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1976-77 Valeri Kharlamov CCCP Soviet National Team Game Worn Jersey
Lot #8

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1976-77 Valeri Kharlamov CCCP Soviet National Team Game Worn Jersey
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1976-77 Valeri Kharlamov CCCP Soviet National Team Game Worn Jersey
Lot #8

This red mesh gamer by Kisapuku was worn by Valeri Kharlamov during the 1976-77 USSR season. Kharlamov began his illustrious career in 1967 and played until his untimely death in 1981. Not only was Valeri one of the greatest Russian born players to ever lace up a pair of skates, he is also considered among the greatest hockey players of all-time. A notable historic quote from Harry Sinden, Bobby Orr’s coach in Boston “He had the skill and ability of any player in the NHL at the time” spoke to just how good Kharlamov was. Canadiens Hall of Fame defenseman Serge Savard ranked Kharlamov as one of the top 5 players of all-time.

Kharlamov played on one of the most famous lines in hockey history alongside Vladimir Petrov and Boris Mikhailov. He was a 3-time Olympian who captured Gold Medals in 1972 and 1976, along with a very memorable Silver Medal in Lake Placid in 1980. During the 1972 Olympics, Kharlamov scored 9 Goals and added 7 Assists for 16 Points in just 5 games! He added another 9 Points in 5 Olympic Games in 1976 and finished his Olympic career with 11 Points in 7 games at Lake Placid. Combined, Kharlamov totaled 15 Goals and 21 Assists for 36 Points in 17 Olympic games played! Valeri also won 11 Medals at the World Championships, 8 of them Gold. His statistics at the World Championships are also mind boggling with 74 Goals and 82 Assists for 156 Points in 105 games played!

The importance of Kharlamov was never more evident than in the 1972 Summit Series when, during Game 6, Canada’s Coach Harry Sinden instructed Bobby Clarke to “tap Kharlamov on the ankle”. On that next shift, Clarke obliged with a vicious slash, resulting in a broken ankle and changing the fortunes of the entire Summit Series.

Kharlamov is a member of the IIHF Hall of Fame as well as the Hockey Hall of Fame, becoming just the 2nd Russian trained player to gain induction following Soviet G Vladislav Tretiak. Kharlamov was named First Winger (1-W) and is one of the 6 men selected to the IIHF Centennial All Star Team, along with G Tretiak, 1-D Fetisov, 2-D Salming, 2-W Makarov and C Wayne Gretzky. Sadly, Kharlamov lost his life in 1981 during an automobile accident.

In 1976-77, the Soviet Union introduced this newly styled uniform produced by Kisapuku with the diamond pattern on the hem. In what will be a surprise to many, Kharlamov is listed as officially wearing #14 in addition to his familiar #17 during the 1976-77 season. Other players that briefly wore #14 during this era include Vyacheslav Anisin, who partook in the 1972 Summit Series and Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, a 2-time Olympian and famed Russian Head Coach for the past 30+ years.

Sewn into the collar of this gamer is the Kisapuku manufacturers tag. The size is listed as 46-48, as it should be for the 5’ 8” 160 lb. Kharlamov. The game wear on this sweater is tremendous, lending to the belief that in addition to Kharlamov, Anisin and/or Bilyaletdinov likely wore this jersey. The game wear consists of stick and slash marks, board burns, board paint transfer, un-repaired burn holes, trauma, stitch popping, fine inner pilling and team-sewn repair work. There is no evidence that this jersey ever had a name on its back, consistent with the early version of the Kisapuku made gamers for the Soviet National Team that they began wearing in 1976-77. Shown above are some beautiful images of Kharlamov wearing the player #14 during the 1976-77 season. This is quite simply a true hobby rarity in many respects. This is the first Kharlamov gamer that we’ve ever had the pleasure to offer and just the second example we ever recall seeing at Auction, the other being of the UCKA Moscow variety. We are aware of no other CCCP Soviet National Team Kharlamov’s to have ever hit the Auction block. Further, this early Kisapuku game worn version is a near impossible find in and of itself. A tremendous well-worn piece of Soviet hockey history, worn by this legendary IIHF and Hockey Hall of Famer Valeri Kharlamov, choice!