can talk a lot about hockey, debate about its merits and demerits, cheer for your favorite team or separately for your favorite athletes.Victory and defeat in this sport are a source of strong emotions both for the players and for the fans.And the Olympic medals, points and goals at the World Championships cause feelings that sometimes it is impossible to describe and convey.
To people who left a bright trace in the history of hockey belongs and Alexander Grave.This is exactly the case when the sport is not only a favorite pastime, entertainment and passion.He becomes a person's life.
Alexandr Grave Born in the city of Khabarovsk, February 18, 1969.Even from an early age parents helped Sasha get on the ice.While living with his parents in the Southern neighborhood, he was too far to travel in the first district, where there was a club "Youth".His coach Valery Dementiev could see in a guy the ability to hockey.Despite the fact that the age Sasha was two years younger than that is
the age of fifteen he moved to train in Moscow at the invitation of the sports club CSKA.Showing good results and a lot of ability, the guy did not go unnoticed by the coaches of the club.Soon he was invited to play in the junior team of CSKA Moscow.
Already in 1988 Grave - hockey player who has achieved at the age of nineteen extraordinary results in their work.At this moment he is honored master of sports.In the same year at the Olympics in Calgary goals scored Mogilny, was decisive in the final match with the Canadians.But Alexander until the last minute was not sure in what will go down in the main part of the Olympic team, although laid out in training full force.However, as it turned out, the Olympics he was the first and last time.
In 1989, the man was the best hitter Youth World Championship, as well as three-time champion of the Soviet Union, once again proving his talent and an iron character.A style Mogilny forced a fresh look at the world the Soviet hockey.
At the end of 1988, in Anchorage, Alaska during the world junior championship was a meeting of the young hockey player with the trainer-breeder club "Buffalo Sabres" Don Luce.He offered his business card Alexander, adding that these contact numbers and can be reached at any time.This meeting contributed to subsequent events in the life of a young hockey player.
Even at the Olympic Games in Calgary Grave attracted the attention of "Buffalo Sabres" beautiful goals scored and assists.Opinions coach agreed that few Soviet hockey players are different and unusual skating show uncommon, original game.But is such a Grave.
In May 1989, in Stockholm, the end of the fifty-third World Hockey Championship held under the victorious cheers in honor of the Soviet national team.The whole team is in a good mood expect the aircraft to return to Moscow, where officials received a call about the escape of Alexander Mogilny.This news sounded for all as a bolt from the blue.Joyful homecoming was spoiled.Coach Viktor Tikhonov did not immediately believe the news.After all, until recently, Sasha asked to help him with an apartment in Moscow, to be able to carry the bride and her parents to the capital.However, the facts showed otherwise.Therefore, the coach and the whole team were confident that the Grave could not resist the tempting sums of money who earn US NHL stars.
disappearing from Stockholm, young players did not immediately join the coveted "Buffalo Sabres."For his actions, and future life in the United States of America the club had to justify to the president of the National Hockey League by John Ziegler and immigration authorities.
Mogilnaya Entry to the country was temporarily resolved.For the permanent authorization he had to submit to an immigration center is strong political motivation to escape from the Soviet Union.
In turn, the National Hockey League Alexander Grave could represent another serious obstacle in relations with the Soviet Union at the conclusion of contracts with players.
At the right time, in the right place
During the previous few years, the US team makes every effort to replenish its ranks promising players from the Soviet Union.Sometimes negotiation process lasted for years.It have experienced such Soviet hockey players like Vyacheslav Fetisov, in negotiations with the club "Devils", Vladimir Krutov and Igor Larionov - with the team, "Vancouver Canucks".The first player to get permission to travel and work in "Calgary Flames" was Sergei Pryakhin.
Mogilno, we can say lucky, because his flight was at the time of warming relations between the sports organizations of the Soviet Union and the United States.Therefore, according to the calculations of US representatives act guy should not have to give good reasons for concern and any complications between the two countries' relations.After the decision was made about the flight of the player, respectively, and the responsibility for resulting consequences will lie on it though.
reason for fleeing
hockey abroad saw the foundations of other life, and all the negative aspects that have accumulated in the soul of the game Sasha the period in the USSR broke out.Naturally, the guy wanted a normal human life, crush hard fetters.
