A portrait of Evgeny Kuznetsov's brother, Alexander, which hangs on a cross at his grave.

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.

Via hfboards.com and RMNB reader @Valtard.

  • Hale

    So Ovi and Kuznetzov have in common tragically losing an older brother. I hope he gets to have that tournament some day.

  • Devin Shannon


  • Fedor, Igor, and myself have all been concentrating on Evgeny Kuznetsov since the very first day he’s been drafted by the Capitals.  This was the first time we all had heard of this story and it’s quite sobering.   I agree, @2ad2e9b7bcaccdf76fbaed6f278d085d:disqus , I hope he gets a chance to have a charity tourney for his brother Alexander someday.

    I’m really thankful that I came across the documentary – and especially thankful that @Valtard:twitter  forwarded us a link to the youtubes last night!  It gives great insight into the best player not on the Capitals’ roster yet.  And personally, it really makes me believe he has the heart and work ethic of a champion.

    I hope we someday have an opportunity to talk to him about it!

  • Oh my gosh, this is fantastic, definitely going to watch the rest of the documentary later.

  • Oh my gosh, this is fantastic, definitely going to watch the rest of the documentary later.

  • Timbo

    I can’t say I’m surprised, after reading all about “Kuz”, and then watching him in the WJCs – Canada had 15 first-rounders on that team, totally stacked – and the kid totally dominated.  Maybe more important than even his obvious great athletic gifts, it seemed like his teammates were drawn to him, as he refused to back down to the Canadians’ physicality and lifted up the entire team.  Can’t wait to see him in a Caps uni!!!

  • Same here, @c41db6da7ab39334a103d73df9872cbb:disqus !

  • Sister Ovechkin

    This was so fantastic!  I loved every minute and watched the whole thing!  Thank you for adding some хоккейная любовь to my summer!  спасибо!!

  • JinxRinx

    They’ve got links on Japers today (July 19, 2011) to Parts 1, 2, and 3 of this documentary.  The other parts you can view from the You Tube menu.

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  • Zubiezilla

    nice job stealing this from HF you hack 

  • Glad to help! Must admit after watching this I had to go check if Traktor would visit SKA St. Petersburg this season. Might go see Kuznetsov play in January as it’s only about 300 miles from where I live.

  • If you do Valtteri, let us know. That’d be an awesome guest post!

  • db

    bidini here, dudes. enjoy. genia is a great kid. also, check out my first hockumentary if u have a chance. it’s here. i go to monogolia, dubai, transylvania– no caps picks from there. yet.


  • Evgeni Goldlust

    This is great!  Even more so for me since I am from Chelyabinsk area, own a Traktor jersey and my name also happens to be Zhenya.  Can’t wait to see this kid play here.