Krutov Larionov Fetisov Kasatonov Tretiak

VLADISLAV TRETIAK

“He has caused borders to be forgotten, political beliefs to be withheld, and cultures to be exchanged - while always standing tall in his representation of his team and his country”  
                                                           - Wayne Gretzky -                                                                                       

Vladislav Alexandrovitch Tretiak was born on April, 25th 1952 in the small town of Dimitrov, near Moscow. At first he wanted to be an airline pilot like his father. Before his mother, a pretty good bandy player, gave him his first lessons in skating Vladislav used to do athletics, skiing and swimming, but he decided to play hockey and that was a very good decision. In his first years he played as a forward, but an injury forced the 11 year-old kid to become a goaltender - the beginning of a fantastic hockey career.

young and honoured

Discovered by former great national coach Anatoly Tarasov, Tretiak already practiced with the Central Red Army team as a 15 year-old. Right from the beginning, there was no doubt that he had the talent to be an outstanding goaltender.

He played his first three league games at the age of 17 durig the 1968-69 season. Then followed 15 more seasons with a total of 482 league games for CSKA Moscow. In all that time he only allowed 1158 goals against him. In 14 consecutive seasons he was named for the First All-Star team in the Soviet Elite League.

From the day of his first game with the Soviet national team he started to build his own monument. Tretiak played 287 games for the USSR. During this time he won 10 Gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals and was undefeated in 45 straight games at the IIHF World Championships playing 98 games with a stunning 1.78 goals-against average. Participating in 4 Olympic tournaments, Tretiak won 3 Gold and 1 Silver Medal. He was named MVP in the Canada Cup 1981, which was won by the USSR.
In the legendary 1972 Summit Series, the Canadian hockey fans had their first opportunity to see Tretiak playing in their country. He fascinated the experts with his marvellous play and earned the respect and even love of the Canadian audience. From his first minute playing in the Montreal Forum Vladislav had one big ambition - to play in front of this crowd for the Montreal Canadiens - but the iron curtain destroyed this dream!

The man behind the mask

Like many other great Russian players, he never had the chance to play in the best league in the world. So he ended his career where it had begun, in the Central Red Army team. He retired from the Soviet team after beating Czechoslovakia in the final game of the 1984 Olympic Tournament in Sarajevo.

After retirement, he finally found his way to the NHL. Actually, Tretiak spends some of his time coaching the goalies of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Maybe his highest personal honour was his election to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989 as the first Russian player.

As an ambassador for Russian hockey, he still lives in Moscow where he and the international sports academy founded the “Vladislav Tretiak Charity Fund”. Tretiak: “The goal is to get those kids that have nothing to do off the streets and interest them in sports.” A great project and a great sportsman!!