|Born: June 1, 1960 in Moscow, USSR
Vladimir Krutov is without any doubt one of the best forwards ever to play the game. Anatoli Tarasov, the dean of Russian hockey coaches, once concluded that a forward had to keep an eye on every move his partners made while not losing sight of the beautiful women sitting in the 10th row of the stands. According to Tarasov, there were only two players who could accomplish as much Valeri Kharlamov and Vladimir Krutov.
Together with centre Igor Larionov and winger Sergei Makarov, Krutov formed arguably the best and most elegant forward line ever to perform on the international scene. His resume says it all: Two-time Olympic champion (1984 and 1988), one Olympic silver medal (1980) and five IIHF World Championship gold medals where he was named Best Forward on two occasions. He was selected to the World Championship All-Star Team every year between 1983 and 1987.
Ironically, the one year when Krutov led the World Championship in scoring 1987 the team did not win gold. His biggest individual accomplishment was leading the 1988 Olympic tournament in scoring with 15 points in just 8 games.
Krutov was instrumental in the Soviet Unions sensational 1981 Canada Cup victory at the Forum in Montreal, and he totaled an amazing 139 points in 114 major international competition.
Krutov amassed a truly unbelievable 503 points in 438 games with his club team CSKA Moscow, the national champion eleven times during Krutovs career.
In 1981, Krutov was made an Honoured Master of Sports in the Soviet Union, the equivalent to being inducted into a national hall of fame.