Vladislav Tretiak

Vladislav Tretiak

Infobox Ice Hockey Player

played_for = RSL
CSKA Moscow
position = Goaltender
catches = Left
height_ft = 6
height_in = 0
weight_lb = 200
nationality = Russia
birth_date = birth date and age|1952|04|25
birth_place = Dmitrov, Russian SFSR
draft = 138th overall
draft_year = 1983
draft_team = Montreal Canadiens
career_start = 1968
career_end = 1984
halloffame = 1989

Vladislav Aleksandrovich Tretiak MSM ( _ru. Владисла́в Алекса́ндрович Третья́к; born April 25, 1952 in the village Orudyevo in Moscow Oblast, Soviet Union, now Russia), was a goaltender on some of the most successful ice hockey teams of the Soviet Union and is considered one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of ice hockey. He was voted one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Team of the Century in a poll conducted by a group of 56 experts from 16 countries. [ [http://www.iihf.com/channels/iihf-world-championship/news/news-singleview-world-championship/article/iihf-centennial-all-star-team.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=552&cHash=3a26b76f60 IIHF Centennial All-Star Team ] ] He is the current president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia.

Early years

Tretiak's mother was a middle school physical education teacher (his father taught Russian literature) and although he initially followed his brother as a swimmer, as a child Tretiak was known to excel at many sports and is remembered for his ambition to master all of them. However, like many children of his generation, he loved hockey and at age 11 entered the Children and Youth Sports School of the Central Sports Club of the Army (known by its Russian abbreviation as TsSKA or CSKA), [ [http://www.vor.ru/VIS_A_VIS_new/VTretyak_w1251_arx.html The voice of Russia (vis-à-vis with the world) ] ] that now bears Valery Kharlamov's name. His first trainer was Vitaly Erfilov. He apparently started playing goal as a bargain in return for a cherished TsSKA hockey jersey, and because no one else wanted to play the position.

International playing career

Despite Tretiak not playing his first hockey game until the age of eleven, Tretiak was well-known in the USSR by 1971, when he was named to the Soviet Ice Hockey League's First All-Star Team, while playing for the powerhouse Red Army team, CSKA Moscow. He also played well in the 1972 Winter Olympics, in which the Soviets took the gold medal.

Tretiak became internationally famous after his outstanding performance in the Summit Series in 1972, when he helped surprise the world, and more importantly, the Canadian team, en route to a narrow loss to the Canadians. A famous story told of how Canadian scouts seriously underestimated his ability prior to the Series; they witnessed him let in eight goals on a particular night, not knowing that he had been married the previous evening (and most of the team had been in attendance). [ [http://www.1972summitseries.com/tretiak.html Vladislav Tretiak: 1972 Summit Series ] ] Out of the entire Soviet roster, Canadian players and fans held Tretiak in the highest regard and respect and Tretiak was one of the most famous players of the Series along with Phil Esposito and Paul Henderson. As a result of Tretiak's stellar performance, many NHL teams wanted to draft him – Montreal ultimately did, in 1983 – and Tretiak was willing, but the move was blocked by the Soviet government.

Tretiak went on to star for the Soviet Union, helping them win gold medals in the 1976 Winter Olympics, and again winning gold in the 1984 Winter Olympics and the 1981 Canada Cup. Tretiak also back-stopped the Soviets to ten IIHF World Championships victories and nine in the IIHF European Championships. However, in the 1980 Winter Olympics, the Miracle on Ice denied Tretiak yet another gold medal. Tretiak was pulled by Viktor Tikhonov in the first period in favor of Vladimir Myshkin, following his team's lackluster effort, which resulted in a goal by the Americans' Mark Johnson as the first period ended. Tretiak, along with many other soviet players hated the move by Tikhonov. Tretiak himself stated that the move cost him a gold medal, insinuating that he would not have let in the goals that Myshkin allowed; had he won that game, he would only have needed to secure a draw against Sweden two nights later to attain his third olympic gold medal.

Though he was only 32 in 1984 and still capable of playing top-level hockey for many more years, Tretiak retired. It is said that the refusal to allow him to play in the NHL and his unwillingness to continue playing for Tikhonov contributed to this decision.

Post retirement

Tretiak's wife, Tatiana, is qualified as a Russian literature teacher, although she no longer works. He has two children, a son Dmitri who is a dentist and a daughter Irina who is a lawyer. Tretiak hopes that Dmitri’s son, Maxim, born 1996, will follow in his footsteps as a professional hockey player.

