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 


Anatoli Firsov - It is a common argument by proud Canadians that if Bobby Orr was not unable to play due to injury, the 1972 Summit Series would have been a much different story. Orr was at the prime of his career and the best in the world.

Or was he?

Anatoli Firsov also missed the 1972 Summit Series showdown between the Soviets and the NHL. He is of legendary status in Russian hockey. Some old time Russian observers will tell you he was the best ever. Legendary coach Anatoli Firsov was probably his biggest fan. Then again, he was also Tarasov's most dedicated disciple.

Firsov is one of only 4 players to have his number retired in Soviet hockey (Bobrov, Tretiak and Kharlamov being the others). Firsov was perhaps a faster skater than Kharlamov, who of course wowed Canadian audiences with awesome speed. It was said that Firsov's fast skates were only out-paced by his mind, as he was always a play or two ahead of everyone else on the ice. He was also known for creativity, especially in his variety of shot selection.


International Hockey Legend of the Day

Romania is not exactly known as a hockey power, but they do have a long albeit thin history with the game.

And if early pioneer Constantine "Bazu" Cantacuzino does not top the list of greatest players, he certainly tops the list of most fascinating life story.

Cantacuzino played from 1928 through to World War II. He was described as a swift skater, crafty stickhandler and intelligent attacker. He led the Romanians through five World Championship tournaments.

But off the ice is where his story turns really amazing. He was described as a real-life playboy. He was the kind of guy they would have to get Leonardo Dicaprio to act as if they ever made a movie about him. And the really could.

Comments

Ash H said…
I love your site. It's awesome and very well done and I frequent it a lot. I'd love to "buy you a cup of coffee" (lol) when I'm a bit more financially stable. Watch for it, I'm a man of my word.
Until then, please keep gracing us hockey-lovers with your great writing and research. It really is a great site...
Joe Pelletier said…
Thanks Ash! Keep reading - I've got a lot of good stuff coming....

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