro Career||1967 – 1981|
|Hall of Fame, 2005|
Valeri Borisovich Kharlamov (January 14, 1948 - August 27, 1981) was a star ice hockey player from the Soviet Union and is considered one of their greatest players. He died in a car accident. He was voted one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Team of the Century in a poll conducted by a group of 56 experts from 16 countries..
Born in Moscow, Soviet Union (now Russia), Valery Kharlamov, despite being relatively small in size, is regarded by many as one of the greatest masters of the game. He combined speed, rapid acceleration, and superb stick handling ability together with creative and unpredictable moves that kept the opposition perpetually off balance.
Kharlamov began systematic training to play hockey at age 14, when he was admitted to the Children and Youth Sports School of CSKA on Leningradsky Prospekt, where his first trainers were Vitaly Erfilov and Andrei Starovoitov. At the age of twenty he was invited to the Soviet Union's national team to compete on the world stage. In 1971, playing in the Soviet Union Elite League for CSKA Moscow, his goal scoring earned him his first "Best Sniper Award" and he was voted to the national All Star team. The following year, Kharlamov gained international recognition when he led his national team to the Gold Medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics. He capped off the remarkable season by winning the scoring competition and being given the first of his two consecutive Soviet Union MVP Awards.
However, it was during the 1972 Summit Series that Valery Kharlamov, along with teammate Vladislav Tretiak, became the star of the hockey world. At Montreal, Canada, in game one of the eight game international series against the best professionals from Canada, a virtually unknown Kharlamov astonished Canadian fans and their star hockey team with his explosive speed, agility, and goal scoring prowess. Kharlamov was voted the game's MVP after he scored two goals while leading his team to an upset victory that shook the foundations of Canadian professional ice hockey to the core.
In game six of the fiercely fought series, the Canada's Bobby Clarke, of the Philadelphia Flyers, slashed Kharlamov on his left ankle, causing a fracture. Although Kharlamov bravely continued in game six, he was unable to play in game seven and was ineffective in the final game. Some observers say that this injury was a crucial incident which turned the tide of the series in Canada's favour as they entered it three games to one in the series. Commentators believed that constant slashing of Kharlamov was in order to neutralize his goal scoring threat. Years later, John Ferguson, Sr., an assistant coach with Team Canada, was quoted as saying "I called Clarke over to the bench, looked over at Kharlamov and said, 'I think he needs a tap on the ankle.' I didn't think twice about it. It was Us versus Them. And Kharlamov was killing us. I mean, somebody had to do it."
By the end of the series, National Hockey League scouts were drooling at the thought of recruiting Kharlamov, but during this Cold War era, no Soviet Union player was allowed to leave the country. The respect for Kharlamov's skills was so high that at the time many Canadian children named him as one of their favorite players, and in the Soviet Union he was a national hero and an inspiration for youngsters playing the game.
Later career and death
In 1973, playing with the CSKA team of the Soviet Union's premier league, Kharlamov remained a star and was a key part of the Soviet national team that won the World Championship for the next three years. At the 1976 Winter Olympics, he scored the game winning goal in the final game to earn his second Olympic gold medal. During the 1975-76 USSR Red Army ice hockey tour of North America , while playing against the Philadelphia Flyers in a memorable exhibition game, Kharlamov was knocked out by a hard hit from the Flyers' Ed Van Impe, causing his teammates to leave the ice in protest.
Later that spring, he was seriously injured in a car accident and for a time, his hockey career seemed in doubt. He was unable to play in the 1976 Canada Cup and, though he recovered sufficiently to return to the Soviet national team in the coming years, he was never again the player he once had been. He was a part of the Soviet Union team that lost to the "Miracle on Ice" U.S. team in the medal round at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, but won the silver medal. In August 1981, another automobile accident took his life at the age of thirty-three. Valery Kharlamov is interred in the Novokuntsevskoe Cemetery in Moscow.
In 1998, Valery Kharlamov was posthumously inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame.
Each year, the Kharlamov Trophy is awarded to the best Russian NHL player as voted by all Russian NHL players.
The Kontinental Hockey League has a division bearing his name.
|Olympic medal record|
|Men's ice hockey|
|Silver||1980 Lake Placid||Team|
Career highlights - team:
- 11-time winner of the USSR championship
- 8-time winner of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship
- 2-time winner of the Olympics Games Gold Medal
Career highlights - personal:
- National awards:
- MVP USSR League 1972, 1973
- USSR All Stars 1971-1976, 1978
- Scoring champion (goals) 1971
- Scoring champion (points) 1972
- International awards:
|1967–68||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||15||2||3||5||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|1968–69||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||42||37||12||49||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|1969–70||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||33||33||10||43||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|1970–71||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||34||40||12||52||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|1971–72||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||31||24||16||40||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|1972–73||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||27||19||13||32||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|1973–74||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||26||20||10||30||28||—||—||—||—||—|
|1974–75||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||31||15||24||39||35||—||—||—||—||—|
|1976–77||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||21||18||8||26||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|1977–78||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||29||18||24||42||35||—||—||—||—||—|
|1978–79||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||41||22||26||48||36||—||—||—||—||—|
|1979–80||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||41||16||22||38||40||—||—||—||—||—|
|1980–81||HC CSKA Moscow||USSR||30||9||16||25||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Valeri Kharlamov. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|