Almost 48 years have passed since the greatest hockey event.
In September 1972, one of the largest and greatest events in the history of world hockey happened – the national teams of the USSR and Canada held an eight-match tournament, called the “Super Series”. The format took root, and later various Soviet and Russian teams held such tournaments with Canadian and American hockey players many times, but that event went down in history as the first and most memorable.
Almost half a century has passed since the tournament, and many participants of that Soviet team are no longer alive – it’s time to remember how their fates turned out.
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The goalkeeper spent 13 years at Spartak – after the Super Series he played another five seasons and remained in the club. He worked as a trainer of a team of masters, a trainer at school, a trainer for classes with goalkeepers and a coach of the School for Children and Youth Sports. He regularly played in legends and in 2001 entered the International Hall of European Sports Glory. Died in 2013.
Keeper played for Krylia Sovetov throughout his career. Sidelnikov started as a field player and only at the age of 15 put on goalkeeper gloves. The series with Canada was the beginning of his international career – after he took the medals of the World Championships four times from the national team, he won the 1976 Olympics. He died in 2003 from acute heart failure.
After being drafted into the army, Kuzkin entered the CSKA sports company and subsequently played for the club of the same name. In the Super Series, the defender participated 4 years before the end of his career, after which he remained in his native team as an assistant coach at his request. The last years of his life, Kuzkin was actively engaged in diving and died during another dive in 2008 – his heart could not stand it.
The three-time world champion professionally played hockey for a short time and ended his career at the age of 28, but participated in five matches of the Super Series. The former defender suffered a heart attack early and struggled with gouty polyarthritis for many years. “Illness – you will not wish the enemy. In the evening you go to bed in a normal state, and in the morning you can wake up all twisted, ”Paladiev described the disease. Eugene died in 2010.
The defender weighing 105 kilograms impressed Canadians and received the nickname Big Rag from them. The super-series happened a year before the end of his super-successful career – Ragulin became the Olympic champion three times and 10 times the world champion. He combined sport with studies and graduated from a pedagogical institute, and after a playing career he worked as a coach in various SKA and CSKA. In the last years of his life, Alexander worked a lot with veterans of Soviet hockey. Died in 2004.
A pupil of Omsk hockey got into the USSR national team at the age of 28 and did not manage to win a heap of medals with the national team – just one victory at the World and European Championships. He regularly played for the veteran club “Legends of hockey of the USSR”, he died in 2018.
The defender got into hockey along the standard route: he served in the army and ended up in the Khabarovsk SKA. After seven successful years in a club in his hometown, Tsygankov moved to Moscow and two years later, as part of CSKA, he began performing for the USSR national team. This happened in 1971, so the Super Series was only the beginning – then there were two gold Olympics and many medals of the world championships. After finishing his career, he remained in hockey, coached children and even headed the Leningrad SKA for a couple of years. Gennady suffered from cancer and died in 2006.
Valery grew up in the city of Gorky in the stadium of the local Dynamo. With the coming of age, he moved to the Moscow club and spent 17 years there. A tough defender played for the national team since 1970 and was even captain of the national team. Five years after the end of his career, he resumed it in the Hungarian Uipest and spent a dozen matches for the club. Vasiliev admitted that he suffered a heart attack during the 1978 World Cup, twice more – after leaving the sport. He coached the Moscow Spartak and Podolsky Vityaz for a year. He died in 2012 after a serious illness.
The central striker spent his best years in CSKA, where he played in the same troika as Boris Mikhailov and Valery Kharlamov. The attack rolled everyone in the USSR team – Petrov took the Olympics twice and became the world champion nine times. He died in 2017.
The hockey player was born in Leningrad and began his career at the Lenmyasokombinat club, from where he got into the youthful SKA in 1964 – an attacker in the adult army team and spent his entire career. After participating in the 1972 World Cup, Bobrov took Solodukhin to Canada for the matches of the Super Series, at which his international appearances ended. The athlete died only 29 years old – suffocated with exhaust fumes in his own garage after a night with his mistress. You can read about the terrible story here.
In the summer of 1971, “Wings of the Soviets” was replenished with several talented players who did not pass the foundation of CSKA, including Bodyunov. In the Super Series, Alexander went on the ice in the third match of the three with Anisin and Lebedev – they organized a comeback from 2: 4 and a couple of years inextricably played for the national team. The same attack successfully supported the Moscow Wings – in the 1973/74 season they took the gold of the USSR championship, the last for the club. After completing his career, Bodyunov tried himself as a coach several times in Vityaz, Moscow Region, without much success. Died in 2017.
The striker from 1963 to 1974 played for Moscow CSKA, after the end of his career he trained a lot, worked on a contract in the USA with youth teams. For two years he served as an assistant chief of one of the Moscow military enlistment offices. The last years of his life, Eugene was seriously ill and moved on crutches. He died in 2007.
Vikulov was born in Moscow and at the age of 15 got into the CSKA system. A hockey player played for the USSR national team for 12 years, twice became an Olympic champion and seven times a world champion. Vladimir has been attacking Kharlamov for many years. After leaving his career, he left the public field, in the last years of his life he suffered from serious leg diseases. He died in 2013.
A striker from the age of 16 played at the base of Lokomotiv, from where Vsevolod Bobrov chanted him into Spartak. Zimin advocated for the red and white from 1965 to 1974, until he was drafted into the army. After two years at SKA MBO, he spent the season at Wings and ended his career. Eugene coached a lot, with the youth team of the USSR he became the European champion, worked in various positions in his native Spartak. Until 2010, appeared as an expert and commentator on TV. Died in 2018.
The legendary Soviet hockey player received worldwide recognition in the 1972 Super Series. He lit in Canada and had to decide the Moscow part of the friendly tournament, but was injured in the second meeting. The third match went without Kharlamov, and on the fourth he came out through pain, distinguishing himself with only one assist. Valery twice took the gold of the Olympics, eight times – the world championships. Kharlamov went down in history as one of the best Soviet hockey players and tragically died in a car accident in 1981.
Bobrov was part of the first USSR hockey team in 1952, and since 1972 he coached the national team. Under his leadership, Soviet hockey players held the first Super Series and won two world championships, but in 1974 he left the team, his career began to decline. Died at 56 from pulmonary embolism.
In 1972, he assisted Bobrov, and then took his place – under the leadership of Kulagin, the team won the 1975 World Cup, and a year later took the gold of the Olympics. The next two World Cups were unsuccessful, and Boris left the post. He trained the Danish “Ryodovre”, then returned to the USSR and worked with Spartak, where he won four silver championships. He died in 1988.
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