|Hockey Hall of Fame, 2005|
14 January 1948|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Died||27 August 1981
Solnechnogorsky District, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)|
|Played for||CSKA Moscow|
|National team||Soviet Union|
Valeri Borisovich Kharlamov (Russian: Валерий Борисович Харламов, IPA: [xɐrˈlaməf]; 14 January 1948 – 27 August, 1981) was a star ice hockey player from the Soviet Union and was considered one of the greatest players in the world. He was voted one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team in a poll conducted by a group of 56 experts from 16 countries. His only son Alexander is also a former hockey player. Valeri died in a car accident at the age of 33 along with his wife, Irina.
Kharlamov's mother, Carmen Orive Abad, was a Basque who came over as a refugee from the Spanish Civil War. His father, Boris Kharlamov, was Russian. Kharlamov began systematic training to play hockey at age 14, when he was admitted to the Children and Youth Sports School of CSKA on Leningradsky Prospekt, where his first trainers were Anatoli Tarasov, Vitaly Erfilov and Andrei Starovoitov. Now it's Valery Kharlamov Specialized Children and Youth Sports School of the Olympic Reserve. At the age of twenty he was invited to the Soviet Union's national team to compete on the world stage. In 1971, playing in the Soviet Union Elite League for CSKA Moscow, his goal scoring earned him his first "Best Sniper Award" and he was voted to the national All Star team. The following year, Kharlamov gained international recognition when he led his national team to the Gold Medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics. He capped off the remarkable season by winning the scoring competition and being given the first of his two consecutive Soviet Union MVP Awards.
During the 1972 Summit Series Valery and teammate Vladislav Tretiak became stars of North American, as well as international hockey world. At Montreal, Quebec, in game one of the eight game international series against the best professionals from Canada, a virtually unknown Kharlamov astonished Canadian fans and their NHL star players with his explosive speed, agility, and goal scoring. Kharlamov was voted the game's MVP, scoring two highlight reel goals, while leading his team to victory.
In game six of the fiercely fought series, Clarke slashed Kharlamov on his left ankle, causing a fracture. Although Kharlamov continued in game six, he was unable to play in game seven and was ineffective in the final game. Some observers[who?] say that this injury was a crucial incident which turned the tide of the series in Canada's favour as they entered it losing 3 games to 1 in the series. Commentators believed that constant slashing of Kharlamov was in order to neutralize his scoring. Years later, John Ferguson, Sr., an assistant coach with Team Canada, was quoted as saying "I called Clarke over to the bench, looked over at Kharlamov and said, 'I think he needs a tap on the ankle.' I didn't think twice about it. It was Us versus Them. And Kharlamov was killing us. I mean, somebody had to do it."
By the end of the series, National Hockey League scouts were drooling at the thought of recruiting Kharlamov, but during the Cold War era, no Soviet player was allowed to leave the country. The respect for Kharlamov's skills was so high that at the time many Canadian children named him as one of their favorite players, and in the Soviet Union he was a national hero and an inspiration for youngsters playing the game.
Later career and death
In 1973, playing with the CSKA team of the Soviet Union's premier league, Kharlamov remained a star and was a key part of the Soviet national team that won the World Championship for the next three years. At the 1976 Winter Olympics, he scored the game-winning goal in the final game to earn his second Olympic gold medal. During the North American tour, while playing against the Philadelphia Flyers in a memorable exhibition game, Kharlamov was knocked out by a hard hit from the Flyers' Ed Van Impe, causing his teammates to leave the ice in protest.
Later that spring, he was seriously injured in a car accident and for a time, his hockey career seemed in doubt. He was unable to play in the 1976 Canada Cup and, though he recovered sufficiently to return to the Soviet national team in the coming years, he was never again the player he once had been. He was a part of the Soviet Union team that lost to the "Miracle on Ice" U.S. team in the medal round at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, but won the silver medal. In August 1981, another automobile accident took his life at the age of thirty-three and his wife, Irina. Valeri Kharlamov is interred in the Novokuntsevskoe Cemetery in Moscow.
In 1998, Valeri Kharlamov was posthumously inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Hall of Fame.
In November 2005, Kharlamov was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame along with Cam Neely and former Hockey Canada president Murray Costello; Kharlamov became only the second Soviet league player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame without having played in the NHL (the other is former teammate Vladislav Tretiak).
Each year, the Kharlamov Trophy is awarded to the best Russian NHL player as voted by all Russian NHL players.
Russian hockey players Ilya Kovalchuk and Evgeni Malkin wear the #17 and #71 (reversed 17) respectively, in honour of Kharlamov. The number is retired by both HC CSKA Moscow and the Russian national men's ice hockey team.
American journeyman hockey player Todd Harkins portrayed Kharlamov in the 2004 movie Miracle about the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team's medal round win over the Soviet Union. In the movie, Kharlamov was mistakenly portrayed as a right-handed shooting player, playing right wing. Kharlamov did play the right wing position, but he was a left-handed shooting player.
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for Soviet Union|
|Silver||1980 Lake Placid||Team|
|NHL Challenge Cup|
|Gold||1979 New York City||Team|
|Gold||1973 Soviet Union||Team|
|Gold||1975 West Germany||Team|
|Gold||1979 Soviet Union||Team|
Career highlights — team:
- 11-time winner of the USSR championship
- 8-time winner of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship
- 2-time winner of the Olympics Games Gold Medal
Career highlights — personal:
- National awards:
- MVP USSR League 1972, 1973
- USSR All Stars 1971-1976, 1978
- Scoring champion (goals) 1971
- Scoring champion (points) 1972
- International awards:
- Valeri Kharlamov's biography at Legends of Hockey
- Valeri Kharlamov's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Valery Kharlamov
|Soviet Scoring Champion