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Old 07-27-2006, 08:53 PM   #96
Clockwork Orange
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I seen him!

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,352

I will proudly select the greatest player who never played in the NHL, Vladislav Tretiak, G CSKA Moscow/Red Army.

While he never got a chance to play in the NHL, he led the USSR to dominance in international competition that the world had never seen before or since. In his 13 years as the starting netminder for the Red Army, they captured 3 Olympic gold medals (1972, 1976, 1984), 10 World Championships and 9 European Championships. In 98 career international games, he put up an amazing 1.78 GAA.

He was first team All-Star goaltender in the Soviet League every year from 1971-84, won 13 League Championships and was named League MVP 5 times. He shined in Canada Cup competitions, which he began participating in at the age of 20 in 1972. He came in to that series lightly regarded as being "inconsistant" with "a weak glove hand that could be exploited at will." When that grueling 8 game series was over, the hockey world was buzzing about him.

He's a victim of the cold war in the sense that politics prevented him from showcasing his skills in the NHL, but that shouldn't tarnish the fact that Tretiak is one of the best ever to suit up and man the net.
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