January 12, 2014

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

Nikolai Sologubov - While 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 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."

Here's the full Nikolai Sologubov profile.

International Legend of the Day

Robert Reichal - While most NHL-only fans won't believe this, there is a significant portion of the hockey loving population that believes Robert Reichel is one of the greatest legends in hockey history. Beyond that they worship him as a decorated hockey warrior and leader.

Don't laugh.

Robert Reichel the NHLer may be remembered by history, assuming he is at all, as a supremely talented but classic underachiever who was usually disinterested unless it was payday.

But Robert Reichel the international player is an absolute legend in his native Czech Republic where he is among the all time hockey greats.

Here's the full Robert Reichal feature.

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