Red Army (2014) Movie Script

In the traditional motion picture story,
the villains are usually defeated,
the ending is a happy one.
I can make no such promise
for the picture you're about to watch.
The story isn't over.
You, in the audience,
are part of the conflict.
What has happened so far
and what is happening now
is far from encouraging.
How we meet the Communist challenge
depends on you.
We are united in detesting
Communist slavery.
The Soviets are the best team
in the world.
Hockey proved that the Soviet system
was the best system.
When the Big Red Machine gets rolling,
they're mighty hard to stop.
Their target is us.
Our institutions,
our families, our children.
The Soviets beginning
to create their attack...
Brilliant play!
Although they don't show emotion,
let's face it,
they are a microcosm of their society.
You talk about a dynasty!
This is a bona fide superstar.
Maybe best in the world.
Slava Fetisov, one of the greatest
defensemen in the history...
Fetisov, centered in front. They score!
They were the totalitarian team.
The KGB guys were always there.
And it is sheer folly for us not to make
every conceivable preparation to win.
Okay, I'd just like,
kind of, a few things about...
Because, basically,
what I'm trying to get in the film is
what it was like to live
in the Soviet Union.
Yeah, and describe your feeling about...
I'm busy now. Hold on.
I've got some business.
My point is that American audiences
don't really understand the things
that people didn't have
or even the good things.
But what are some things that you can say...
"We had to wait in line, or we had to..."
That's a clich, but,
"We had to do this, we had to do that."
Travel, you know.
Just basic things
that we take for granted these days.
Like, this is... "Look, we couldn't travel.
We couldn't..." You know, whatever.
I was born in the Soviet Union in '58.
It was 13 years
after World War ll was over.
The whole country was ruined.
We lost 20 million people.
It's a lot.
We was living in Stalin's buildings.
Probably a 400 square foot apartment.
No running water,
no toilets, three families.
It was a pretty rough lifestyle.
I was a happy kid.
I play a game. I play hockey.
Pucks was empty cans
and stuff like that.
But, we had fun.
Our heroes played for the
Red Army Club, for the national team.
Hockey was the most popular sport
in the Soviet Union
because the Soviet hockey team
represented the peak of what
the Soviet Union had achieved.
And was proof that the Soviet
system was the best system.
It was politics, really.
My mom and dad,
they probably collected for two years.
They bought for me gloves,
helmet, and the skates.
On the black market,
it probably cost 250 rubles.
It was big money for a Soviet family.
There was a huge line of the boys.
With the sticks. With the skates.
With the parents. With the grandparents.
It's unbelievable.
It's probably 3-4 miles long.
When it was decided
that hockey would be the thing,
money, everything went into that.
They had a very well-organized system.
I mean, from childhood to...
They really picked out the best
of the best of the best.
And this was a nationwide system.
I was 9 years old.
I stayed in line probably 7 or 8 hours.
I was exhausted.
I got no chance.
They said, "Thank you very much.
Come again next year."
So I practiced 3 or 4 times a day.
Finally, they said I was good
enough to make the team.
I was so proud to play for Red Army.
Skate with no fear.
We'll give you exercises
no one has ever seen.
You'll be juggling your sticks,
twisting them around your head.
Where's the smile?
You're playing hockey!
Jump! Quick!
Tarasov was the father
of the Soviet system.
And the head coach of the Red Army.
You'll become great hockey players!
And great men!
This man played a big role in my life.
I was Red Army in my heart.
I came there. I was 10 years old.
Tarasov, he developed the program.
He wrote a few books about hockey.
These books laid next to my
bed since I was a little kid.
He described the game
in a very simple way.
Hockey is an aggressive game.
It's not like tennis, right?
So I wouldn't say that the North...
The Americans, the Canadians
are more aggressive than the Russians.
I wouldn't say that.
But I do think that there was
a different concept
of how you play the game.
