Soviet ice hockey legend Vladimir Krutov has passed away in Moscow aged 52. On June 4, the two-time Olympic champion was taken to Moscow’s main clinical hospital with gastric hemorrhage, from which he never recovered.
Considered one of the best hockey wingers of the 1980s, Krutov became known worldwide for his prolific play in the famed KLM Line together with Igor Larionov and Sergey Makarov. The team, dubbed the Red Machine and also boasting the likes of Vladislav Tretyak, Vyacheslav Fetisov and Aleksey Kasatonov was regarded as unstoppable in the 1980s.
Krutov had to his name the 1981 Canada Cup, two golds and one silver in the Olympics, as well as six golds, one silver, and one bronze in the World Championships.
Near the close of his career, Krutov left his native CSKA Moscow to become one of the first Russians to move to the NHL. He didn’t spent much time at Vancouver though as he returned home in the early 1990s.
He worked as CSKA head coach in 2000-2001, before devoting his life to youth sports.