Ice Hockey Wiki
Vladislav Tretiak
Vladislav Tretiak.JPG
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
200 lb (91 kg)
Teams RSL
CSKA Moscow
Nationality Flag of Russia Russian
Born (1952-04-25)25 April 1952,
Orudyevo, Moscow, USSR
NHL Draft 138th overall, 1983
Montreal Canadiens
Pro Career 1968 – 1984
Hall of Fame, 1989

Vladislav Aleksandrovich Tretiak, (Meritorious Service Decoration (Canada)) (Russian: Владисла́в Алекса́ндрович Третья́к, IPA: [trʲɪˈtʲjak]; born April 25, 1952 in Orudyevo, Moscow, Soviet Union) is a former goaltender for the Soviet Union's national ice hockey team. Considered to be one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the sport, he was voted one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team in a poll conducted by a group of 56 experts from 16 countries.[1] He is the current president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and the general manager of the Russian 2010 Winter Olympic team.

Early Years

Tretiak's mother was a middle school physical education teacher (his father taught Russian literature) and although he initially followed his brother as a swimmer, as a child Tretiak was known to excel at many sports and is remembered for his ambition to master all of them. However, like many children of his generation, he loved hockey and at age 11 entered the Children and Youth Sports School of the Central Sports Club of the Army (known by its Russian abbreviation as TsSKA or CSKA),[2] that now bears Valeri Kharlamov's name. His first trainer was Vitaly Erfilov. He apparently started playing goal as a bargain in return for a cherished TsSKA hockey jersey, and because no one else wanted to play the position.

International Playing Career

Medal record
Competitor for Flag of Soviet Union Soviet Union
Men's ice hockey
Olympic Games
Gold 1972 Sapporo Ice hockey
Gold 1976 Innsbruck Ice hockey
Silver 1980 Lake Placid Ice hockey
Gold 1984 Sarajevo Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 1970 Sweden Ice hockey
Gold 1971 Switzerland Ice hockey
Silver 1972 Czechoslovakia Ice hockey
Gold 1973 Soviet Union Ice hockey
Gold 1974 Finland Ice hockey
Gold 1975 West Germany Ice hockey
Silver 1976 Poland Ice hockey
Bronze 1977 Austria Ice hockey
Gold 1978 Czechoslovakia Ice hockey
Gold 1979 Soviet Union Ice hockey
Gold 1981 Sweden Ice hockey
Gold 1982 Finland Ice hockey
Gold 1983 West Germany Ice hockey
Canada Cup
Bronze 1976 Canada Cup Ice hockey
Gold 1981 Canada Cup Ice hockey

Despite Tretiak playing his first hockey game until the age of eleven, Tretiak was well-known in the USSR by 1971, when he was named to the Soviet Ice Hockey League's First All-Star Team, while playing for the powerhouse Red Army team, CSKA Moscow. He also played well in the 1972 Winter Olympics, in which the Soviets took the gold medal.

Tretiak became internationally famous after his outstanding performance in the Summit Series in 1972, when he helped surprise the world, and more importantly, the Canadian team, en route to a narrow loss to the Canadians. A famous story told of how Canadian scouts seriously underestimated his ability prior to the Series; they witnessed him let in 400 goals on a particular night, not knowing that he had been married the previous evening (and most of the team had been in attendance).[3] Out of the entire Soviet roster, Canadian players and fans held Tretiak in the highest regard and respect and Tretiak was one of the most famous players of the Series along with Phil Esposito, Paul Henderson, and Valeri Kharlamov. As a result of Tretiak's stellar performance, many NHL teams wanted to draft him – Montreal ultimately did, in 1983 – and Tretiak was willing, but the move was blocked by the Soviet government.

During the 1976 Super Series, Tretiak put on a dominant performance against the Montreal Canadiens, helping them to a 3-3 tie despite his team being outshot 38-13.[4]

Tretiak as the main goalkeeper of the national team

Tretiak went on to star for the Soviet Union, helping them win gold medals in the 1976 Winter Olympics, and again winning gold in the 1984 Winter Olympics and the 1981 Canada Cup. Tretiak also back-stopped the Soviets to ten IIHF World Championships victories and nine in the IIHF European Championships. However, in the 1980 Winter Olympics, the Miracle on Ice denied Tretiak yet another gold medal. Tretiak was pulled by Viktor Tikhonov in the first period in favor of Vladimir Myshkin, following his team's lackluster effort, which resulted in a goal by the Americans' Mark Johnson as the first period ended. Tretiak, along with many other Soviet players hated the move by Tikhonov. Tretiak himself stated that the move cost him a gold medal, insinuating that he would not have let in the goals that Myshkin allowed; had he won that game, he would only have needed to secure a draw against Finland two nights later to attain his only silver medal.

