Oleg Tverdovsky

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Oleg Tverdovsky
Born (1976-05-18) May 18, 1976 (age 37)
Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 211 lb (96 kg; 15 st 1 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
KHL team
Former teams
Salavat Yulaev Ufa
Los Angeles Kings
Carolina Hurricanes
New Jersey Devils
Phoenix Coyotes
Winnipeg Jets
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
National team  Russia
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 1994
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Playing career 1992–present

Oleh Fedorovych "Oleg" Tverdovsky (Ukrainian: Олег Федорович Твердовський; born May 18, 1976) is a retired Ukrainian-Russian[1] professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Playing career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Tverdovsky was born and raised in the mining city of Donetsk, Ukraine. In his earlier years, the city had no artificial ice surfaces so his introduction to the game was through street hockey. In 1983 Tverdovsky began his interest in hockey at the city's only fully functioning skating arena. Though this was originally intended for figure skating, low turnout compelled city officials to create a year-round hockey school. Open tryouts were held and 7-year old Tverdovsky finally had a chance to learn the sport, but his inexperience with skating initially held him back. He recalls "I tried everything, even holding my hands on the boards, but the progress was slow."[2] The team coach identified the problem being weakness in his ankles, and put him on a training regimen which included running on beach sand and stones barefoot.

In 1991 the system which froze the ice at his local arena became permanently broken and his amateur career in hockey was potentially over. By this time he was one of the best players, as well as the best skater on his team. "I was a defenseman all my career and I always loved rushes," he says. "It didn't take a lot of stickhandling for me to score lots of goals - I just skated around the opponents." This talent did not go unnoticed, as Yan Kaminsky, the coach of the Dynamo Moscow junior team at the time, noticed Tverdovsky and invited him to come to Moscow. Kamentsky soon left Dynamo and accepted a job with Krylya Sovetov, also in Moscow. His mother, Alexandra, did not want her 15-year-old son to leave home, but his father, Fedor, convinced her that it would be for the best.

"It wasn't an easy time for me. I lived in a dormitory, missing my family, especially my 7-year-old sister (Anna)," Oleg recalls.

Russia[edit]

Though missing his home in Ukraine, Oleg made a lot of progress to his game while in Russia. He and his teammate from Donetsk, Yuri Litvinov (later drafted by the New York Rangers), practiced eight hours a day, four times a week. Igor Dmitriyev, the coach of the senior Krylya Sovetov team signed the 16-year-old defenseman to a contract with the professional club, despite the fact that Oleg never played for the junior team.

"When I saw him for the first time I was amazed by his skating ability," says Dmitriyev, then the head coach of the Russian National Team. "He carried the puck so well, he had so much confidence that I decided to give him a chance."

For two years, he lived in the team's training camp facility, which was located on the outskirts of Moscow. Without a car, Oleg was forced to spend most of his time at the facility itself.

NHL[edit]

Tverdovsky was drafted second overall by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. When Oleg arrived in Anaheim, Mighty Ducks players already had a nickname for him - "Double O," as in Oleg Orr. In 1996, Tverdovsky was traded to the Winnipeg Jets as part of a trade that included Teemu Selänne. He would be traded back to Anaheim in 1999 for Travis Green and a first-round selection.

Tverdovsky has won two Stanley Cups in his career: one with the New Jersey Devils in 2003 and one with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. On September 29, 2006, Tverdovsky and Jack Johnson were traded to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Éric Bélanger and Tim Gleason. Tverdovsky played the 2007–08 season in Russia for Salavat Yulayev Ufa, where he still plays today. When he left the NHL, Tverdovsky was still under contract with the Los Angeles Kings. This was able to happen because there was no transfer agreement between the NHL and the Russian Hockey Federation.

He was also selected as a reserve by Team Russia for the 2010 Winter Olympics should an injury occur during the tournament.[3]

Tverdovsky now lives with his wife and children in the United States.[4]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1992–93 Krylya Sovetov Moscow IHL 21 0 1 1 6
1993–94 Krylya Sovetov Moscow IHL 46 4 10 14 22
1994–95 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 7 1 4 5 4
1994–95 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 36 3 9 12 14
1995–96 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 51 7 15 22 35
1995–96 Winnipeg Jets NHL 31 0 8 8 6 6 0 1 1 0
1996–97 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 82 10 45 55 30 7 0 1 1 0
1997–98 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 9 8 6 14 2
1997–98 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 46 7 12 19 12 6 0 7 7 0
1998–99 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 82 7 18 25 32 6 0 2 2 6
1999–00 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 15 36 51 30
2000–01 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 14 39 53 32
2001–02 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 73 6 26 32 31
2002–03 New Jersey Devils NHL 50 5 8 13 22 15 0 3 3 0
2003–04 Avangard Omsk RSL 57 16 17 33 58 11 0 2 2 2
2004–05 Avangard Omsk RSL 48 5 15 20 65 11 0 3 3 35
2005–06 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 72 3 20 23 37 5 0 0 0 0
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 26 0 4 4 10
2006–07 Manchester Monarchs AHL 14 5 8 13 2 14 2 9 11 14
2007–08 Salavat Yulaev Ufa RSL 43 6 11 17 58 16 2 6 8 10
2008–09 Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL 48 8 19 27 30 2 0 0 0 0
2009–10 Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL 42 8 13 21 38 16 1 4 5 4
2010–11 Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL 40 7 9 16 20 7 1 0 1 12
2011–12 Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL 12 0 0 0 8
2011–12 Metallurg Magnitogorsk KHL 24 6 5 11 18 4 0 1 1 2
2011–12 Toros Neftekamsk VHL 2 0 0 0 0
2012–13 Metallurg Magnitogorsk KHL 25 0 5 5 18 3 0 0 0 0
RSL totals 148 27 43 70 181 38 2 11 13 47
NHL totals 713 77 240 317 291 45 0 14 14 6
KHL totals 191 29 51 80 132 32 2 5 7 18

International play[edit]

Oleg Tverdovsky
Medal record
Competitor for Russia Russia
Winter Olympics
Bronze 2002 Salt Lake City Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 2009 Switzerland Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Bronze 1994 Ostrava Ice hockey

Played for Russia in:

  • 1994 -World Junior Championships (Bronze Medal)
  • 1996 -World Championships
  • 1996 -World Cup of Hockey
  • 2001 -World Championships
  • 2002 -Winter Olympics (bronze medal)
  • 2004 -World Championships
  • 2004 -World Cup of Hockey
  • 2009 -World Championships (Gold Medal)
  • 2010 -Winter Olympics (*reserve)

International statistics[edit]

Year Team Event Place   GP G A Pts PIM
1994 Russia WJC 3 7 1 5 6 6
1996 Russia WC 4th 3 0 1 1 0
1996 Russia WCH SF 4 1 0 1 0
2001 Russia WC 5th 7 2 2 4 2
2002 Russia Oly 3 6 1 1 2 0
2004 Russia WC 10th 6 0 1 1 6
2004 Russia WCH QF 3 0 0 0 0
2009 Russia WC 1 9 2 2 4 6
2010 Russia Oly QF 0 - - - -
Junior int'l totals 7 1 5 6 6
Senior int'l totals 38 6 7 13 14

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Paul Kariya
Anaheim Mighty Ducks first round draft pick
1994
Succeeded by
Chad Kilger