Igor Larionov and Glenn Anderson will receive a well-deserved honor this weekend, when the two will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, forever joining the ranks of the hockey world’s elite players. Both players have a history of success on some of the great teams in NHL history, and played alongside some of the greatest to ever play.>
Larionov began his career in the USSR, winning nine gold medals at various international tournaments, including the Olympics, the World Championships and the Canada Cup. He was drafted to the NHL in 1985, but did not come to the NHL until 1989 due to the barrier created by the Communist leadership in the USSR. In ’89, Larionov and his four linemates from the Soviet national team defected to the NHL. Larionov played with Vancouver, San Jose and HC Lugano from Switzerland before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings. It was with Detroit that Larionov had some of his most productive years, playing alongside superstars like Vyacheslav Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov. Larionov won three Stanley Cups with Detroit, in ’97, ’98 and 2002. He spent part of one final NHL season with the New Jersey Devils before the lockout in 2004-05 ended his NHL career. Igor finished with 644 points in 921 NHL games, as well as an additional 434 points in the Russian SuperLeague, mostly with CSKA Moscow before he joined the NHL. Larionov is also a member of the elite Triple Gold Club, whose members have won an Olympic Gold medal, a Stanley Cup and a World Championship Gold medal.
Glenn Anderson benefited from coming into the NHL at the same time as Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri. The role player and talented playmaker tallied just over 600 assists in his NHL career and helped to define the now-popular power forward type player in today’s NHL. Anderson won 5 Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, after being drafted in 1979 and joining the club in 1980. He was traded to Toronto, and helped the Leafs reach the Conference Finals in 1993, only to be traded to the New York Rangers in time to help lead them to a rare Stanley Cup title in 1994. Anderson bounced around the league a bit at the end of his career, retiring from the NHL after 15 games with the St. Louis Blues in 1996. Anderson finished his career 2 goals short of the 500 mark, with 498 goals, 601 assists and 1099 points, as well as 1120 penalty minutes in 1129 NHL games. He was also one of the most clutch players of the ‘80s and ‘90s, scoring 5 playoff OT goals, and 17 postseason game winners.
Anderson and Larionov were never the superstars of their respective teams, but they were the kind of players that no team can win without. Although their styles differed, with Anderson bringing a more physical presence than Larionov’s pretty finesse play, they were both very effective and successful playmakers that were able to make the players around them better. Both were looked up to on their teams as leaders and go-to guys that could contribute when it mattered most. These two can proudly stand with the game’s best as members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.