Skip to main content

International Hockey Legends of the Day

Each day until the Sochi Olympics I will be highlighting two international hockey legends. One will be Russian, the other will be an international star.

Russian Hockey Legend of the Day

Venjamin Alexandrov - Playing on the second great troika with Alexander Almetev and Konstantin Loktev, Venjamin Alexandrov was considered the greatest Soviet player of his time.

Alexandrov drew some incredible comparisons. He was dubbed "Bobrov 2" in Russia, after the first great Soviet star, Vsevolod Bobrov. The great Russian coach Anatoli Tarasov had another comparison though - Montreal Canadiens star Maurice "Rocket" Richard.

Tarasov once had a conversation with the Rocket, where Richard said his secret to success was to not worry about the two or three burly defensemen that are about to crush him as he shoots on goal. He concentrates only on finding the open spot in the net, and takes whatever punishment the other team can dish out. After all, as long as Richard scored, he would be handing out the ultimate punishment. Tarasov instantly thought of his own Alexandrov when Richard had said this.

"I think that our Alexandrov, by his style of game, by his ability to keep a level head even in the most explosive situations, looks something like Maurice Richard, the great master of attack," said Tarasov in his book Road to Olympus.

Here's the full Venjamin Alexandrov profile.

International Hockey Legend of the Day

Ladislav Trojak - The first Slovakian hockey star to ever represent the former Czechoslovakia was none other than Ladislav Trojak. He would go on to be an influential force in hockey history.

Trojak, known as "Patrik" or "Skot" (Scotsman) to his teammates, was discovered almost by coincidence during a tournament held in the Tatra Mountains in 1934. Jan Michalek, a defenseman for Sparta Prague, played in that tournament and was mighty impressed by the Slovakian whirlwind.

Upon his return to Prague, Michalek talked enthusiastically about Trojak. The manager of LTC Prague, one of Europe's top clubs at that time, got curious and decided to take the 6 hour drive to Kosice and check him out.

LTC's manager was blown away when he saw Trojak and immediately approached him to ink a deal. But it was too late, for Troják had just signed with HC Tatry. Undeterred, the manager took Trojak back to Prague and then proceeded to give HC Tatry an undisclosed sum of money in order for them to drop the contract.

Here is the full Ladislav Trojak feature.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M