Russian National teams have historically been made up from the majority of Moscow Central Red Army players. Talented players from around the country were recruited to play for Red Army whether they wanted to or not, and because this powerhouse league team won handily every year against other Russian squads, the sport’s popularity sagged drastically throughout the homeland.
Everyone knew Red Army would win on most nights against their fellow countrymen, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. It just became too predictable and too boring for Russian hockey fans. But Red Army was the team that played the Montreal Canadiens on New Year’s Eve 1975, which made for such a classic battle royale, and so many of us are grateful the Russians had this stacked bunch. (Although the Canadiens outshot them 38-13 in a 3-3 tie).
Below, seven players – Bloheen, Zhlutkov, Adonin, Kovalev, Adunen, Popov, and Savtsillo – didn’t take part in the Summit Series, while stars such as Tretiak, Mikhailov, Petrov, Vikulov, Kuzkin, Lutchenko, Gusev, Kharlamov and others saw their names in lights on the world stage.
(Thanks to Luci for the name translations).
Click to make it bigger if you want. You can see Kharlamov at the bottom middle, with Tretiak two above him and Mikhailov two over from Tretiak to the right. The heading reads “Nineteen times USSR champions. Hockey CSKA (Red Army)