Former Soviet netminder Sergei Mylnikov, the backstop of the Red Machine in the late 1980’s, has died at the age of 58, according to the Russian ice hockey federation.
Mylnikov, a Chelyabinsk native, started his career with his hometown Traktor, spending twelve seasons of his career there, along with stops with Torpedo Yaroslavl and SKA Saint Petersburg in the Soviet league. Mylnikov, one of the first Russian goalies to play in the NHL, played ten games with the Québec Nordiques in 1989-90, before returning to Europe, ending his career in the Swedish league in 1995.
Mylnikov first joined the senior men’s team at the 1985 World Championships, suiting up for the next five consecutive World Championships, capturing three Golds (1986, 1989, 1990), a Silver (1987) and Bronze (1985). Mylnikov also won the first two official World Junior titles in 1977 and 1978, Olympic Gold at the 1988 Calgary Games, and was the netminder for the Soviets in the historic 1987 Canada Cup, which saw Mylnikov take arguably Canada’s best roster in history to overtime in three straight final games, ultimately settling for second due to the magic of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
Mylnikov was an eight-time IHLC holder, winning the title first at the 1986 Worlds, and holding it last at the 1990 Worlds, winning at four Worlds in total (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990), three Izvestia Trophy tournaments (1986, 1987, 1989), and once at the 1987 Canada Cup. Our condolences go out to the Mylnikov family, as well as the extended hockey community, on the loss of a player gone far too young.