Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: slava bykov
The IIHF is inducting a quintet of players into their Hall of Fame today in Minsk. Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Vycheslav Bykov, Andrei Khomutov and one other player will be inducted in the player category, and IIHF.com's Lukas Aykroyd notes that the fifth player is particularly special:
If there’s one true regret about the 2014 IIHF World Championship, it’s that Ruslan Salei won’t be able to attend his induction into the IIHF Hall of Fame.
Born in Minsk in 1974, the hard-working defenceman will be recognized for his long, productive career at a gala ceremony in his hometown today. He is part of an exceptional Hall of Fame class that also includes Russia’s Vyacheslav Bykov and Andrei Khomutov, Sweden’s Nicklas Lidstrom, and Canada’s Steve Yzerman and Murray Costello.
Salei tragically passed away in the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, along with many other hockey greats. But his memory will live on.
The Russian National Team has taken great strides towards regaining past international hockey glory in the last few years. Spurred on by back-to-back World Championship victories with two straight wins over Team Canada in 2008 and 2009 (including a win on Canada’s home ice in 2008), Russia had seemed to finally regain their duo-superpower status with their longtime Canadian rivals. That is until the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, where the Russians were soundly thumped 7-3 by the home side in their quarterfinal matchup. Perhaps, Team Russia goalie; Ilya Bryzgalov, summed up the debacle best by stating that Team Canada played like “gorillas coming out of a cage.”
On the heels of their defeat in Vancouver, many of Russia’s Olympic core squad vowed to gain a measure of revenge at the 2010 World Championships in Germany three months later. Although Russia defeated a relatively undermanned Canadian squad, their efforts, once again, ended in failure with an upset loss to the Czech Republic in the championship final.
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