Though he was only 32 in 1984 and still capable of playing top-level hockey for many more years, Tretiak retired. It is said that the refusal to allow him to play in the NHL and his unwillingness to continue playing for Tikhonov contributed to this decision.

Post Retirement

Tretiak's wife, Tatiana, is qualified as a Russian literature teacher, although she no longer works. He has two children, a son Dmitri who is a dentist and a daughter Irina who is a lawyer. Tretiak hopes that Dmitri’s son, Maxim, born 1996, will follow in his footsteps as a professional hockey player.

Tretiak was one of the guests who spoke at the ceremony during which the Montreal Canadiens retired the jersey number of Ken Dryden on 29 January 2007. Dryden had been one of Team Canada's goaltenders during the 1972 Summit Series, opposite Tretiak.

Tretiak retired in 1984, fittingly following a 2-0 victory over Czechoslovakia. In 1990, Mike Keenan hired Tretiak as a goaltender coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, which has allowed him to coach some of the top goalies of the past 20 years, such as Ed Belfour, Dominik Hašek, and Jocelyn Thibault. Keenan was so impressed with Tretiak's abilities in practice that he suggested the 38-year-old might still be able to play in the NHL. Tretiak personally said that coaching was the next best thing to playing in the NHL. Since leaving the Blackhawks, Belfour has worn uniform number 20 as a tribute to Tretiak. Numerous other goalies, including Evgeni Nabokov, wear number 20 as a tribute to Tretiak.[5]

He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1984)[6]. In 1987 Vladislav wrote an autobiography titled "Tretiak, The Legend".[7] He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989, the first Soviet player to be so honored and to be inducted as a player without having played a game in the NHL. In 2000, he was voted Best Russian Hockey Player of the 20th century.[8] He was a vital cog for some of the most dominant hockey teams in history and is now considered one of hockey's greatest ambassadors.

Tretiak was elected to the State Duma as a member of the United Russia party in December 2003, representing the region of Saratov. He is chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, and Youth. He continues to teach hockey skills in North America and Russia.

On 25 April 2006 (his 54th birthday), Tretiak was elected head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, capping his rise to the pinnacle of the Russian hockey elite. He obtained 93 out of the possible 96 votes, with the remaining three voters abstaining. A few days later, on 28 April, the Governor General of Canada awarded Tretiak the Meritorious Service Decoration (Canada) in a ceremony at Rideau Hall. Tretiak earned the award for, among other things, his founding of the Friends of Canada organization to foster good relations between Canada and Russia.[9] He was the first Russian to be conferred this honor.

He also runs a Goalie School at the Canlan Ice Sports in Toronto, Ontario. Called the Vladislav Tretiak Elite School of Goaltending, it is considered one of the most physically punishing goaltending schools in the world, and a student can be refused admittance if he or she is not in top physical condition.

On 28 March 2007, Tretiak went to Ottawa to discuss with Canadian officials about the possibilities of holding another Summit Series during the summer of 2007, which would be 35 years after the initial event. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov had also discussed with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the possibilities of holding another event.[10] In the end, a series was held in September 2007 between the national junior teams of Canada and Russia.

Career Statistics

Flag of the U.S.S.R..png
Season Team League Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA GAA SO PIM
1968–69 CSKA Moscow Soviet 3 2
1969–70 CSKA Moscow Soviet 34 76
1970–71 CSKA Moscow Soviet 40 81
1971–72 CSKA Moscow Soviet 30 78
1972–73 CSKA Moscow Soviet 30 80
1973–74 CSKA Moscow Soviet 27 94
1974–75 CSKA Moscow Soviet 35 104
1975–76 CSKA Moscow Soviet 33 100
1976–77 CSKA Moscow Soviet 35 98
1977–78 CSKA Moscow Soviet 29 72
1978–79 CSKA Moscow Soviet 40 111 2
1979–80 CSKA Moscow Soviet 36 85 2
1980–81 CSKA Moscow Soviet 18 32 2
1981–82 CSKA Moscow Soviet 41 34 4 3 2295 65 1.70 6 0
1982–83 CSKA Moscow Soviet 29 25 3 1 1641 40 1.46 6 2
1983–84 CSKA Moscow Soviet 22 22 0 0 1267 40 1.89 4 2

