Vladislav Tretiak

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Vladislav Tretiak
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1989
Vladislav Tretiak.JPG
Tretiak in May 2008
Born (1952-04-25) 25 April 1952 (age 70)
Orudyevo, Russian SFSR,
Soviet Union
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for HC CSKA Moscow
National team  Soviet Union
NHL Draft 138th overall, 1983
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1968–1984

Vladislav Aleksandrovich Tretiak, MSM (Russian: Владисла́в Алекса́ндрович Третья́к; Ukrainian: Владислав Олександрович Третьяк, Vladyslav Oleksandrovych Tretʹyak, IPA: [trʲɪˈtʲjak]; born April 25, 1952) is a former goaltender for the Soviet Union's national ice hockey team. Considered to be one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the sport, 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.[1] He is the current president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and was the general manager of the Russian 2010 Winter Olympic team.

Early years

Tretiak grew up in a Ukrainian family, with his parents being from Sumy, Ukraine.[2] His father served 37 years as a military pilot, and his mother was a physical education teacher.[3] Although he initially followed his brother as a swimmer, as a child Tretiak was known to excel at many sports, and is remembered for his ambition to master all of them. However, like many children of his generation, he loved hockey, and at age 11 entered the Children and Youth Sports School of the Central Sports Club of the Army (known by its abbreviation CSKA).[4] His first trainer was Vitaly Erfilov. He began playing goaltender when he saw that no one else had the desire or courage to play the position.[3]

International playing career

Despite Tretiak not playing his first hockey game until the age of eleven, he was well known in the USSR by 1971, when he was named to the Soviet Ice Hockey League's First All-Star Team, while playing for the powerhouse Red Army team, CSKA Moscow. He also played well in the 1972 Winter Olympics, in which the Soviets took the gold medal.

Tretiak became internationally famous after his outstanding performance in the Summit Series in 1972, when he helped surprise the world, and more importantly, the Canadian team, en route to a narrow loss to the Canadians. A famous story told of how Canadian scouts seriously underestimated his ability prior to the Series; they witnessed him let in eight goals on a particular night, not knowing that he had been married the previous evening (and most of the team had been in attendance).[5] Out of the entire Soviet roster, Canadian players and fans held Tretiak in the highest regard and respect and Tretiak was one of the most famous players of the Series along with Phil Esposito, Paul Henderson, and Valeri Kharlamov. As a result of Tretiak's stellar performance, many NHL teams wanted to draft him – Montreal ultimately did, in 1983 – and Tretiak was willing, but the move was blocked by the Soviet government.

During the 1976 Super Series, Tretiak put on a dominant performance against the Montreal Canadiens, holding them to a 3–3 tie despite his team being outshot 38–13.[6]

File:Vladislav Tretyak.png
Tretiak as the main goaltender of the national team

Tretiak went on to star for the Soviet Union, helping them win gold medals in the 1976 Winter Olympics, and again winning gold in the 1984 Winter Olympics and the 1981 Canada Cup. Tretiak also back-stopped the Soviets to ten IIHF World Championships victories and nine in the IIHF European Championships.

In the 1980 Winter Olympics, the Miracle on Ice denied Tretiak a chance at yet another gold. Tretiak was pulled by Viktor Tikhonov at the end of the first period in favor of Vladimir Myshkin, after giving up a late goal with only one second left in the period, by Team USA's Mark Johnson. The Soviet team had left the ice for the dressing room, thinking the period was over, so Tikhonov sent out Myshkin, along with 3 Soviet players, to officially end the period. Myshkin remained in goal for the rest of the game because of the uncharacteristic weak performance of Tretiak in the first period. Tretiak, along with many other Soviet players, hated the move by Tikhonov. Tretiak himself stated that the move cost him a gold medal, insinuating that he would not have let in the goals that Myshkin allowed; had he won that game, he would only have needed to secure a draw against Sweden two nights later for the Soviets to win gold. As it was, the team settled for silver, as they had the 2nd-highest number of points in the tournament.

Though he was only 32 in 1984 and still capable of playing top-level hockey for many more years, Tretiak retired. It is said that he wanted to spend more time with his family and asked Tikhonov for a training regime, in which he could live at home and come to the training camp before games. Given that the rest of the team spent most of their time away from home in the training camp, Tikhonov refused.[7] This move by Tikhonov contributed to Tretiak's decision to retire.[8]

Post retirement

Tretiak was one of the guests who spoke at the ceremony during which the Montreal Canadiens retired the jersey number of Ken Dryden on 29 January 2007. Dryden had been one of Team Canada's goaltenders during the 1972 Summit Series, opposite Tretiak.

