Tuesday, November 3, 2009

IGOR VIAZMIKIN (1966 - 2009)

Igor Viazmikin (14). October 1997. Photo by author

Another sad news came from Russia. On October 30, 2009 Igor Viazmikin passed away after long illness . He was 44 only.

Igor Viazmikin was born in Moscow on January 8, 1966. His dad brought him to the Red Army hockey school when Igor was 6. When he was 12 the family has lost the elder son who by this time played hockey for Spartak Moscow farm club.

He played his first game for the famous Red Army when he was 16 only and scored his first goal during his debut game against Sokol Kiev.

After 1986 World Junior championship where he won the gold medal and was elected to All Stars team, Igor was included to the Soviet national team to take part in 1986 Moscow World championship to play with his line mates Konstantinov and Kamensky. It never happened. At the very last practice he has got injury working on perfection of the power play. He missed the Worlds, has no chance to do it again.

In 1989 he left Red Army to play for Khimik. Next season he tried to make Edmonton roster. Igor played 4 NHL games (1 goal) but was sent to the farm. He decided to come back to Europe and for the several years played in Denmark, Italy and Finland.

In 1997 he returned to Russia where he played for CSKA and Severstal during the next 2 seasons. (43 games, 9 goals, 11 assists)

Two-times World Junior champion, four-times the Soviet champion Igor Viazmikin had serious problems with his attitude to hockey through his entire career. Unfortunately, I have to make it clear. First of all, Igor should blame himself for the failure of his very promising career. His alcohol addiction was well-known around the hockey World many-many years before he finished to play hockey. Igor Larionov has mentioned it openly as an argument in his famous fight against Viktor Tikhonov. I am not too sure what kind of decease Igor was suffering all his last years. I guess Alex Kasatonov once told it was leukemia.

Any way, Igor Viazmikin has joint the long list of the Russian players of his generation who passed away too early. Evgeny Belosheikin, Igor Stelnov, Alexander Chernykh, Andrei Lomakin among many others are on this sad list.