Krutov Larionov Fetisov Kasatonov Tretiak

TEAMMATES

“They might have been the best five in the world at that time. I was privileged enough to practice at the same rink and after my practice, I would go there just to watch those guys practice.”
                         - Pavel Bure about the Green Unit -

Sergei Makarov was lucky enough to play with stars like Kharlamov, Petrov, Mikhailov and during his NHL career with guys like Fleury, Nieuwendyk and Garpenlov. But for about one decade he played in a line that became very famous as the “Green Unit”.

from left: Makarov, Larionov, Fetisov, Tretiak, Krutov, Kasatonov

To relieve his older stars led by Kharlamov, Viktor Tikhonov had to create a new line with young and hungry players. And he did it very well. In the beginning of the 80’s he put the right wing Makarov together with center Igor Larionov and the left winger Vladimir Krutov. The outstanding KLM-Line was born. They were supported by the defenders Alexei Kasatonov and Viacheslav Fetisov. The keeper was the legendary Vladislav Tretiak.
Right from the very first game, this line dominated European hockey for a whole decade. It was an unbelievable joy to watch these guys celebrating hockey.

Not only the European hockey fans, but also the people from North America had the opportunity to see them during several series and the Canada Cups 1981, 1984 and 1987. They called them the “Green Unit”, because they wore green jerseys for practice. This Green Unit once kept the puck from the talented 1988 U.S. Olympic team for an entire minute shift.

In 1983 and 1986 they were all referred to the World Championship All-Star team. No line has ever received this honour, before or since. They won two Olympic Gold Medals and four World Championships together.

In 1989 they were allowed to change to the National Hockey League. Igor Larionov and Vladimir Krutov joined the Vancouver Canucks, Sergei Makarov went to the Calgary Flames while Viacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov began their NHL careers in the colours of the New Jersey Devils. It was very sad that they never played together as a line again in the NHL. That was definitely one of the best lines that ever played the fastest game on earth.