Anatoli (Anatoly) Vladimirovich Tarasov - Born December 10, 1918 in Moscow, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic – Died June 23, 1995 in Moscow, Russia was a Soviet/Russian ice Hockey centre, coach and author.
The entire sport of ice Hockey plays a different game because of the influence and training style of Anatoli Tarasov.
Tarasov built Soviet Hockey into the game of spectacular passing, intricate teamwork, and devastating speed that became its trademarks.
Tarasov may very well be the first Hockey coach to have utilized dry-land training to improve the strength & conditioning of Hockey players.
Under his leadership the Soviet national team won every world championship from 1963 to 1971. His teams won the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Winter Olympics gold medals, 11 European championships, and 18 Soviet league championships, 8 USSR Cups, 6 IIHF European Cup Championships with his club team ЦСКА Москва (CSKA Moscow).
Tarasov served either as coach or co-coach of CSKA Moscow from 1946 to 1975, except for three short breaks in 1960, 1964 and 1972. He was named coach of the Soviet national team in 1958, a post he held until 1960. He was then an assistant coach of Soviet national team to Arkady Chernyshev from 1963 until 1972.
Tarasov, now known as the tyrant, was dismissed following the 1972 Winter Olympics, despite winning yet another gold medal for the Soviet Union. Vsevolod Bobrov was chosen to handle the all-star entry for the 1972 Summit Series with Canada, a decision that broke Tarasov's heart.
Tarasov would later reference the 1972 Team Canada, the Soviet Union's long-time rival, saying "the Canadians battled with the ferocity and intensity of a cornered animal". "Our players were better conditioned physically and stronger in skills than the Canadian professionals. But we could not match them in heart and desire, always the strongest part of the Canadian game".
"There is no secret in Hockey. There is imagination, hard work, discipline and dedication to achieving whatever the goal is. But there are no secrets, none at all."
Tarasov said a Hockey player "must have the wisdom of a chess player, the accuracy of a sniper and the rhythm of a musician." But more important, he said, "He must be a superb athlete."
Tarasov published 2 Hockey Books while alive
- Road to Olympus 1969
- Tarasov's Hockey Technique 1972
The Father of Russian Hockey 1997 was published after his death.
Scotty Bowman, who we believe is the BEST HOCKEY COACH from North America, and we refer to as King of Coaching & Master of Managing first met Tarasov in 1956-57, when his Soviet team was in Canada for some exhibition games, and Bowman's Hull-Ottawa Canadiens lost both games to the team coached by Tarasov. Bowman would later use the term "Innovator" when describing Tarasov. Bowman, now coach of the Detroit Red Wings, had his own Russian Five, starting in 1996-97 with Fedorov, Konstatinov, Kozlov, Fetisov and Larionov. All five learned their Hockey skills based on the influence of Tarasov. They would win the Stanley Cup championship that year, and for the 1st time in 104 years, the Stanley Cup would be taken to Russia, where the Russian Five would each tour the cup around for their 24 hours with the trophy. Unfortunately, Anatoli Tarasov did not get too see this, but every Russian alive knew the Stanley Cup was in their country, and that the Russian Five were the reason why.
“If you look at any kind of videos of Anatoli Tarasov....what they did off-ice was way ahead of what we ever tried in North America.”
Vladislav Tretiak Quote
“Some people are irreplaceable—Pelé, Michael Jordan, Gordie Howe. God gave them an incredible talent and they were able to realize their potential. Anatoli Tarasov is one of them."
Tarasov also focussed much attention to psychology. He started a “women’s society,” a meeting of Soviet Red Army Hockey wives and girlfriends that convened weekly with Tarasov himself. He wanted to know about each player personally, a psychology he would integrate into his coaching.
The legacy of Tarasov is still alive in present-day, and in the DNA of the modern game of Hockey.
As a player, Anatoli Tarasov was awarded the Merited Master of Sports of the USSR (Zasluzhenny Master Sporta / Aслуженный Мастер Спорта) in 1949...........unofficially seen as the "Russian and Soviet Hockey Hall of Fame.
Tarasov became the first Soviet/Russian and European to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1974.
Anatoli Tarasov was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997
Anatoli Tarasov posthumously received the Wayne Gretzky International Award in 2008.
Today, the Kontinental Hockey League / KHL has the Tarasov division (5 teams) formed in 2008, bearing his name, and recognizing his role in the development of ice Hockey in the USSR and eventually Russia.
A monument dedicated to Anatoli Tarasov was installed in front of the CSKA Ice Palace in Moscow in December, 2018.
On December 10, 2019, Google celebrated Tarasov's 101st birthday with a Google Doodle.