Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1980 Olympians NHL Stats

I wanted to check the career NHL stats of the 1980 Olympic hockey teams. Of course the Soviets and Czechs were not allowed to play in North America for almost a decade following Lake Placid, unless they were to defect. In fact of the seven Soviets who would play in the NHL only three played in more than one season. The Russians eventually came to the NHL by waiting out the fall of communism and the Czechoslovaks by mainly defecting (see Stastny's). There would be ten Czechs from the 1980 team to come to North America with six of them playing at least three seasons here (The Stastny's Three, Jiri Bubla, Miroslav Frycer and Jaroslav Pouzar).

Each team's totals follow.

The Russians are led by the late career jumps to the NHL by Sergei Makarov, Slava Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov who came to North America in their late 20's. Of the seven Swedes to come to the NHL (a fairly low number explained by the fact that most of their top talent was already here), all would have fairly substantial runs. Bo Berglund and Lars Molin played 130 and 172 games each while Tomas Jonsson, Mats Naslund and Pelle Lindbergh had fairly lengthy careers with top teams in the NHL.

Finland's impressive numbers are attributed mainly to Jari Kurri's Hall of Fame career with Kari Eloranta and Mikko Leinonen chipping in a few good seasons. Twelve of the U.S. Olympians went on to play the the big leagues with all getting a substantial chance to play. It's probable that U.S. based NHL teams attempted to capitalize on the Gold Medal players as a marketing tool if not quite the greatest contributors on the ice. Players like Bil Baker, Dave Silk, Rob McClanahan and even goalie Jim Craig probably got more chances to succeed because of the mystique that came with them. This is not to say that the States squad didn't produce bonafide NHL players, Ken Morrow, Mark Johnson, Mark Pavelich, Mike Ramsey, Dave Christian and Neal Broten were all above average pros. Morrow won four Cups with the Islanders and Broten one at the end of his career.

Team Canada sent eleven players to the NHL with only Randy Gregg, Tim Watters, Jim Nill, Paul MacLean and Glenn Anderson making more than passing contributions (Gregg to five Cups, Anderson to six).

In keeping with my goal of posting only articles about the Olympics, I decided to put an addendum on this one regarding the recently completed Phaneuf transaction.

Incidentally, Bobby Orr had 26 PPG's and 11 Game Winning Goals over his first five years.

The fact that the Leafs got a 24 year old player that can be mentioned even in the slightest with these greats in exchange for Ian White and Nik Hagman, (Stajan and Mayers are upcoming UFA's) can only be considered a coup.

And now back to Olympic talk....

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