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Igor Larionov On The Play Of The Oilers

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Larionov feels wingers, not just Yakupov, but presumably Oiler kids Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle maybe should get more leeway.

He certainly believes wingers have to help out, “but they have to score too. You have to have a balance,” he said. “You can’t play 70 per cent defence and 30 per cent offence. There’s 17,000 people here. They want to see some action.”

Larionov feels the Oilers have young, passionate forwards, he but didn’t like the style of game on display Wednesday. Not nearly enough flow or offence for a centre affectionately known as The Professor.

“This is crazy, so much talent here,” said Larionov, when told the Oilers had been blanked three straight games at home — a franchise record.

“I guess that’s the concept, the modern game, I guess. In Edmonton, it should be like Detroit. You don’t play a trap. There’s 17,000 people here. I didn’t see that (offence) tonight. With everybody. They’ve got skill, some scoring power, but they have no confidence. Three or four times, they couldn’t complete three passes.”

more

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Larionov’s comments yield a Yakupov incident on Twitter

Updated with more from Larionov at 2:57 AM: The Twitter world is going a little crazy over the following Tweets from ESPN's Craig Custance:

You can imagine that the Oilers' press corps is weighing in, with the Edmonton Journal's David Staples offering the following...

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  Tags: edmonton+oilers, igor+larionov, nail+yakupov

Larionov Turned Down Russian GM Position

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

Igor Larionov was clearly very interested in the position of Russian GM for the Sochi Olympics because his negotiations with Russian Ice Hockey Federation head Vladislav Tretiak lasted for about six months.

But just last week the Wayne Gretzky of Russian hockey turned down the job. He did so for all of those traditional reasons that can bedevil the country’s hockey program. The way Tretiak had outlined the job, he would have had all the pressure but with no control.

“Before I did the job, I wanted to make sure I had the decisions on the team and the coach but that was not going to be in my control,” said Larionov from his home in Detroit…

continued

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  Tags: igor+larionov, team+russia

The NHL versus Russia

The NHL’s arrival in Europe last week coincided with two exhibition games between the leagues teams and their Russian rivals; the KHL. First up was an aggressive affair between the Carolina Hurricanes and SKA St. Petersburg. In a role reversal between leagues, SKA came out playing aggressively, so much so, in fact, that Hurricanes coach, Paul Maurice pulled his star players; Eric Staal and goaltender Cam Ward from the game as it deteriorated into a slugfest which resulted in a 5-3 victory for SKA. The other interleague game featured the Phoenix Coyotes gaining a measure of revenge for the NHL, by defeating Dynamo Riga 3-1. The interleague games were part of a longstanding tradition of play between the NHL and Russia. With that in mind, I thought I would take a look at some of the most famous and infamous matchups between the two rivals.

1. The Montreal Canadiens versus Central Red Army
    December 31st, 1975

This matchup featured the most successful franchises from the NHL and the former Soviet league as the Canadiens played host to the Red Army team. Montreal featured Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden, Larry Robinson and Bob Gainey among others against Valeri Kharlamov, Vladislav Tretiak, Vladimir Petrov and Boris Mikhailov. The level of play was as high as the 72’ Summit Series as the star players from each team were entering their prime. Despite outshooting Red Army 38-13, the Canadiens were forced to settle with a 3-3 tie, due to the outstanding play of Tretiak. This game would cement Tretiak’s longstanding relationship withe the city of Montreal, as the team would go on to draft the goaltender 138th overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, despite Soviet players not being allowed to compete in the NHL.

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  Tags: alexei+kasatonov, bob+gainey, bobby+clarke, boris+mikhailov, guy+lafleur, igor+larionov, jari+kurri, ken+dryden, larry+robinson, mario+lemieux, mark+messier, mike+bossy, montreal+canadiens, sergei+makarov, valeri+kharlamov, viacheslav+fetisov, vladimir+krutov, vladimir+petrov, vladislav+tretiak, wayne+gretzky

Sharks Get A Visit From The Professor

from David Pollak of Working the Corners,

Igor Larionov, the only player in the Hockey Hall of Fame to ever wear a Sharks’ jersey, is spending a couple days in San Jose at Coach Todd McLellan’s invitation.

“Igor and I created a friendship in Detroit,” McLellan said. “I asked him if he’d like to come out and spend some days with us in training camp. I think bringing the alumni back, especially of his stature, is real valuable. He’s got a very unique hockey mind and I like to bounce some ideas off of him.”

Larionov, who said he and his family have moved back to Detroit from Southern California so his 11-year-old son could participate in a stronger hockey program, said he and McLellan were at the rink at 6 a.m., going over video.

more plus other Sharks topics…

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The Direction Of The KHL

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League — considered to be the greatest threat to NHL stability since the WHA — is undergoing its own growing pains in its inaugural season, with teams missing payroll, uncertainty over the fate of its smaller franchises and worries about the possible impact of the growing world economic crisis on its well-moneyed backers, many of them who rely on high world oil prices for their wealth.

“I should be and I must be and I will be honest with you — that is a big concern,” said Igor Larionov Monday, on the day he was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame, after a distinguished 27-year career, mixed between international and NHL play….

