January 13, 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 

Ivan Tregubov - Many hockey fans will acknowledge Nikolai Sologubov as an early pioneer of defensemen in Russian hockey history. But not many know about his long time partner Ivan Tregubov.

The duo were the top defensive pairing in Europe for many years. They were arguably Russia's top pairing of all time until the 1980s when Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov patrolled the blue line.

Sologubov and Tregubov were so good that even the NHL took notice. Boston GM Lynn Patrick said, "there are five players on their team who can move up to the Bruins, and there's a commission of $2,500 for anyone who can get either Sologubov or Tregubov into Boston."

Sologubov was the flashier, more offensive star while Tregubov (nicknamed "Ivan The Terrible" by western media) played a physical and intimidating game. His game thrived on emotion, something that was outwardly rare in Soviet hockey.

Here is the full Ivan Tregubov profile.

International Hockey Legend of the Day

Harry "Moose" Watson played in the early years of hockey's development. It was a time when the game was played for fun and even though professional leagues and contracts were sprouting up everywhere, the man they called "Moose" chose to stay as an amateur.

As a reward for being the 1923 Allan Cup champions, the Toronto Granites were chosen to represent Canada at the 1924 Winter Olympics at Charmonix, France. It was there where Moose Watson enjoyed his greatest athletic achievement and established himself as perhaps the greatest of all Canadian Olympic hockey performers.

The first game was against Czechoslovakia. Watson and teammate Albert McCaffery were a two man wrecking crew, destroying the eastern Europeans 30-0. Watson scored 11 of the 30 goals.

The tournament also featured 20-0 win over Sweden and a 33-0 victory over Switzerland. By the end of the 1924 Winter Olympics, Canada won the gold medal by scoring 110 goals in just 5 games, and giving up only 3. Watson led the way with an unthinkable 36 goals on the outside rink in Charmonix, France!

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