Tarasov, who was an extremely
creative man,
he saw hockey
as this amazingly intricate game
of passing the puck.
The Soviets play more of
a finessed, improvisational game...
And they could cut
and weave beautifully.
Their passing game was
an intricate, artistic tapestry,
which we didn't see over here.
We emphasized everything
in a unit, of a collective.
The puck carrier was the servant
of the other players.
Our training camps were together.
My chess team
and the national hockey team.
They would often come to me
if they had questions
on psychological training.
He had theories of the way the game
should be played like a chess game.
He studied the training of the Bolshoi,
and he applied it to hockey.
Look at these dances, eh?
It's like the boogie woogie!
Sport is an art form.
That's what Tarasov thought.
Creativity, a vivid mind, and constant
thinking are needed for greatness.
My father was not just a hockey coach.
He was a great mentor.
He could see the potential
in a young person.
He developed my patriotism.
For us, it's very important.
For me since I was ten, it was
very important what was in front.
The name of my team, my country.
I belong to the great nation.
If you wear the national team uniform,
that's your duty. To do your best.
To represent your country.
For the Soviets, sports were,
in a way, a kind of warfare.
The game, for them, wasn't just a game.
It was also part of what you
would call propaganda, actually.
Making it very clear
that we're the best,
and we're the best
because of the Soviet system,
because of socialism.
That's why we're the best.
At the moment, you are ahead of us.
We still have a lot of work to do
to catch up with you.
We'll do that.
We'll catch up.
We'll surpass you.
You may perhaps laugh now,
but when we overtake you,
we'll wave our hand as we say, "Capitalists!
Goodbye! Catch up if you can!"
Have you ever watched hockey?
I like playing with dolls.
Do you know what these letters mean:
Yeah, you were born much later.
You didn't have to deal
with this organization.
The Central Red Army prepare to travel
to North America to play
a series of games
against the best teams of the West.
One outstanding player we didn't
see in last year's junior series
was the brilliant defenseman
Viacheslav Fetisov.
When we crossed the Atlantic
to play against
the best Ontario clubs at 16 years old,
I was happy.
There was one flight per week.
Empty because nobody was flying.
Of course, regular people cannot leave
the country because that's the system.
I used to go with them
to provide security,
and to prevent any "escapes"
to the West.
The "special people"
who traveled with us,
they give your passport before you
get to passport control,
and they collect the passport
when you cross the border.
The Canadians put us
in a five-star hotel.
Chandeliers. Marble.
One room per player,
and a hundred TV channels.
Hey, right now, Loblaws is
having a huge frozen food sale.
Fruits, vegetables in the wintertime.
I've never seen it before for us.
In the Soviet Union,
we got fish only one day a week.
It was "Fish Thursday."
When people went abroad,
especially for the first time,
they were so surprised
by the differences.
We got $48.
They gave us pocket money.
I bought 2 jeans, 3 pair of shorts.
Lots of stuff which just didn't
exist in Moscow.
However, they never saw
the negative side
of the other countries.
Control was intense.
Without such intense control,
there was no point in the work at all.
I was never even thinking
about to defect.
Never. What's that mean?
It meant you were happy.
I'm happy.
Tonight, Team Canada
hosts the Soviet Union.
It's a team we've never seen.
The building was 12,000 people. Packed.
I was so nervous, y'know?
We got shitty gear.
- Canada versus the Soviet Union.
- Team Canada has a definite edge.
The two things
that Team Canada do the best,
they shoot better and they skate better.
Canadians, fans and sportswriters
seem to agree
their team will clobber
the Russian pretenders.
We beat them in all 5 games.
Fetisov over the line.
Fetisov trying to get it out in front.
Throws it out in front.
They shoot, they score!
Fetisov back out of the slot.
Fetisov feeds.
Fetisov with a brilliant play.
He scores!
He scores!
- Fetisov.
- Fetisov.
And the game is over.
The Soviet Union has beaten Team Canada.
