Alexander Grave: photo, biography, personal life and sports career hockey player
Great and Terrible. These two nicknames belong to the sovereigns: Alexander the Great, and our Ivan IV Vasilyevich. But there is a man who was called and this way and that. And he deserved, winning many victories not on the battlefield, but in hockey games. It is unlikely that someone would suggest is looking at the game the talented boy from a simple yard Khabarovsk team, which was called "Youth". However, the first one who saw him as a future champion, Valery Dementiev, becoming very green 15-year-old youngster Sasha Grave on the games in the tournament, where they were all two years older than he. "Golden Puck", it was the first serious test for the future legends of Russian ice arenas. At that time, however, the Soviet. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he played in the Russian Federation was considered matches.
The beginning of the path
On the ice who could not even stand on skates boy, born in 1969, my parents took. They lived in the southern district of the Khabarovsk Territory capital, and training had to go to first. It is not close, but as it turned out later, this first difficulty was nothing compared to the fact that Sasha is expected in the future. Incidentally, the father and mother of the mother of the Far Eastern city never left, even though the son was able to move them to Canada or the US in the 90s.
The next step in the career of an athlete after the "Youth" was the youth team Khabarovsk Army Sports Club. But there long Grave Alexander, for whom hockey was the main occupation, not late. Already in 1986, collect flowers of talented youth of the country Viktor Tikhonov invited him to CSKA. Any guy his age could only dream about it. Many people have not waited. Championship in the Union, is almost certain - the team and participate in the world championships and the Olympics. It is the crown of the career ladder, but, as shown by the near future, not for Alexander's Grave. In the meantime, he began to get used to the juvenile part of the best club in the country of the Soviets.
Right - Champion
A lot of time it had not taken. Three years ago he was a scorer in the "Golden Puck". Fifteen-year teenager in 1986, he moved to Moscow, and very soon became one of the winners of the youth World Cup. The following year, among his gold medals there was only reward for first place in adult championship. Only because in these competitions the best hockey teams in the world "Red Machine" took only second place. But Grave was the best among the scorers and earned inclusion into the symbolic team of the tournament. But he was not yet twenty years old.
As the biography of Alexander Grave, decisive became 1989 for him. Winter Olympics over the expected victory of the Soviet national hockey team. No one has yet suggested that the new star of CSKA and the national team is the last medal at this level. He then played with Fedorov and Bure. All perceive them as a new invincible three as part of the Soviet team. He was a right winger with his memorable style of play.
The scandal in Stockholm
So, in February 1989. Olympic Games for us. The next tournament - the World Cup among the youth. The tournament took place at the northern United States, Alaska. As it became clear later, the NHL scouts "Buffalo Sabers" Mogilny interested in the summer, in June. And in Alaska, Alexander first met with the trainer-breeder club. When successfully completed the World Cup games for us in Stockholm, there was a scandal, what was not in the history of Soviet hockey. The youngest athlete team disappeared from the hotel before the flight home. What was the reason behind the decision of the hockey player Alexander Grave of escape? There are several versions, in addition to the one voiced by himself. But first, let us remember what it was during the Soviet period of his career.
Golden Boy Sasha
The successes of truly golden boy of Soviet hockey has been impressive. The first season with CSKA: 28 games, 15 goals, one assist. A year later points of the system "goal + pass" for 20, however in 39 games. Last season in the main team of the country, with 31 game, he finished with a productivity of 11 + 11 (goal + pass). World Youth Championship in 1987, finished for him with 5 recruited glasses. Next - 18. That, after which Alexander was gone, too, was far bezrezultativen: 12 points. However, in adult competitions of such high rank, he became the author of only three assists. But at the Olympics was marked 3 goals and 2 pasami. This is not counting the three champions of the USSR and the title of Honored Master of Sports in 19 years. However, his reputation was mixed. Many noted the arrogance that is actually in the USSR was not welcomed.
Two years in the CSKA marked by several scandals. One of them was telling. Despite the success, he said, and was the most inexperienced. Someone else to bring to such a case, as the collection of the field goals after training? Apparently, Sasha was not eager to do it. Irek Gimaeva had customized his cries, for which he received a blow to the jaw. After that, he "hero" in a few days, afraid to go to train. And in the last of his life in the USSR championship match with "Spartacus" was a fight with Yuri Yashin, advocate opposing team. Several match suspension and a danger that such behavior will be taken away for the title of Honored Master of Sports. Who knows, maybe it was the "last straw", accelerate decision-making, after which it was considered a traitor for several years.
Let's go back to the versions. Most of all expressed outrage coach. Viktor Tikhonov has never forgiven his pupil. The more he was convinced Alexander lured huge compared with what he had received in the USSR money. More than six hundred thousand dollars for the first year in the NHL - no joke. Tikhonov said that, most likely, the decision was spontaneous. Shortly before that, the hockey player had asked him for help. The need to have an apartment in Moscow, he explains that he wants to move to the parents. In addition, he was going to get married. But an unexpected act of Alexander's Grave (photo in the article), most likely, was not. In the summer he met with his future club.
