Alexei Guryshev

Although often forgotten by modern generations, Alexei Guryshev is a legend of Russian hockey, particularly with the Soviet Wings team (Krylja Sovetov).

Described as the "Phil Esposito of the early decades Russian hockey," Guryshev is the third highest scorer in Soviet hockey history with 379 career goals, trailing only Boris Mikhailov and Vyacheslav Starshinov. He was a scoring machine, adding 35 goals in 41 Olympic/World championship games. Like Esposito, Guryshev often scored on rebounds and in the slot. His shot was reportedly extremely heavy, despite next to no wind up.

He teamed expertly on a line with Pyotr Kotov and Sergi Mitin, and later with Nikolai Khlystov and Mikhail Bychkov. Wings coach Vladimir Yegorov wisely built his lines around Guryshev's sharpshooter abilities. He made sure Guryshev's wingers were speed demons who could draw defenses to them, and then place a perfect pass to the lurking Guryshev. He would elegantly slide undetected into position and in a split second fire the puck on net.

Guryshev was a member of the Olympic gold medal team in 1956 and WC gold medal in 1954. He also totaled impressive stats at the 1955 and 1957 worlds. Including his time at the 1958 and 1958 Worlds, Guryshev played in 41 international matches, scoring 35 times.

After retiring as a player he served as an international referee.

Guryshev is a legend in Russia, but would be even bigger had he played with other Moscow teams.

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