Viacheslav Fetisov.
His teammates call him Slava.
He's undoubtedly
one of the great young stars
of the Central Red Army team.
It's been said of him
that he can skate backwards
as fast as most defensemen
can skate forwards.
Kids growing up
now want to play like Fetisov.
Which players do you like the best?
- Fetisov.
- Fetisov.
Okay, Gabe. Let's go. Let's go. Work!
You guys are used to doing
nothing over there in America.
Yeah. Okay.
I want to ask you about Viktor Tikhonov.
How did he become
the national team coach,
and what was your relationship to him?
Tarasov got in trouble because
Tarasov's team scored a goal,
but it wasn't counted.
And he became so angry,
he actually took his players
off the ice.
Tarasov disagreed and stopped the game.
We didn't play for 40 minutes.
And there sat Brezhnev.
And Brezhnev was saying,
"What the hell is this?"
They removed him from the national team.
They punished him for this.
The KGB Chief was a fan
of the Red Army Club.
Tikhonov was his protg.
You mean, Tikhonov was so powerful
in the Communist Party that they made him...
What do you mean powerful?
I mean, can't someone just say...
What do you mean powerful?
He's a part of the system.
The Chief of the KGB put him
in the position.
Viktor Tikhonov was disliked or detested
by most of the players.
If we didn't obey,
he would punish us severely.
He would take your salary
or bar you from playing.
Some rather vigorous discussion.
Our friend, Mr. Tikhonov, is ticked off,
if you'll forgive the expression.
Tikhonov's been heavily criticized
by some of the players.
One of them said if he ever
needs a heart transplant,
he wants Viktor's
because Viktor's never used his.
You can see him
yelling at them on the bench,
and, actually, he would hit them in practice,
and smash them in the head.
Hammer them like this.
I'm very volatile.
That's how I am.
And the guys know that.
They know when to approach me.
He's looking a little bit
deranged right there.
Tikhonov was in a very advanced
position from the beginning.
He got the best team in the world.
He got all kinds of support
from the government.
In the Soviet Union,
you can get any player.
You draft him into the army
and he becomes a Red Army player.
Can Tikhonov be successful without us?
I don't know.
We being successful without him?
I think so.
Here, suddenly, there was a team
that actually could beat Team Canada.
And the hockey players
were all considered as heroes.
And hockey itself became
tremendously popular in the country.
Can you tell me
about your first Olympics?
Want a story? You got the time?
I come to you this evening to
discuss the extremely important
and rapidly changing
circumstances in Southwest Asia.
Massive Soviet military forces
have invaded
the small, nonaligned
sovereign nation of Afghanistan.
A Soviet-occupied Afghanistan
is a stepping stone
to possible control over much
of the world's oil supplies.
It is a deliberate effort of
a powerful, atheistic government
to subjugate an independent
Islamic people.
Heavy fighting continues in Afghanistan.
With invading Soviet troops
in parts of the country,
world indignation at the apparent
Soviet takeover is coming to a head.
Cold War passions
were running very, very hot.
And then, the United States
happened to be hosting
the Olympic Games at Lake Placid.
They had this Cold War
political flavor to it.
The David versus Goliath
matchup featuring
a US team comprised of
inexperienced college players
going up against a veteran Soviet team
widely regarded
as the best hockey team in the world.
The United States
had lost an exhibition game
to the Soviets, 10-3,
a couple weeks before the Olympics.
That showed the difference in skill level
between the two teams.
The excitement, the tension building.
The Olympic Center filling to capacity.
In a political or nationalistic sense,
I'm sure this game is being viewed
with varying perspectives,
but it is a hockey game.
The United States and the Soviet Union
on a sheet of ice
in Lake Placid, New York.
Here we go, as the game is underway.
The Soviet Union in red
and the United States in white.
It's been 20 years since an American team
has beat the Soviets.
Pavelich up ahead to Schneider.
