Does the NHL like the Russians?
This is the translation of the original article published in May 2011 @ Chidlovski Blog Chidlovski
Recently, under the influence of playoff fever, I called the Bruins the most non-Russian team in the NHL. I certainly referred to the players born in the countries formerly known as the USSR.
Of course, it brought the memories of the oldest NHL rookie 37-years-old Helmut Balderis, about the KLM line, about Sergey Fedorov, Alex Mogilny and the Russian Rocket, Pavel Bure, and about the legendary players who never managed to play in the NHL because of the Iron Curtain.
The rumor said that during the 1972 Summit Series Alan Eagleson, who was called the Hockey Tsar of the era, brought two bottles of vodke to the hotel room in Vancouver and offered the Soviet players some 7-digit conract to play in the National Hockey League. Soviet players were made of a different material back then. Nobody agreed to sign. Nobody defected. Nobody on that Team USSR played a single game in the NHL.
Oh, well. Most fans know that there are teams in the NHL where Russian/Soviet schooled hockey players fit right in. And there are teams where they don’t.
Based on a quick research and study of stats, Chidlovski Blog Chidlovski produced the infographics below that might ovecome subjective opinions and stereotypical views on the matter.
Wait! Before scrolling down to the graphics, name top 5 Russian teams and top 5 non-Russian teams in the NHL?
Note: The numbers in the list below stand for the games played by the “Soviets” from the end of the 1980s to May 11, 2015.