Tretiak retired in 1984, fittingly following a 2–0 victory over Czechoslovakia. In 1990, Mike Keenan hired Tretiak as a goaltender coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, which has allowed him to coach some of the top goalies of the past 20 years, such as Ed Belfour, Dominik Hašek, and Jocelyn Thibault. Keenan was so impressed with Tretiak's abilities in practice that he suggested the 38-year-old might still be able to play in the NHL. Tretiak personally said that coaching was the next best thing to playing in the NHL. Since leaving the Blackhawks, Belfour has worn uniform number 20 as a tribute to Tretiak. Numerous other goalies, including Evgeni Nabokov, wear number 20 as a tribute to Tretiak.[9]

He was awarded Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1984).[10] In 1987 Vladislav wrote an autobiography titled "Tretiak, The Legend".[11] He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989, the first Soviet player to be so honored and to be inducted as a player without having played a game in the NHL. In 2000, he was voted Best Russian Hockey Player of the 20th century.[12] He was a vital cog for some of the most dominant hockey teams in history and is now considered one of hockey's greatest ambassadors.

Tretiak was elected to the State Duma as a member of the United Russia party in December 2003, representing the region of Saratov. He is chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, and Youth. He continues to teach hockey skills in North America and Russia.

On 25 April 2006 (his 54th birthday), Tretiak was elected head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, capping his rise to the pinnacle of the Russian hockey elite. He obtained 93 out of the possible 96 votes, with the remaining three voters abstaining. A few days later, on 28 April, the Governor General of Canada awarded Tretiak the Meritorious Service Medal in a ceremony at Rideau Hall. Tretiak earned the award for, among other things, his founding of the Friends of Canada organization to foster good relations between Canada and Russia.[13] He was the first Russian to be conferred this honor.

He also runs a Goalie School at the Canlan Ice Sports in Toronto, Ontario. Called the Vladislav Tretiak Elite School of Goaltending, it is considered one of the most physically punishing[citation needed] goaltending schools in the world, and a student can be refused admittance if he or she is not in top physical condition. He also ran a Goalie School in Montreal during the 90's where he trained many famous NHL goaltenders such as Jose Theodore and Martin Brodeur. Tretiak also ran a goalie hockey camp in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota in the early 2000s.

On 28 March 2007, Tretiak went to Ottawa to discuss with Canadian officials about the possibilities of holding another Summit Series during the summer of 2007, which would be 35 years after the initial event. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov had also discussed with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the possibilities of holding another event.[14] In the end, a series was held in September 2007 between the national junior teams of Canada and Russia.

On 21 December 2012, he voted in favor of “Dima Yakovlev Law” in Russian State Duma. This legislation bars the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. The legislation was the response on the Magnitsky bill.[15][16]

Tretiak was the final torchbearer in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and lit the Olympic Flame during the opening ceremony along with Irina Rodnina.


Tretiak married his wife Tatiana (born 1950) on August 23, 1972, six weeks after they met. Their first son, Dmitri, was born the following year and their daughter, Irina, was born 3 years later. Tatiana is qualified as a Russian literature teacher, although she no longer works. Tretiak is a devout Russian Orthodox Christian.[17]

Career statistics

Soviet League

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1968–69 CSKA Moscow Soviet 3 2 0.67
1969–70 CSKA Moscow Soviet 34 76 2.24
1970–71 CSKA Moscow Soviet 40 82 2.03
1971–72 CSKA Moscow Soviet 30 78 2.60
1972–73 CSKA Moscow Soviet 30 80 2.67
1973–74 CSKA Moscow Soviet 27 94 3.48
1974–75 CSKA Moscow Soviet 35 104 2.97
1975–76 CSKA Moscow Soviet 33 100 3.03
1976–77 CSKA Moscow Soviet 35 98 2.80
1977–78 CSKA Moscow Soviet 29 72 2.48
1978–79 CSKA Moscow Soviet 40 111 2.78
1979–80 CSKA Moscow Soviet 36 85 2.36
1980–81 CSKA Moscow Soviet 18 32 1.78
1981–82 CSKA Moscow Soviet 41 34 4 3 2295 65 6 1.70
1982–83 CSKA Moscow Soviet 29 25 3 1 1641 40 6 1.46
1983–84 CSKA Moscow Soviet 22 22 0 0 1267 40 4 1.89
Soviet totals 482 1158

