Russian Hockey Federation (RHF) President Vladislav Tretiak coached goaltenders in the National Hockey League (NHL) .
Vladislav Tretyak did not win the Stanley Cup and even one match in the NHL championship, but in America he was respected like no other goalkeeper. Not even Ken Dryden or Billy Smith, whose teams dominated overseas in the 70s and early 80s. They adored him, they admired him, they took an example from him, and the sensational defeat of the USSR national team at the 1980 Olympics, perhaps, even increased his popularity. Yes, he was mistaken, so he is not a machine, but a living person. In addition, there were much more supermatches, after which Tretyak was applauded even by rival fans. 1972 Super Series, 1981 Canada Cup Final, two wonderful games against Montreal in 1975 and 1982.
It was “Montreal” who really wanted to get himself Tretiak, and Vladislav himself did not hide the fact that these sympathies are mutual. In 1983, sitting in a Canadian television studio, he dreamily told reporters: “Our countries will only get closer if Soviet players play in Canada. In the NHL, I would choose Montreal. It is somehow closer to me. I have played all my life the number one team is CSKA, I don't like to lose and Montreal is exactly the same team as CSKA in the Soviet Union.”
Moreover, in the summer of 1983, Tretyak was drafted by the Canadiens, and a few months later, the New York Times reported that the club had offered the goaltender a three-year, $1.5 million contract. Such money in the league was paid to units. General manager of “Montreal” Serge Savard handed over the contract to the chairman of the Sports Committee Marat Gramov, and, as Tretyak himself said, he had the hope that after the 1984 Olympics the federation would let him go to Canada. In that season, he was incomparable – 22 wins in 22 matches of the national championship, Olympic gold. But Tretiak did not receive permission to leave for the NHL club, and soon ended his career, citing fatigue. He was only 32 years old. Ridiculous age for goalkeepers in the NHL of those years. won almost everything that is possible in Europe and amateur world hockey. The Politburo decided that I would stay in the country and not move to Canada. Unfortunately,” Tretyak recalled.
After completing his playing career, he helped the goalkeepers of the USSR national team and worked in a children's school, and in 1989 he was again remembered in the NHL. Tretiak was the first of the hockey players who did not play overseas, was included in the Hockey Hall of Fame. After the ceremony, he was approached by representatives of the “Chicago” and asked to help with the goalkeepers. There were about a dozen of them in the club system, but only two were needed. Tretiak was offered to become a goaltending consultant, but when he began to show the exercises to his students on the ice, Blackhawks head coach Mike Keenan wanted more from Vladislav than just useful advice.
“It was difficult, I didn't know the language, I had to stand at the gate myself,” Tretyak said. “When Keenan saw me on the ice, he said: “Here's a contract for you, how many millions do you want? In three months you will play against Montreal. I go to my wife, and she says: “This is deadly. You can lose your name.” Answer “Chicago”: “Wife against.” Keenan nodded his head in understanding. This argument was decisive.”
Due to a default in the early 90s, Tretyak lost almost all of his savings. “Everything that I earned at the World Championships and the Olympics is gone. So, go to a restaurant a couple of times,” he said. financially, the Tretiak family would have been very difficult. In the Blackhawks, you could earn money and do your life's work – hockey.In Chicago, Tretyak worked with several well-known goaltenders, including Dominik Hasek, who had just moved to America, but Eddie Belfort was his favorite student. Firstly, Vladislav was an idol for Eddie, it was because of him that the Canadian took the 20th number. Secondly, the young player absorbed all the coach's advice like a sponge, and the same Hasek was true to his style and was not going to change. In the very first season since the start of work with Tretyak, Belfort collected a whole collection of individual awards – the best and most reliable goalkeeper, as well as the best newcomer of the year. Two years later, he won another “Vezina Trophy”, gaining a foothold among the elite players in the NHL.
“Eddie reminds me of myself. He trains hard, he wants to win and play in every game,” – Tretyak praised his student.
In the summer he held camps for young goalkeepers in Canada. Among those who regularly studied with him was Martin Brodeur. In his book, the Canadian wrote the following: “I adored Tretiak's school, because he himself was a professional goalkeeper, played at international competitions, and this was important for my family. He taught me many important things – technique, positioning, attitude to the game” .
Brodeur ended his career with three Stanley Cups and the leader in NHL history in goalie wins.
> Belfort was not left without the Stanley Cup, although he won it after leaving Chicago. In 1999, Ed, as part of Dallas, defeated his former teammate Hasek, who played for Buffalo, after which he sent Tretiak a gift. A ring on which the number 20 was set with diamonds.