Biography [Source: 1972summitseries.com]
Considered by many to be the toughest and most physical defenseman in Russian hockey history, Valeri Vasiliev was a punishing hitter who loved the physical
play. Valeri reminded people of Hall of Famer Tim Horton.
He didn't have the offensive flair like Alexei Kasatonov or Vyacheslav Fetisov but was better defensively. Opponents hated to play against him because it could
be painful. As a surprise to many opponents Valeri was only 6'0" and 190 Ibs but played like a much bigger player. He put several opponents on the injury list
during his career.
Valeri was born on August 3,1949 in Bora, just outside of Moscow. He began playing organized hockey as a 12 year old for Torpedo Gorky. He then went on to play
league hockey his entire career for Dynamo Moscow between 1967-84. In one year he was actually demoted to the third division for disciplinary reasons following
an incident on the national team.
He was one of very few players on the Soviet national team who never played for the Red Army team CSKA. Valeri played a total of 617 games and scored 71 goals.
His 617 games is still a league record.
Valeri was a born leader and was a long-time captain of the national team. He was a eight time World Champion (1970, 73,74,75,78,79,81 and 82) and a two time
Olympic Gold medallist (1972 and 76). In 1973, 77 and 79 he was voted as the best defenseman of the World Championships. He also made the All-Star team in 1974,75,
77,79 and 81. Valeri represented his country 285 times and scored 43 goals. He was a member of the "super five" together with his partner on the blueline Vladimir
Lutchenko and behind the troika of Kharlamov-Petrov-Mikhailov, the predecessors of the Kasatonov-Fetisov -Makarov-Larionov-Krutov unit.
Because of his physical style he loved to play against NHL opposition. He thrived in that environment. He played in the 1972 Summit Series as well as the 1979
Challenge Cup. Valeri had a big part in neutralizing Wayne Gretzky, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne and the other Canadian superstars in the 1981 Canada Cup final.
After his playing career was over Valeri coached the juniors of Dynamo Moscow (1984-89). He then went over to Germany where he coached EC Ratingen (1990) and Bad
Reichenhall (1991). In 1996-97 he was the assistant coach for Spartak Moscow. In 1998 he was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame.
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