International statistics

Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1968 Soviet Union EJC 1 20 1 0 3.00
1969 Soviet Union EJC 2
1970 Soviet Union EJC 2
1970 Soviet Union WC 6 215 4 1.12
1971 Soviet Union EJC 3 180 5 1.67
1971 Soviet Union WC 5 241 6 1.49
1972 Soviet Union Oly 4 240 10 2.50
1972 Soviet Union WC 8 430 15 2.09
1972 Soviet Union SS 8 480 31 3.87
1973 Soviet Union WC 7 420 14 2.00
1974 Soviet Union WC 8 440 12 1.64
1974 Soviet Union SS 7 420 25 3.57
1975 Soviet Union WC 8 449 18 2.41
1976 Soviet Union Oly 4 240 10 2.50
1976 Soviet Union WC 10 577 19 1.98
1976 Soviet Union CC 5 300 14 2.80
1977 Soviet Union WC 9 482 17 2.12
1978 Soviet Union WC 8 480 21 2.63
1979 Soviet Union WC 7 407 12 1.77
1980 Soviet Union Oly 5 220 9 2.45
1981 Soviet Union WC 7 420 13 1.86
1981 Soviet Union CC 6 360 8 1.33
1982 Soviet Union WC 8 464 19 2.46
1983 Soviet Union WC 7 420 4 0.57
1984 Soviet Union Oly 6 360 4 0.67
Oly totals 19 1060 33 1.87
WC totals 98 5445 174 1.92

Super Series statistics

The Super Series were exhibition games between an NHL team and Soviet teams (usually a club from the Soviet Championship League). Tretiak competed in three such series.

Year Team Event GP W L T MIN GA GAA SO
1975–76 CSKA Moscow Super-S 4 2 1 1 240 12 3.00 0
1980 CSKA Moscow Super-S 5 3 2 0 300 18 3.60 0
1983 Soviet Union Super-S 4 0 240 4 1.00

Records and honours

Support for other sports

He is supporting bandy's bid to get into the Winter Olympics.[19]


  1. IIHF Centennial All-Star Team. Iihf.com. Retrieved on 2013-04-05.
  2. Kolesnikov, Boris. "ХК "Донбасс" на открытии новой ледовой арены в Луганске". 7 September 2013. HC Donbass. Retrieved 7 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Третьяк обмолвился, что он корнями-то украинец, родители его с Сумщины" - "Tretiak has mentioned that he is of Ukrainian-roots, his parents are from Sumy"
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.tretyak.ru/biography/childhood/
  4. The voice of Russia (vis-à-vis with the world) at the Wayback Machine (archived January 15, 2004). vor.ru (interview in Russian, 1999)
  5. Vladislav Tretiak. 1972 Summit Series. Retrieved on 2013-04-05.
  6. Legends of Hockey Spotlight The Pinnacle
  7. Вратарь без маски on YouTube. Goaltender without a mask. Documentary to the 60th anniversary of Vladislav Tretiak.
  8. [1] Tretiak Interview to Vladimir Pozner
  9. Ward, Doug (2 February 2006). "Numbers game for Nabokov". NHL.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2008. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Panorama of the 1984 Sports Year (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. 1985. p. 37.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Vladislav Tretiak. Hockeygoalies.org. Retrieved on 2013-04-05.
  12. Despite three golds – Tretiak will never forget Lake Placid 1980 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 24, 2001). IIHF News
  13. Governor General announces 14 Meritorious Service Decorations at the Wayback Machine (archived June 10, 2007). gg.ca, March 27, 2006.
  14. CTV News (28 March 2007). "Russian PM asks Harper to consider Summit Series". CTV. Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Справка о голосовании по вопросу:(третье чтение) О проекте федерального закона № 186614-6 "О мерах воздействия на лиц, причастных к нарушениям основополагающих прав и свобод человека, прав и свобод граждан Российской Федерации" publisher=State Duma". Retrieved 2013-01-12. Missing pipe in: |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Д1 (2 чтение) ФЗ №186614-6 "О мерах воздействия на лиц, причастных к нарушению основополагающих прав и свобод человека, прав и свобод граждан РФ" – Система анализа результатов голосований на заседаниях Государственной Думы. Vote.duma.gov.ru (2012-12-19). Retrieved on 2013-04-05.
  17. http://www.tretyak.ru/biography/family/
  18. Legends of Hockey. net. "Vladislav Tretiak Biography". Retrieved 30 March 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Vladislav Tretyak considers that bandy must be promoted to the Olympic Games

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Valeri Kharlamov
Soviet MVP
1974, 1975, 1976
Succeeded by
Helmut Balderis
Preceded by
Sergei Makarov
Soviet MVP
Succeeded by
Viacheslav Fetisov
Preceded by
Viacheslav Fetisov
Soviet MVP
Succeeded by
Nikolai Drozdetsky
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Catriona Le May Doan, Steve Nash, Nancy Greene and Wayne Gretzky
Final Winter Olympic Torchbearer
with Irina Rodnina

Sochi 2014
Succeeded by
TBA 2018