However, application for a work permit and for political asylum in the United States of America Grave Alexander decided not at once.A key impetus was the news about the preparation for a criminal case of desertion from the ranks of the Soviet Army.And then the guy deliberately decided to change their future.
representatives of the club "Buffalo Sabres" Don Luce and Michael at the end of the championship specially arrived in Stockholm for a meeting with Alexander.To Grave was able to fly to New York and then in Buffalo, his two-day period have been made all the necessary documents.Then it had to overcome one of the main obstacles to a young man - the study of the English language.
National Hockey League after a while all the support contract "Buffalo Sabres" with young hockey players from the Soviet Union.This decision was influenced and quite passive response of the Soviet federation, which is found in the story and its benefits.
Mogilny have got a contract with the American club, so home he never returned, despite the expectations of his family.And in the Soviet Union because of this, meanwhile, began an incredible scandal.Sasha was considered almost a traitor who has not justified confidence in him.His parents appeared at that time in the form of "enemies of the people", and the house they lived no better than their son in a foreign country.
However, after some time passion subsided.And tomb became a kind of pioneer in the National Hockey League.In fact, after he began to travel overseas, many players of the USSR, and it was going through official channels and without political color.
life in exile
mere fact that Grave arrived in America not a superhero, but a fugitive, talks about his future savory life.About hockey player did not come out enthusiastic articles in newspapers and magazines, he was not invited to the various American TV shows.Even an interview with reporters for him was unavailable due to ignorance of the English language and the fear of KGB agents.Twenty hockey player, leaving the home, burned all the bridges behind, but life had to go.
Phil Housley - defender "Sabres" took under his wing a young guy.He more than any other notice how unhappy looked Grave.Ice hockey is very often when the whole team is having fun, sitting on the sidelines with a sad face.After all, he always missed his family.
Nevertheless, overcoming cultural and multi-faceted life obstacles, including the differences between American-style hockey, Alexander found the strength to start a new life.
Alexander the Great in the late eighties, "Buffalo" was a mid-level club.Hockey team was unattractive and not very different cunning combinations.As part of the players lacked competent, professional and well-known players.
Gradually Sasha build rapport with the guys from the team.Especially consistently went to the game when the club emerged Pat LaFontaine.He played great and tomb.In the early 90s the couple dubbed "dynamic duo".Since joining Lafontaine their joint work has brought 39 of goals.After the 1992-1993 seasonthanks to brilliant work Mogilny about "Buffalo" seriously talked about as a possible winner of the Stanley Cup.
In a relatively short period of time, Alexander, who in America was called the Great, scored 76 goals, made 51 gear and got 127 points.In addition, the fiftieth washer them was abandoned in the forty-sixth match of the season.However, he could not get into the club "50 goals in 50 matches," which included the famous hockey player Maurice Richard, Brett Hull, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy.The reason was the fact that the "Buffalo" played for fifty third match of the season.
However seventh place among the top scorers in America took Alexander Grave.Photos of the young hockey player again flashed in the media.After all, he, as a Russian citizen, was the first top scorer of the National Hockey League, and his "Russian record" is not broken today.
ups and downs
However, having achieved great achievements in hockey, Grave faced with disappointments.Alexander showed excellent game in the play-off, and even scored ten points in seven matches.However, in the third match striker broke his leg.This injury seriously affected the team's next game.Defeated by "Montreal", "Buffalo" finished its way to the Stanley Cup.
not recovered completely, Grave played two more seasons to become home team.However, because it will bring no results traded in the "Vancouver", where he in his first season scored fifty-five beautiful goals.But in a spectacular take-off again, followed by injuries and setbacks.And only in 2001, an event occurred, which is not only the dream world, but also the Russian hockey players.Grave is also not an exception.Being in the "New Jersey", he was able to earn eighty three points in the regular season, so the team won the Stanley Cup.
Alexander the Great in sixteen seasons, played in the NHL, six times given the right to participate in the Star Game.In 2011 he was elected to the Hall of Fame, "Buffalo Sabres."
Today Alexander Grave with his wife and two sons live in Florida.But his home, he does not forget.Working assistant to the president of the club "Amur" in Khabarovsk, he several times a year, arrives in Russia.