Who was the first Russian hockey player to play in the National Hockey League?
- Andrei Markov
Sorry, but the сorrect answer is:
- Slava Fetisov
Viacheslav Alexandrovich "Slava" Fetisov (Russian: Вячеслав Александрович Фетисов, Vjačeslav Aleksandrovič Fetisov) born April 20, 1958, is a retired Russian professional ice hockey defenseman. He played for HC CSKA Moscow for 13 seasons before joining the National Hockey League (NHL), where he played with the New Jersey Devils and won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.
At the age of 31, helped by the Soviets' newfound “glasnost” policy instituted by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Fetisov led a group of eight Soviet players, including Helmut Balderis, Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov, Sergei Mylnikov, Sergei Priakin and Sergei Starikov, into the NHL. Soviet hockey officials agreed to allow Soviet players to play in the NHL as long as they continued to compete internationally for the Soviet Union.
After retiring from his playing career, he became the assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. Having a very successful four years, he helped get the team to two Stanley Cup finals and one Stanley Cup victory.