#5 Alexander Ragulin

Alexander Ragulin was teamed with Alexander Gusev along the blueline. The two teamed up to score the game tying goal in game 5, on the way to a 5-4 Soviet victory.

                   Pos.   GP   G   A   P  PIM
Alexander Ragulin   D     6    0   1   1   4
Career Biography
"Sasha" Ragulin was the tower of strength on the Soviet squads in the 1960's and early 70's.
He was 6'1" and a very solid 225 Ibs. He patrolled the blueline with reckless abandon. He was born in Moscow on May 5,1941, and grew up with his two brothers Anton and Michael who both went on to play hockey in the Soviet second division. Ragulin played both soccer and hockey as a kid on his school team.

He started his hockey career seriously when he was 14-years old in 1955. At that time he played for a fabrics team named "Kautchuk" out of Voskresensk. Between 1957 and 1962 Ragulin played for the Khimik Voskresensk team that has developed many Russian star players over the years.

In 1962 he moved back to Moscow where he played for the Red Army team CSKA. He would play there until his retirement in 1973.

Ragulin was the perfect defenseman for the NHL. He was big and very strong, as well as very good at moving out opposing forwards from the slot. When Ragulin put that "bear hug" around a player it wasn't much anybody could do. His weakness was his skating but he made up for that with very good positional play. He had a heavy shot but it was primarily his defensive play that was his strength. Ragulin was often portrayed as a caricature in Soviet newspapers. Often as a fortress, as someone who was "impossible to destroy". He was very seldom in the penalty box despite his physical play.

Ragulin played a total of 427 league games and scored 60 goals. He led his CSKA team to 9 league titles. (1963-66, 1968, 1970-73)

His credentials on the Soviet national team is very impressive:

- Ragulin was a 10 time World Champion between 1963-71 and 1973.
- He also was a three time Olympic Gold medalist (1964, 68 and 72).
- In 1966 he was selected as the best defenseman in the World Championships.
- Was a World Championship All-Star five times in a row (1963-67)
- He represented his country 228 times, scoring 26 goals.

One of his biggest thrills during his career was undoubtedly the 1972 Super Series against Canada. The 31 year old Ragulin's prime assignment was to stop sniper Phil Esposito. Esposito was deadly around the net and Ragulin was the only one who measured up to Esposito physically.

Ragulin remembered his titanic battles with Esposito.

" The coaches gave me the unenviable task of covering Phil Esposito. He was a different kind of centre for me - very big, very strong, always in the slot. Ours was a battle of two huge bears.

Ragulin held his own against the Canadian pros and proved that he could play in the NHL. In 1973 he retired only 32 years old and went on to coach the juniors in CSKA Moscow. It was a natural step for "The Bear" who always loved working with young kids.

He was one of the great defensemen of European hockey in his era. Ragulin was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997.

Alexander Ragulin passed away November 17th, 2004

Career Statistics

Born: 5/5/1941, Moscow, USSR
Height: 6'1" Weight: 220lbs
Position: D Shoots: L
Career Notes: 3 Olympic Gold Medals, 9 consecutive World Championship Gold Medals

Season Club League GP G A Pts PIM
1957-58 Khimik Voskresensk USSR - 0 - 0 -
1958-59 Khimik Voskresensk USSR - 2 - 2 -
1959-60 Khimik Voskresensk USSR - 2 - 2 -
1960-61 Khimik Voskresensk USSR - 4 - 4 -
1961-62 Khimik Voskresensk USSR - 5 - 5 -
1962-63 CSKA Moscow USSR - 2 - 2 -
1963-64 CSKA Moscow USSR - 9 - 9 -
1964-65 CSKA Moscow USSR - 4 - 4 -
1965-66 CSKA Moscow USSR - 6 - 6 -
1966-67 CSKA Moscow USSR - 8 - 8 -
1967-68 CSKA Moscow USSR 40 5 - 5 -
1968-69 CSKA Moscow USSR 40 6 - 6 -
1969-70 CSKA Moscow USSR 41 3 - 3 -
1970-71 CSKA Moscow USSR 36 4 - 4 -
1971-72 CSKA Moscow USSR 28 0 - 0 -
1972-73 CSKA Moscow USSR 28 0 - 0 -
Soviet League Totals 427 60 - - -