Since making his NHL debut in 1990-91, defenceman Alexei Gusarov has been a fine positional player with an ability to make useful passes on offense. A veteran of several years in the Soviet League, he adapted quickly to the rigours of the NHL season and accepted a variety of roles to keep himself in the line up.
Born in Leningrad, Gusarov played with the local SKA club before joining the powerful Central Red Army of Moscow. He was a top player on the club for seven years and helped the USSR win the gold medal at the Calgary Olympics in 1988. The talented blueliner was selected 213th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1988 and looked solid in 36 games as a rookie in 1990-91.
The steady rearguard provided stability on the Nords' blueline and was part of the club's resurgence from the league's doormat to a first place finish in the Lockout-shortened regular season in 1995. The next year Gusarov remained with the franchise when it relocated to Colorado. During the 1996 post-season he provided savvy and nine assists while helping the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup. He took a regular shift on the powerful club until the early stages of the 2000-01 season.
The veteran blueliner was traded to the New York Rangers in December 2000 but the team disappointed and was out of the playoff race by the March deadline. Gusarov was picked up by the St. Louis Blues as they prepared to make a statement in the Western Conference playoffs. He was a useful player in 16 games as a the Blues reached the semifinals before bowing out to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Avalanche.
After competing in 607 games, Gusarov retired from the league following the 2000-01 season. He retired as one of the few members of the Triple Gold Club, having won the 1989 IIHF World Championship, the 1996 Stanley Cup, and the Olympic gold medal in 1988.