While the NHL is in the midst of yet aother work stoppage, Tal Pinchevsky’s Breakaway recalls a time in the not-too-distant past in which players were struggling to play in the NHL for reasons that far transcended the business implications and the league’s player-team relations.
In a game of high risk-high reward, players, from Petr Kilma to Alexander Mogilny, literally were given the choice between spending their prime years playing for the Soviet government-backed national team(s) or pursuing NHL superstardom and the freedoms that accompanied it in North America.
Getting there was no easy task.
The players, while most adhered to a strong sense of nationalism, generally chose freedom over oppression despite their strong ties at home.
As you wallow in the reality that the season may very well be finished, be thankful this holiday for the blessings you are afforded as Americans. And pick up Pinchevsky’s book and see how players struggled to get out from behind the Iron Curtain to ...