Monday, February 11, 2008

Another Mogilny Rant

People who say Alexander Mogilny shouldn't be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame make my blood boil.

Legends including Tikhonov and Tretiak consider the issue a no brainer, so why do some self proclaimed hockey experts fail to see the light?

We all know I'm biased when it comes to hockey's original Alexander the Great, so I'll hit you with the info AGAIN.

Mogilny's talent shone all the from dingy industrial Khabarovsk to General Tikhonov at CSKA Hockey Headquarters in Moscow. The same independent streak that often landed AlMo is military hot water got him to freedom in the West. People tend to forget that he wasn't just another disgruntled Soviet citizen who found a way out; he was an officer in the Soviet Army. They tend to shoot deserters.

The fact that this upstart Junior Lieutenant(even if it was in name only)managed to sneak away from tyrannical Tikhonov and the watchful eyes of the KGB is incredible. I'll be putting in anadvance order on that book!

While hockey fans recognise Mogilny as the first Soviet hockey player to defect from communism's clutches, how many can name the last? Hint: his initials are A.G.M. Yep, Alexander Gennadevitch Mogilny. You see, after he flew the Russian roost, Soviet authorities finally allowed players to leave for the West. After Mogilny, they didn't have to defect.

Whilst waxing poetic about Mogilny's determination is great, that doesn't get a guy into the HHOF. His accomplishments speak for themselves:

a) first Soviet hockey player to defect
b)top player at World Juniors
c)gold medal in World Jrs.
d) gold medal in Worlds
e) gold medal in Olympics
f) Stanley Cup winner with New Jersey

He would have been the first Russian to reach 100 NHL points if not for injury. When Srgei Fedorov achieved that milestone, the first words out of his mouth were that he shared the honour with Alex, because he should have had it.

While Mogilny may not have record setting stats, he is a prime example of the sum being equal to more than the parts.

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