Red Tape Cut For USSR Contingent

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Left : SERGEI MAKAROV (24) at Rendez-Vous ’87 in Quebec City

Right : The Tank, VLADIMIR KRUTOV (9)

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Roughly half of the Soviet ice hockey team appearing in Calgary for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games were skating in the National Hockey League within two years.

In the summer of 1989, all the different and necessary authorities in the USSR finally agreedĀ to to permit veteran Soviet players to sign with professional National Hockey League clubs in the West. Six of the Soviet Union’s Calgary contingent were conspicuously and immediately involved :

  • 31 – F — Sergei MAKAROV — Calgary Flames
  • 31 – D — Vyacheslav FETISOV — New Jersey DevilsĀ 
  • 30 – D — Sergei STARIKOV — New Jersey Devils
  • 30 – G — Sergei MYLNIKOV — Quebec Nordiques
  • 29 – F — Vladimir KRUTOV — Vancouver Canucks
  • 28 – F — Igor LARIONOV — Vancouver Canucks

Midway through the 1989-90 season, 30-year-old defenseman ALEXEI KASATONOV left CSKA Moscow to reunite with his long-time blueline partner Fetisov in New Jersey. At the conclusion of the Soviet elite league that spring, 28-year-old center ANATOLI SEMENOV departed Dynamo Moscow to join the eventual Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers.

Previously, in the spring of 1989, after collecting his gold medal at the IIHF World Championships for the Soviet Union in Stockholm, 20-year-old star prospect ALEXANDER MOGILNY defected the USSR while in Sweden and wandered his way to the United States to offer his services to the Buffalo Sabres.

In all, fourteen of the Soviet Union’s gold medalists in ice hockey from the Calgary Games eventually ended up in the employment of NHL clubs.

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