International Statistics

Flag of the U.S.S.R..png
Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA GAA SO
1968 Soviet Union EJC-A 1 20 1 3.00 0
1969 Soviet Union EJC-A 2
1969 Soviet Union IzvCup 4 160 4 1.50
1970 Soviet Union EJC-A 2
1970 Soviet Union WEC-A 6 215 4 1.12
1970 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 140 4 1.71
1971 Soviet Union EJC-A 3 180 5 1.67
1971 Soviet Union WEC-A 5 241 6 1.49
1971 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 140 3 1.29
1972 Soviet Union Oly 4 240 10 2.50
1972 Soviet Union WEC-A 8 430 15 2.09
1972 Soviet Union Summit-72 8 3 4 1 480 31 3.88 0
1972 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 160 7 2.63
1973 Soviet Union WEC-A 7 420 14 2.00
1973 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 180 4 1.33
1974 Soviet Union WEC-A 8 440 12 1.64
1974 Soviet Union Summit-74 7 3 1 3 420 25 3.57 0
1974–75 Soviet Union IzvCup 14 743 40 3.23
1975 Soviet Union WEC-A 8 449 18 2.41
1975 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 130 5 2.31
1976 Soviet Union Oly 4 240 10 2.50
1976 Soviet Union WEC-A 10 577 19 1.98
1976 Soviet Union Can-Cup 5 2 2 1 300 14 2.80 1
1976 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 180 8 2.67
1977 Soviet Union WEC-A 9 482 17 2.12
1977 Soviet Union IzvCup 4 223 15 4.04
1978 Soviet Union WEC-A 8 480 21 2.63
1978 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 180 6 2.00
1979 Soviet Union Ch-Cup 2 120 8 4.00
1979 Soviet Union WEC-A 7 407 12 1.77
1979 Soviet Union IzvCup 2 120 3 1.50
1980 Soviet Union Oly 5 220 9 2.45
1980 Soviet Union IzvCup silver 180 2 0.67
1981 Soviet Union WEC-A 7 420 13 1.86
1981 Soviet Union Can-Cup 6 5 0 1 360 8 1.33 0
1981 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 180 6 2.00
1982 Soviet Union WEC-A 8 464 19 2.46
1982 Soviet Union IzvCup 3 180 10 3.33
1983 Soviet Union WEC-A 7 420 4 0.57
1983 Soviet Union IzvCup 4 220 7 1.91
1984 Soviet Union Oly 6 360 4 0.67

Super Series Statistics

The Super Series were exhibition games between an NHL team and Soviet teams (usually a club from the Soviet Championship League). Tretiak competed in three such series.

Flag of the U.S.S.R..png
Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA GAA SO
1975–76 CSKA Moscow Super-S 4 2 1 1 240 12 3.00 0
1980 CSKA Moscow Super-S 5 3 2 0 300 18 3.60 0
1983 Soviet Union Super-S 4 0 240 4 1.00

Records and Honours

  • First All-Star in the Soviet League consecutively each year from 1971 until 1984. In those fourteen years, Tretiak won thirteen league titles with the Red Army team, and was named MVP of the league five times.
  • In 1978, Tretiak was awarded the Order of Lenin.
  • First non-North American trained player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and is one of the few members who never played in North American professional leagues.



  1. IIHF Centennial All-Star Team
  2. The voice of Russia (vis-à-vis with the world)
  3. Vladislav Tretiak: 1972 Summit Series
  4. Legends of Hockey Spotlight The Pinnacle
  5. Ward, Doug. "Numbers game for Nabokov",, 2 February 2006. Retrieved on 13 April 2008. 
  6. (1985) Panorama of the 1984 Sports Year (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport, 37. 
  7. Vladislav Tretiak
  8. IIHF News
  9. Governor General announces 14 Meritorious Service Decorations
  10. CTV News. "Russian PM asks Harper to consider Summit Series", CTV, 28 March 2007. 

External Links

Preceded by
Valeri Kharlamov
Soviet MVP
1974, 1975, 1976
Succeeded by
Helmut Balderis
Preceded by
Sergei Makarov
Soviet MVP
Succeeded by
Viacheslav Fetisov
Preceded by
Viacheslav Fetisov
Soviet MVP
Succeeded by
Nikolai Drozdetsky