The first days in a foreign land
I must say, the act of a hockey player Alexander Grave, whose biography we are considering, was risky. Even after the incident in Moscow voiced officially, from Canada no news has been received. Only knew about the departure to the capital of Sweden general manager of the club, so interested Mogilny. Prior to that, Gerry Meehan met with Alexander. Only a day later the newspaper published a sensational report. According to these articles, the first day of the fugitive held in seclusion. But we know that he is with the accompanying changed several hotels. Apparently feared an all-powerful KGB. Everything depended on the decision of the immigration and naturalization service solutions. They could have a considerable influence negative attitudes concern to this Hockey Federation Union, and authorities in general. In the US, he entered only with a time resolution. It was necessary to prove the credibility of the reasons that led him to leave his country. Even then was untenable version on which he did it out of love for a girl from the Alaskan city of Anchorage. Alexander tried to convince the immigration authorities, Meehan said journalist refused. Here we must also mention the fact that some scarecrow NHL lead. By that time, there was a noticeable thaw in relations with the League of the Soviet State Sports Committee. It is hoped that some of the players still be released to play in Canada. Moreover, Sergei Pryakhin has already joined the "Calgary Flames". To destroy it is not wanted. But, apparently, and Soviet officials it was not with his hands. Limited to that labeled a defector. Among other things, he was military, so was considered a deserter. The entire team had to give evidence to investigators from the KGB.
Irrevocable decision of the Soviet hockey was after the news that the second lieutenant against Grave homeland prosecuted. The return has become impossible. The first year was very hard in a foreign country. Knowledge of the English language was at a minimum. The city gave its name to his new club, was also not the best in the United States. In the early 90-ies of Buffalo was in crisis, and not unlike the Russian depressed suburbs of the time. Circle of friends was very narrow. Russian diaspora was there, but did not exceed 300 people. In addition, to communicate with compatriots he feared for the same reason. KGB called habitual fear. Even when in 1994 he was allowed to enter the Russian Federation, he was not sure that the airport does not meet men in uniform.
The reason for the escape
The reasons for such a radical change of life, about which Alexander G. speaks, in general, are commonplace. The winner in the still very young age, the World Cup and became an Olympic gold medalist athlete did not even have their own homes. It did not suit almost barracks in CSKA. After all, they were all officers. Eleven months of the year, he said, were at the training camp in the woods. Withstand this, of course, is not easy. The more so in games abroad, they have seen a very different life. And he saw taking shape the lives of many, after retiring from the sport. Giving himself to the main proceedings, often with poor health, they are left with nothing. Wait for the same fate does not like. But the first time and it was tough. One of the partners in the club recalled how Alexander invited on his first New Year in the United States. All fun, celebrated the feast and the Soviet guests sat silently on the sidelines. His cheeks tears flowed. In the past, I left everything: friends, lovers, parents. I hope to meet appeared illusive.
Heavy psychological state affected the performance of the first season. And in a completely different style of favorite game it was not easy to master. After a beautiful virtuoso hockey with Fedorov and Bure had to get used to rougher, power hockey, where the main principle sounds like a "hit-and-run." Fifteen goals, flown after his shock at the gate of opponents, it's certainly not something expected from a defector. But he believed. The following year in "Buffalo" appeared Pat LaFontaine. While their co-op to burial called era for the club. I come 1992, and they have shown what they are capable. For two - 129 goals. The club was able for the first time to go further than the first round of the playoffs in the last ten years. After one of the games with the club "Montreal", where Alexander broke his leg, the duo broke up, but it would not rule out that the team could go on and on. The result of that year's Grave and is now among the best players of Russia in the NHL. He pounded many as 76 goals and scored just 127 points. It was, in general, is very simple, but it had nothing to oppose. In the middle zone of the Russian American he gave the ball ahead and waited for a response.
games for the national team
The next club to six seasons, was the "Vancouver". Alexander met with a partner in CSKA. But Pavel Bure played on the same flank, so that in the one triple they appeared on the ice is very rare. More than a hundred points in the first season, 76 of them - goals. But after that performance deteriorated. Next - "New Jersey". His season 2 where he had as the leader of the club. Soon, Paul received a very serious injury. And his Russian partner that year played the most matches in a season. It was a record, but his own, and not the only one. He had, moreover, the second time became the owner of more than a hundred points. Soon, as they say, on the personal orders of Yeltsin, he was allowed to enter Russia. For the national team of the new country, he played only once, at the World Cup. This happened in 1996, when our team became only the fourth. He scored in 5 games, where he played, 6 points. No one else to put on the form could not persuade him to the national team, even Vyacheslav Fetisov.
Alexander Grave became the first Russian to whom was entrusted the captaincy in the NHL club. Four times he was a member of Dream team "All Stars". In 2000 he became still the Stanley Cup. In addition, it is a member of the Triple Gold Club. It's the players who managed to win the Olympics, Stanley Cup and the World Cup.
Many people wonder how there was the personal life of Alexander Grave, where he lives now, doing what.
I - Russian
Despite the fact that the attitude to his homeland is still ambiguous, Alexander G. stresses that feels Russian. In Vancouver, where Alexander Grave with family rooting for fellow countrymen during their match against the Czech Republic, answered a few questions from Russian journalists. And mention of their homeland. Grave Alexander and his wife (photo hockey player in the article), the son of 11 years old and 13-year-old daughter were at the match. The younger daughter, who was only a couple of months, stayed at home with a babysitter. By the time Alexander Grave, his wife and children were already living in the south of the United States, in Florida. We moved there from New Jersey. In Russia it happens several times a year, as agreed to become assistant to the president of the club "Cupid" from the native Khabarovsk. Another position in his organization of amateur hockey ranking - Night Hockey League. He is a board member of the club fans and veterans of one of the most popular games of the Russian Federation.