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Tretiak provides some early 2014 Olympics bulletin board material

Dec 16, 2012, 8:15 PM EDT

vladislavtretiakgetty Getty Images

After watching Russia beat Finnish, Swedish and Czech teams by a combined score of 14-2 in the Channel One Cup tournament this weekend, legendary goalie Vladislav Tretiak stirred the pot a bit in advance of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Specifically, Tretiak watched a loaded Russian team that included Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin and told R-Sport that they have what it takes to defeat Canada.

“Beating the Canadians? Why not?” Tretiak said. “This team can win. With slick, clinical and stable play, of course it can.”

That could be some (very early) bulletin board material, although the three-time gold medalist admits a lot can change between now and 2014.

“There are mistakes, and the team is not finalized, it’s hard to predict who’ll play in Sochi,” Tretiak said. “But the team has its signature, and the players are maintaining the correct course.”

Beyond potential hurdles for the roster – the NHL’s involvement isn’t guaranteed, for one thing – there’s also the rest of the world to consider.

(Russia didn’t earn an ice hockey medal in 2010, after all.)

Still, it’s not like Tretiak is making a broad guarantee … and it’s nice to imagine the best professional hockey players competing against each other again, isn’t it?

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

  1. blomfeld - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    BEST GOALTENDER EVER !!!

    Right up to and including the day I die, I will forever swear that Vladislav Tretiak is the absolute “greatest” goaltender of all time ! When we Canadians were first introduced to this man forty years ago back in ’72, it was “expected” of us that we should come to hate him and all that he stood for. Well lo and behold friends, life can sure be ironic at times eh ? Not only did he become a beloved household name here in Canada, as well many of us Canadians “overnight” became some of his greatest supporters ever … I myself included ! :)

  2. manchestermiracle - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    A guarantee is, by its nature, an assumption of a sure thing. As in, I’ll refund your money if that whoozit I sold you breaks. All Tretiak said was that “(T)his team can win.” He did not say this team will win. Big difference. And not much in the way of “bulletin board material,” either.

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