Larionov said the economics of the KHL make little sense today, given that some teams in the Moscow draw as few as 1,000 to 2,000 people per game and ticket prices are so modest - $5, $10, $15 max. At that rate, he does not believe the sort of salaries they were offering to players last season — as much as $10 million to Pittsburgh Penguins’ star Evgeni Malkin — were sustainable over the long term.

read on

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  Tags: igor+larionov, khl

Welcome Igor

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

He stills remembers the Soviet system, which he calls “unacceptable,” and he’s outspoken in his praise of the people who allowed him to escape that system for the NHL.

The type of hockey that he and his teammates played was so effective that much of it was adopted by the NHL and for that, we all owe him our thanks. The game is a much more attractive spectacle today than it used to be and Larionov’s contributions in that regard would be hard to eclipse.

The Hockey Hall of Fame has no shortage of worthy inductees, but it’s hard to think of a guy who is more worthy — in a number of ways — than Igor Larionov.

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  Tags: hhof, igor+larionov

Why Igor

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

I find it hard to believe that Igor Larionov, one of the classiest people ever in the game, is finding an ally in the Kontinental League with president Alexander Medvedev.

Larionov was always all about principle. Instead of defecting from Russia to play in the NHL in his prime, he bided his time and went through the proper channels before coming to the NHL. Once he got here, he proved to be a great teammate and person and was part of the success of several teams along the way.

Now he’s working with a man who has no respect for the sanctity of a contract, as evidenced by the KHL’s poaching of Pavel Valentenko and Matt Murley recently by teams in Russia.

read on plus Leafs/Sundin and Stars/Avery notes…

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Larionov Wants To Restore Hockey In Russia

from Snapshots at Mlive,

In the attached articles, Larionov seems intent upon not only helping SKA build a winning team, but also working on restoring some of Russia’s status as a country that can develop solid hockey players. He’s going to be a member of the KHL’s board of directors, and as such, he adds a somewhat moderate and nuanced viewpoint to a group of owners who are, by and large, economic oligarchs, and a set of GMs and coaches who are comprised Russian hockey veterans and the last of the Soviet hockey machine.

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Larionov Joins SKA

from the IIHF,

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – New hall of famer Igor Larionov returns to work in ice hockey and was named director of hockey operations of SKA St. Petersburg.

The club of the Russian KHL announced that Larionov signed a one-year contract with the possibility of extension. The 47-year-old, who was working as a wine merchant in the last years, is expected to arrive in St. Petersburg on Sunday.

continued

thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…

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The Professor Waits

from the CP,.

A year ago Igor Larionov ended up the odd man out when the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee had to consider a once-in-a-generation class of candidates.

With only four spots for five superstars, Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis and Scott Stevens each got the nod over the Russian great, whose accomplishments off the ice in breaking the barriers Soviet Union players faced in going to the NHL were just as significant as his artistry on the ice.

On Tuesday, the hall will unveil its class of 2008 and Larionov should be at the top of the list. Often described as the Wayne Gretzky of Russia, it would be a fitting honour for one of the game’s trailblazers, and ease the sting he felt at being left out last year.

continued

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It’s Larionov’s Time

From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,

It is not called the NHL Hall of Fame. I’m pretty sure it’s the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Which is why Tuesday, when the Hall’s selection committee gathers in Toronto to decide this year’s inductees, I hope Igor Larionov gets the nod.

“I think he should too,” six-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings told Sportsnet.ca. “He’s that kind of special player. Watching him when I grew up in Europe, he was part of that Russian Five that never gave up the puck. They had it the whole time. [...] When I had a chance to play with him, I saw that too. He’s such a smart player. He wasn’t a big player but his smarts brought him so much success. He really deserves to be in the Hall.”

continued…

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  Tags: hhof, hockey+hall+of+fame, igor+larionov, niklas+lidstrom

Larionov Mixes Hockey & Wine

From the Oakland Press,

After his retirement, the player known as “the Professor” turned his hobby into a business, naming his import company after his game-winning goal in the third overtime of Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. He is partnered with Mike Davis in distributing wines from Australia and California in Michigan as well as both Switzerland and Russia.

Of course, hockey is not far from Larionov’s business, as names of his wines include, “Hat Trick,” “Slapshot,” or Triple Overtime Chardonnay, Cabernet and Enela—which is the name of his wife spelled backwards, according to a release by his company.

more…

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, igor+larionov

Larionov Not HHOF Worthy

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Why do so many mainstream hockey people assume Igor Larionov is a slam-dunk Hall of Fame player. He played the final 14 years of his career in the NHL, most of it as a second-, third- or fourth-line centre. Based on those years alone, he shouldn’t even be a candidate. And yes, he was brilliant in Russia before that. But he was no more brilliant than linemate Vladimir Krutov—and no one is arguing Krutov for the Hall. Nor should they.

more hockey talk…

Steve, it is the Hockey Hall of Fame, not the NHL hall of fame!

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hhof, hockey+hall+of+fame, igor+larionov

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