Alexander Gusev, one of the key defensive backstops for the Soviet Red Army dynasty of the 1970’s that won Summit Series, Olympic and World Championship titles, passed away at the age of 73.
Gusev, a Moscow native, first joined the CSKA Moscow squad in 1965 from the Soviet junior league, joining the senior team for good in 1968. Gusev would spend all but one of his eleven senior seasons with the Red Army, capturing seven Soviet titles between 1970-78, three Soviet Cups, and playing in the inaugural Super Series tour in 1975-76, part of the historic battles against both the Montréal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. Gusev would spend his final season with SKA Leningrad in 1978-79, joining the Soviet team for the 1978 Super Series, before retiring and spending five seasons as an assistant coach with SKA MVO Kalinin of the Soviet second division. Gusev finished his Soviet Top Division career with 107 points (64 goals, 53 assists) in 310 career games.
Gusev first joined the Soviet national team for the 1972 World Championship, the first of four appearances at the Worlds, where Gusev would capture a pair of Gold medals (1973, 1974), a silver (1972) and bronze (1977), as well as making the tournament All-Star team in 1973. Gusev also suited up for the Red Army at both the 1972 and 1974 Summit Series, winning the latter over Canada, as well as appearing at the first Canada Cup in 1976. Gusev also won Olympic Gold at the 1976 Innsbruck Games, along with three Izvestia Trophies (1973, 1975-76) and the 1978 Rudé Právo Cup.
Our condolences go out to the Gusev family, as well as the extended hockey community across Russia, on the loss of a defensive hockey giant in the illustrious history of hockey in Russia.