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© RIA Novosti. Fred Grinberg

Legendary hockey player Vladimir Krutov dies

by Evgeniya Chaykovskaya at 06/06/2012 17:55

One of Russia’s most decorated hockey players, Vladimir Krutov, has died age 52 in a Moscow hospital, the Russian Hockey Federation announced.

Krutov was taken to the hospital on June 4 with stomach bleeding. He spent three days in intensive care in serious condition.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist was one of the Green Unit, one of the Soviet Union’s greatest hockey fives: defensemen Vyacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov, and forwards Krutov, Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov, also known as the KLM Line.

“A friend, a partner, a real fighter and a great player has died,” Kasatonov told Sovietsky Sport. We achieved a lot with this man. It is difficult to believe what happened. Suddenly, at this age…”

Krutov was born in Moscow and started his hockey career with Meteor, where he caught the attention of CSKA. He played for the Army Men for 12 years, between 1977 and 1989, appearing in 439 games and scoring 288 goals.

The Green Unit was formed from CSKA and went on to win gold medals for the Soviet Union at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo and in 1988 in Calgary. The team won the silver in 1980 at Lake Placid.

Krutov also won the world hockey championships with the Soviet Union five times (1981-83, 1986 and 1989).

After leaving CSKA, Krutov moved to the NHL, where he played for the Vancouver Canucks for one year before joining Switzerland’s Zurcher SC and Sweden’s Brunflo IK and Ostersunds IK. He then moved into coaching, and was in charge of CSKA during the 2001-2002 KHL season.

 

In 2010, Krutov was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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