It is quite possible that Vladislav Tretiak and Alex Ovechkin are considered in North America to be the best Russian hockey players ever.
While fans in Russia itself may have their own opinions on the subject, it is hard to argue that Tretiak, in the Soviet era, and Ovechkin, in modern times, are the two Russians who have most affected the North American hockey culture.
Tretiak's lasting legacy is his brilliance in 1972, when he, then a lightly regarded 20-year-old, stymied the team of Canadian legends in the first half of the Summit Series. But he was just as stellar during the 1975/76 Super Series, when his CSKA Moscow team tied the Montreal Canadiens, 3-3 in what became known as The Game of the Century. He was the MVP of the 1981 Canada Cup, the only time when the Soviet team managed to win the prestigious tournament and did it by dispatching the hosts, 8-1 in the final. Even the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, now known in North America as The Miracle On Ice, only added to his legend, producing the ultimate "what-if" speculation: "What if Viktor Tikhonov didn't inexplicably pull Tretiak after the first period?"
It is no wonder that of all the Soviet hockey legends of the 1970s and 1980s it was Tretiak who, in 1989, became the first Russian inductee in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
As for Ovechkin, much of his story is yet to be written, but his impact on the modern-day NHL is undeniable. The captain of the Washington Capitals, a perennial All-Star, a Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner, Ovechkin is one of the most marketable players in the NHL and among the most recognizable faces of hockey in the world.
So, all and all, one could say that the Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has done pretty well in choosing the stars to headline his charity fundraiser, The All-Star Charity Event, which will take place in Montreal on February 3.
The event -- which will benefit the Max Pacioretty Foundation, Montreal General Hospital and the Vladislav Tretiak Foundation -- was organized by Pacioretty and his wife Katia, the sister of another famous hockey Max, former Buffalo Sabre Maxim Afinogenov.
Pacioretty’s foundation’s goal is to help the Montreal General Hospital by purchasing a Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine designed to analyze the effects of brain injuries. Tretiak’s charity raises money for the hospitals and orphanages in the city of Saratov, which the hockey legend represents in the State Duma, Russia’s Parliament.
Two very worthy causes, two Russian hockey greats, a Canadiens fan favorite. Should be quite a memorable evening.
Additional information about the All-Star Charity even can be found at https://theallstarevent.c8.ixwebhosting.com/