"We are heading into Hall of Fame weekend, a weekend where we honour
past greats. Greatest Hockey Legends.com is challenging hockey
bloggers everywhere to honour your own past great.
What I want to do is get as many hockey bloggers as possible to post
an article, a memory, interactive content of some sort, something or
anything that honours a favorite retired hockey player."
Thus challenged, I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect on one of my favorite retired players, one who was forced into retirement just as his career was reaching a peak; Vladimir Konstantinov.
For most hockey fans, their impression of Konstantinov was shaped by the tragic accident that left him and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov disabled. During the Detroit Red Wings' championship run in 1997, Konstantinov gained the notoriety that comes with being a prominent member of a Cup-winning team, but the widely anticipated matchup against Philadelphia's "Legion of Doom" (Eric Lindros, John LeClair, and Mikael Renberg) didn't come to pass, as Scotty Bowman instead chose to lull the Legion of Doom to sleep by putting out the blueline combo of Nick Lidstrom and Larry Murphy against them, playing a puck possession game that avoided intense physical confrontation.