Winnipeg Jets fans may remember this 1991-92 Score hockey #284. It is of Sergei Kharin, a former member of the Wings of the Soviet (Krylja Sovetov) and the 1987 Canada Cup team and 1988 gold medal Olympic team who came to North America with the first wave of Russian hockey players.
Kharin showed a little promise in 7 games in his first season, scoring 2 goals and 5 points. But ultimately he spent most of the year in the minor leagues, which is where the rest of his career would be.
Let's give him credit where credit is due, though. It would have been easy for him to go back to Europe and play in most any league over there for better money and under less-trying conditions. Instead he toiled away in the rough and tumble North American minor leagues in cities like Dayton, Worcester, and Port Huron before finding a home in Muskegon where he became a star with the UHL's Fury.
Kharin never left the area, settling at nearby Twin Lake. He raised his kids, one of which, Anton, has just left RIT - Rochester Institute of Technology. He has decided to take a couple of online courses to complete his degree in marketing and has decided to come home and signed with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the IHL. Anton Kharin has impressed with his speed and puck skills since joining the Jacks in late March.
On April 10th, Muskegon hockey fans will get a real treat. They will get the chance to witness father Sergei and son Anton play together, as Sergei is coming out of retirement, just for one game. It is the first set of father-son teammates in the IHL's 49 year history.
Sergei last played professional hockey in 2001.