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Vladislav Tretiak, HHOF member and the head of the Russian Hockey Federation, told his grandson Max that no player is perfect and that the key to being successful is playing consistently.
During the lockout in 2004, Ellen Pinchuk posted this amusing video feature of Fred Brathwaite's adjustment to Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Super League (New York Rangers East).
For the 1983-84 season, Starikov nearly duplicated his offensive output while setting a career high with 11 goals on his way to 18 points.
That season also saw him return to the Olympics for the 1984 edition in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, where the powerful Soviets returned to their dominating ways en route to a gold medal.
Still, he persevered and a third season with CSKA saw him set a new personal best with 6 goals and his first 20 point season, his highest in the Soviet league.
That led to a recall by the national team and he suited up for the 1983 World Championships, where he scored 5 points, including a goal, as the Soviets won gold in West Germany.
Another year, another Soviet championship for Starikov and CSKA following the 1984-85 season followed by a bronze medal at the 1985 World Championships, while 1985-86 saw a return to normalcy, as Starikov was able to "win the double" with his seventh Soviet championship followed by a World Championship gold medal as the Soviets claimed the championship as hosts in Moscow once again.Many blamed Starikov for his role, as Mark Johnson's tying goal happened after the puck bounced off his skate to Johnson.Starikov retained his place with CSKA Moscow for 1980--82, winning his second and third Soviet league titles, but the fallout from the loss at the 1980 Olympics cost him his place on the national team for the next two years.The 1987-88 season saw the customary Soviet League title capped off by an Olympic gold medal at the 1988 Games in Calgary, the final one for the Soviet Union and Starikov's second. In December I went to the Devils farm club in Utica and played there for two years. It looked like too many Russian defensemen on one team." His time in New Jersey was brief, playing just 16 games, registering a lone assist, before being sent down to the Utica Devils of the American Hockey League, where he played well, scoring 8 goals and 19 points in 43 games.The storms of change were on the horizon but Starikov had one final season to play for Red Army in 1988-89 as the club won its 13th consecutive title and tenth for Starikov after his arrival in Moscow back in 1979. "Slava called me after Viktor Tikhonov released me from the team and Slava asked me if I wanted to come to the NHL and play for the Devils. He got visas for us." The two players were released from their Russian commitments in May of 1989 and they signed with the Devils in June. He returned to Utica for the 1991-92 season, where he saw action in 51 games.