January 28, 2011

Amazing Photos From Rare Vladislav Tretiak Book

Check out this amazing photo of Vladislav Tretiak and his, ummm..., friends:

Forgive the crease, as I scanned it out of a pretty rare book I recently found at Vancouver Public Library.

"Vladislav Tretiak" was originally published in Russia  in 1978 and revised in 1979. It was compiled by V. Snegirev, designed by A. Litvinenko and featured the photography of M. Botashev, A. Bochinin, D. Donskoy, S. Lidov and Yu. Sokolov.

In 1979 the book was translated into English (by a fellow named Christopher English, oddly enough) and released in North America by Progress Publishers.

The photo-intense book is thin at about 50 pages or so, and features Tretiak's life story including many press-scrum-style quotes from him.

Here's a few more photos from the book:

Tretiak and another of his animal friends - Shamu!

Rare photo evidence of a puck that got past the great netminder:

A great shot of Tretiak's face:

And here he is with his son Dmitry:

In the book Tretiak talks about how as a young boy he wanted to be a pilot. Well here's Vladislav with "The Golden Jet," Bobby Hull:

And lastly, we all know the Soviets were known for their innovative physical training techniques, many of which are now commonplace in the NHL nowadays. Here's one exercise drill that never really caught on over here:

Here are a few written highlights from the book:
  • Q - "What did you want to be when you were a child?" A - "A fighter pilot. Perhaps because my father was a pilot."
  • On deciding he was born to stop pucks - "Once, at the very dawn of his sporting career, Tretiak played forward in the TSKA youth team. Someone had fallen sick and he had to help the team out. He played forward in two matches in the Moscow championship and scored one goal in each. However, when his friend recovered and rejoined the team Vladislav took up his goalie's stick again. By then he had probably understood that this was his true sporting vocation. 
  • His mother introduced him to hockey - My mother is extremely sporting. By profession she's a school P.E. teacher. Before the war she  even played bandy in the Metallurg women's team. It was thanks to her that I developed an early love for the sport. 
  • On his idol - "The finest example of selfless, courageous service of ice hockey is represented for me by the career of Viktor Konovalenko, whose place I took in the USSR team."
  • "Tretiak never plays a stereotyped game. He is like a living computer - first he 'inputs' into his head all the information connected with the state of play, processes it and 'outputs' the right decision, taking account of a number of factors: from which point the goalshot is most likely to be made; which part of the goal the puck will be sent towards; which of this teammates are on the ice at the moment;which of his opponents are attacking. "Aha, Henderson, he'll never try for an intricate shot." "He y, is that Bobby Hull stealing up on me? That means the puck'll be passed to  him and - slam!" "That Martinec with the puck? He'll probably try and dribble it around me." All this information is processed instantly - there is no time to waste, with the puck flying at the speed of an airplane."
  • Q - "Can you tell in advance at which part of the goal a shot is going to be hit, and how hard? A - "I can, as soon as the players swings his stick. It's not often that I get it wrong. I only know two players who were able to flick the puck really hard without a swing, just with the strength of their wrists. These were Anatoli Firsov and  Bobby Hull. I know when Firsov made his famous flicks some goalkeepers simply used to close their eyes.
  • "It would be a mistake to regard all these as a result of Tretiak's sporting talent alone. His interests extend far beyond the ice rink. He graduated with distinction from a P.E. institute and is doing post-graduate work. He is concerned with the psychology of top-level sport, the secrets behind the attainment of supreme skill, and is anxious to determine the limts of human potential. His diaries are full of fascinating and unexpected observations."
  • "By nature sociable and lively, Tretiak avidly attends all new plays and is the possessor of an enviable library. But in general he is a domestic type at heart. He likes to spend his free time romping with his tiny daughter Irina, reading fairy stories to his six year old Dimka, helping his wife with the housework. In the summer, Vladislav and his family head south, to the warmth of the Black Sea."


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