MOSCOW – The Russian Ice Hockey Federation has named Vladislav Tretiak General Manager of the Russian national team for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The most decorated hockey Olympian has the task of leading Russian to its first Olympic gold since 1992.
The legendary goalkeeper of the Soviet national team and CSKA Moscow is the most accomplished hockey Olympian, having won the Games three times (1972, 1976, 1984) and one silver medal in 1980. Tretiak played in 13 IIHF World Championships winning a medal in each tournament: ten gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
He is currently also the president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.
Tretiak won numerous of Soviet championships and European Cups. Only one dream couldn’t be realized as the Soviet authorities prohibited him from playing for the Montreal Canadiens, in effect forcing Tretiak to end his career at the age of 32, a couple of months after the Sarajevo Olympics in 1984.
Last time Tretiak was involved with the Russian Olympic team was in Salt Lake City in 2002 when he served as goaltending coach. Russia got the bronze medal.
Tretiak was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989 as the first Russian and despite never having played in the NHL. He was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997. He was also named as the Goalkeeper of the Century on the Centennial All-Star Team, which was presented during the IIHF’s 100-year anniversary in 2008. In 2000 he was selected as the Russian player of the 20th century.
Tretiak worked several times as a goalkeeper coach and assistant coach of the national team. He was also goalkeeper coach of the Chicago Blackhawks in the late 90s up until he joined the Russian political scene shortly after the Salt Lake City Olympics.
On 25th April 2006, on his 54th birthday, Tretiak was unanimously elected President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation as the successor of Alexander Steblin. He has also been a member of the Russian Parliament (Duma) following the 2003 and 2007 elections.
Tretiak’s appointment was finalized last week to end a period of speculation about who would become GM of Team Russia.
“Tretiak is a highly respected person in Canada where the Olympic Games will be held. And he is very popular in other countries too,” the federation’s director Valeri Fesyuk told Sport-Express. “His resume is beyond reproach.”
Tretiak was the first choice of the coaching staff and he accepted the proposal promptly. The Russian team will be led by head coach Vyacheslav Bykov and assistant coach Igor Zakharkin. The pair has won two consecutive IIHF World Championship gold medals (2008, 2009), while defeating Canada in the final on both occasions.