In late 2004 and early 2005, Dave Bidini, a member of the award-winning Canadian pop group “Rheostatics,” spent about eight weeks in Russia searching for the aging heroes of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the USSR. The documentary, entitled “Hockey Nomad Goes To Russia,” sees the hockey globetrotter play a game with the ’72 stars, and also catch a glimpse at what Russian hockey was like at that time.
Coincidentally, the movie features both Alex Ovechkin, who was playing for Dynamo during that period, and a young Evgeny Kuznetsov. Above you can view the feature of Kuzya in its entirety.
We learn that Kuznetsov, who is described in the documentary as the best 12-year-old player in Russia, did not have an easy road to hockey greatness. His family, one year removed from the tragic loss of their oldest son, moves Evgeny from the hotbed of Russian hockey in Chelyabinsk and enrolls him in a powerhouse club in Omsk hundreds of miles away. In explaining the relocation, his mother tells Bidini, “We have another son and he is worth living for. We moved to [Omsk] so we could move on.”
The tale does not end in sorrow however. The family is brought together by hockey, and the younger Kuznetsov uses the pain he feels from his brother’s death to become a better player. Kuznetsov is shown winning the MVP in his most recent tournament at the time. It’s also revealed that he told his mother, “When I get older, and make a lot of money, I’ll have a tournament in [my brother’s] honor.”
The documentary not only gives an in-depth and heart-warming look into Kuznetsov’s first steps as a hockey player, but Russian hockey as a whole. I suggest you watch the entire thing. You can check it out here.