Tretiak was one of the guests who spoke at the ceremony during which the Montreal Canadiens retired the jersey number of Ken Dryden on January 29, 2007. Dryden had been one of Team Canada's goaltenders during the 1972 Summit Series, opposite Tretiak.

Tretiak retired in 1984, fittingly following a 2-0 victory over Czechoslovakia. In 1990, Mike Keenan hired Tretiak as a goaltender coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, which has allowed him to coach some of the top goalies of the past 15 years, such as Ed Belfour, Dominik Hašek, Jocelyn Thibault, and Martin Brodeur. Tretiak has personally said that coaching was the next best thing to playing in the NHL. Hawks coach Mike Keenan was so impressed with Tretiak's abilities in practice that he suggested 38-year-old might still be able to play in the NHL. Today, Tretiak is still a goaltending consultant to the Chicago Blackhawks. Since leaving the Blackhawks, Ed Belfour has worn uniform number 20 as a tribute to Tretiak. Numerous other goalies, including Evgeni Nabokov, wear #20 as a tribute to Tretiak. [cite news | url = http://www.nhl.com/olympics/2006/nabokov020206.html | title = Numbers game for Nabokov | last = Ward | first = Doug | publisher = NHL.com | date = 2006-02-02 | accessdate = 2008-04-13]

He was awarded Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1984) [cite book|title=Panorama of the 1984 Sports Year|year=1985|pages=p. 37|publisher=Fizkultura i sport|location=Moscow|language=Russian] . In 1987 Vladislav wrote an autobiography titled "Tretiak, The Legend". [ [http://www.hockeygoalies.org/bio/tretiak.html Vladislav Tretiak ] ] He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989, the first Soviet player to be so honored and to be inducted without having played a game in the NHL. In 2000, he was voted Best Russian Hockey Player of the 20th century. [ [http://www.iihf.com/news/iihfpr7701.htm] ] He was a vital cog for some of the most dominant hockey teams in history and is now considered one of hockey's greatest ambassadors.

Tretiak was elected to the State Duma as a member of the United Russia party in December 2003, representing the region of Saratov. He is chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, and Youth. He continues to teach hockey skills in North America and Russia.

On April 25, 2006 (his 54th birthday), Tretiak was elected head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, capping his rise to the pinnacle of the Russian hockey elite. He obtained 93 out of the possible 96 votes, with the remaining three voters abstaining. A few days later, on April 28, 2006, the Governor General of Canada awarded Tretiak the Meritorious Service Medal in a ceremony at Rideau Hall. Tretiak earned the award for, among other things, his founding of the Friends of Canada organization to foster good relations between Canada and Russia. [ [http://gg.ca/media/doc.asp?lang=e&DocID=4716 Governor General announces 14 Meritorious Service Decorations ] ] He was the first Russian to be conferred this honor.

He also runs a Goalie School at the Canlan Ice Sports in Toronto, Ontario. Called the Vladislav Tretiak Elite School of Goaltending, it is considered one of the most physically punishing goaltending schools in the world, and a student can be refused admittance if he or she is not in top physical condition.

On March 28, 2007, Tretiak went to Ottawa to discuss with Canadian officials about the possibilities of holding another Summit Series during the summer of 2007, which would be 35 years after the initial event. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov had also discussed with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the possibilities of holding another event. [cite news | author = CTV News | title = Russian PM asks Harper to consider Summit Series | publisher = CTV | url = http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070328/summit_series_070328/20070328/ | date = March 28, 2007 ] In the end, a series was held in September 2007 between the national junior teams of Canada and Russia.

Records and honours

* First All-Star in the Soviet League consecutively each year from 1971 until 1984. In those fourteen years, Tretiak won thirteen league titles with the Red Army team, and was named MVP of the league five times.
* In 1978, Tretiak was awarded the Order of Lenin. [ cite web | author - Legends of Hockey. net | title = Vladislav Tretiak Biography | url = http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/LegendsMember.jsp?mem=p198903&type=Player&page=bio&list=ByName#photo | accessdate = 2007-03-30 ]
* First non-North American trained player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and is one of the few members who never played in North American professional leagues.


External links

* [http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_player_info.asp?p_id=t010 Vladislav Tretiak at Hockey CCCP International]
* [http://www.1972summitseries.com/tretiak.html Tretiak's biography and statistics at 1972summitseries.com]

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