Check out this great video footage of early era Soviet hockey, specifically in 1956 when the Soviets won their first Olympic gold in hockey:
One of the players featured in the video is Genrikh Sidorenkov. He is hardly the most renowned Russian player of all time, but nonetheless an early star. He was best known as a reliable, steady defense partner of Nikolai Sologubov, who is generally recognized as the first great Russian defenseman.
Sidorenkov was a 5'10" 185lb blueliner described as "low key," "dependable," with a "common sense style" and "a relaxed confidence." The excellent book Kings of the Ice suggests "he was a pragmatic and cautious player, exerting the minimum effort required in bodychecking while maximizing his excellent physical attributes of height and weight. Sidorenkov was respected for his well-organized game and nearly flawless performance."
Nine times Sidorenkov played on the Soviet national team, for a total of 107 games. The defenseman scored 15 goals.
He also played in 310 league games with Krylya Sovetov Moscow (1948-1951), CSKA Moscow (1951-1962, 1964-1966) and SKA Leningrad (1962-1964). A three time Soviet All Star, Sidorenkov scored a career total of 42 goals.
In addition to the 1956 gold medal, Sidorenkov added an Olympic silver medal in 1960. At the World Championships, Sidorenkov won a gold medal in 1954, silver in 1957, 1958 and 1959 and a bronze in 1961.