#10 Alexander Maltsev
Alexander Maltsev is one of the all time greats in Russian hockey. And he made a favorable impression on Team Canada stars in 1972. Along with Vladislav Tretiak, Alexander Yakushev, Boris Mikhailov and Valeri Kharlamov, speedy Maltsev was a most-often named player who impressed the Canadians.
Maltsev teamed with CCCP's most dangerous individual player, Valeri Kharlamov. He was a set up man for Kharlamov who was the trigger man. His five assists tied him for second on the Series' assist list. When Kharlamov scored his two goals in game one to shock the Canadians and take a demanding lead, Maltsev, was the guy who set him up.
Although Maltsev did not score a goal in the entire tournament, he managed to impress Canadians. However he might not have impressed Russian spectators, particularly the careful eye of a Soviet Sports editor named Yuri Vanjat.
Vanjat was quoted as saying "Alexander Maltsev's play was disappointing and the reason was clear. He seemed intimidated by the strong bodychecks delivered by the Canadians."
STATISTICS Pos. GP G A P PIM -------------------------------------------- Alexander Maltsev RW 8 0 5 5 0 --------------------------------------------
It is often said that if you were some how able to rank the top players in the history of hockey, a number of the members of the Soviet Red Army would be included near the top. Some would say Alexander Maltsev would top that list.
While it is virtually impossible to compare hockey players from different eras, it is also almost as hard to compare international legends to National Hockey Leaguers. However there is little doubt that Maltsev ranks among the most talented hockey players ever.
Maltsev was a bit of a rarity in Soviet hockey. While he was a leading player on the National Team, he played with Dynamo Moscow in the Soviet League as opposed to the Red Army team. The Red Army always served as the Russian's national team and most national team members also would skate with the Big Red Machine during the Soviet League schedule. Maltsev was one of the few players who was able to play elsewhere during the season.
In Soviet League play Alexander played in 530 games from 1967 to 1984. In that time he scored 329 goals while leading Dynamo Moscow to 6 silver medals and 7 bronze medals. The Red Army, stacked with all the best players, almost annually won the gold medal. Dynamo Moscow is generally considered to be Russia's second most successful team.
Alexander became a legend on the International side of the game. He participated in three Olympic games, helping the Soviet Union win gold in 1972 and 1976, as well as a silver medal in 1980. Maltsev also played in 12 World Championships, winning gold in 9 of those tournaments. Three times he was named the World Championship's best forward and was a tournament all star 5 times.
Maltsev is of course best known to North Americans for his starring role in the 1972 Summit Series where he teamed with CCCP's most dangerous individual player, Valeri Kharlamov. He was a set up man for Kharlamov who was the trigger man. His five assists tied him for second on the Series' assist list. When Kharlamov scored his two goals in game one to shock the Canadians and take a demanding lead, Maltsev, was the guy who set him up.
Alexander Maltsev also starred in the 1976 Canada Cup. He scored 3 goals and 7 assists in 5 games and was the only Russian named to the tournament All Star team.
Career Statistics for Alexander Maltsev
4/20/1949 in Kirovo-Chepetsk, USSR
Hockey Card Notes:
# - Alexander Maltsev - Hockey Card #161 Future Trends 1991 Canada Cup retrospective set.