Most hockey fans and even the experts will pick Viacheslav Fetisov or maybe Sergei Zubov as the greatest Russian defenseman in history. Some might try to impress by mentioning the names, with good merit, of Alexei Kasatonov, Alexander Ragulin or Vitaly Davydov.
But the most researched experts know the title of greatest Russian defensemen is a coin toss between Fetisov and WWII veteran Nikolai Sologubov.
Sologubov, who was originally quite the bandy player, is an old timer in the truest sense. Born in 1924, he played in the very first ice hockey game in Russia, and along with Vsevolod Bobrov quickly established himself as an early great. Retiring in the early 1960s, he never got the international acclaim others would. And lack of video footage and even Communist-era newspaper archives have left a non-existent legacy for the man some called "The Russian Bobby Orr."
Full Nikolai Sologubov biography
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