Petrov dead at 69

IIHF Hall of Famer was one of the greats

28.02.2017
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Vladimir Petrov was centring the legendary line with Boris Mikhailov (left) and Valeri Kharlamov (right) that dominated international hockey between 1969 and 1981. Photo: Dmitri Donskoi / RIA Novosti

MOSCOW – Hockey legend Vladimir Petrov passed away today in a Moscow hospital. Cause of death was cancer.

“He was an extraordinary player and an extraordinary person,” said goaltending great Vladislav Tretiak, who is the President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia.

Russian president Vladimir Putin called Petrov the “pride and fame of Russian sports. He was wholeheartedly committed to his work, his team and his homeland.”

The KHL will observe a moment of silence prior to games on Tuesday and Wednesday in Petrov’s memory.

“The Russian Federation would like to extend its condolences to the family and friends of Vladmir Petrov, and to his colleagues and all who knew him,” the Federation said in a published statement.

Petrov was one of the most decorated players in IIHF hockey history. He played in eleven World Championships between 1969 and 1981, winning gold nine times, as well as a silver and bronze medal. He was named to the tournament all-star team four times during the 1970s (1973, ’75, ’77, and ’79). In each instance, he was the leading scorer in the tournament.

Petrov ranks fourth all time in point scored at the World Championships. His 152 points is behind only Alexander Maltsev (153) and longtime linemates Valeri Kharlamov (156) and Boris Mikhailov (164).

Petrov’s 74 goals is tied for third all time with Kharlamov, trailing Maltsev (77) and Mikhailov (98).

Additionally, Petrov’s 78 assists is second all-time behind only Kharlamov’s 82. He also set the World Championship record by accruing 34 points at the 1973 tournament, the most ever.

Petrov also won three medals at the Olympics—gold in 1972 and ’76 and silver in 1980. He was also one of the top players for the Soviets at the historic 1972 Summit Series against Canada.

In 1972, Petrov scored a critical short-handed goal in the opening game against Canada in Montreal to tie the score, 2-2, and in game three in Winnipeg he scored another short-hander to tie the game, 1-1. He also scored the go-ahead goal on the power play early in game seven.

In league play, the Mikhailov-Petrov-Kharlamov trio was just as lethal as in IIHF events, leading CSKA Moscow to eleven Soviet championships. Petrov led the league in scoring four times, and in 1969-70 he had an historic season in which he scored 51 goals in just 43 games.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Petrov was born in Krasnogorsk, not far from Moscow, on June 30, 1947. He was only 18 when he joined Krylya Sovetov in the Soviet league, but after two seasons he transferred to the superior CSKA Moscow, where he played for the next 14 years. After finishing his international career at the 1981 Worlds, Petrov still played two more years in the Soviet league with SKA Leningrad before retiring in 1983.

Petrov remained very active in the game at home after hanging up his skates. He coached briefly and in 1992 was named president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, a position he held for two years. He later worked for Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow, and SKA St. Petersburg as club manager.

Petrov was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2006, joining Kharlamov (1998) and Mikhailov (2000) among the legends of international hockey.

The funeral will take place on 2 March at the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery in Mytishi in the Moscow region.

ANDREW PODNIEKS

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