Slap shot! Goes in!
A winner!
The United States has tied the game!
A couple of months ago, would you have
believed this would be possible?
Very careless rebound.
An uncharacteristically
careless rebound by Tretiak.
Here's Tretiak on the bench.
A very uncharacteristic place for him.
He leaves it for Zhluktov.
Zhluktov, number 22,
who passes it to Makarov.
Craig makes the save.
He shoots, and he scores!
4-3, the United States on top.
Checked by Ramsey.
McClanahan is there.
The puck is still loose.
Eleven seconds. You got 10 seconds.
The countdown going on right now.
Morrow up to Silk.
Five seconds left in the game!
Do you believe in miracles? Yes!
We're number one. We rule. US rules!
And tell the whole team
that we are extremely proud of them.
They've come through
like true champions.
It was a great win, you know,
for everybody,
and I think it just proves
that our way of life
is the proper way to continue on.
It was tough.
You better believe
the Soviet authorities are not happy.
The government will certainly
be taking matters into their own hands.
...if they don't see an opportunity...
What's the price they pay over there?
Finally, tonight, from overseas,
a story about hockey.
A team in the Soviet Union
is still dwelling on
a championship lost.
There have been some changes made.
After the Olympic games,
Tikhonov fired the veterans.
It's wrong.
All these guys,
all these supporting staff,
this is the successful team.
Not him.
After that game,
the workload became tremendous.
There were players who pissed blood.
We practiced four times a day
in the summertime.
Four times.
We're working at a heart rate of 220.
Can you imagine? 220.
Players had to live
in these hockey camps,
isolated 11 months of the year.
And they would get out
maybe one weekend every month.
You win by being merciless in training.
The coach must perpetuate
this tradition.
A coach must find a player's pressure
points to achieve maximum results.
It's the carrot and the stick,
like an animal trainer.
To get masterpieces from the beasts,
you have to force them a little bit.
Did I respect him?
As my coach? Yes.
As a person? No.
The Soviets are back
after that American defeat,
back in 1980 at Lake Placid.
Well, there aren't many left
from that 1980 team.
Fetisov, a couple
of their superstars remain,
but the rest of the team
has been completely rebuilt.
You have to be born a goalie.
I am a destroyer.
I destroy the plans of the adversary.
Vladislav Tretiak in the net.
The best goalie in the world.
Tretiak is almost unbeatable.
The greatest goaltender
the game has ever seen.
Tikhonov was given
ready-to-use material.
Tarasov had created stars.
It was to his credit that
he created a five-man unit.
They were the best.
...are the strike force
of the Soviet team.
When the five got together,
no one knew how to play them.
At left wing, number 24, Sergei Makarov.
He was the most dangerous player
in the world.
The mastery and the wizardry of Makarov,
who hung onto that puck
and then just gave it.
He can make the goal
from nowhere, anytime.
He scored more goals than
anybody in our hockey history.
And they score!
At right wing, number nine,
Vladimir Krutov.
He was a Russian tank.
Krutov here, only 5'9
but he weighs almost 200 pounds.
He was the soul of the five-man unit.
At center, number 11, Igor Larionov.
Igor was the professor.
I've got a question.
Why was he "the professor"?
Because he was skinny like that.
Not a professor, maybe nerd.
Skinny but tough.
It kind of misleads lots of guys.
Number seven, Alexei Kasatonov.
He was my best friend.
Seven and two, Fetisov and Kasatonov.
They've played together for so long
that they know each other's
moves instinctively.
And when one goes in,
the other kind of trails back,
and it just works for them.
Fetisov to Kasatonov.
Shoots, he scores!
He was teammate. He was roommate.
Alex became my younger brother.
My mom cooked for him,
and my grandpa was like his grandpa.
It's tough to find any closer relationship
between two men.
Alex is probably the best all-around
defensemen ever to play the game.
I believe he (Slava) was the best defenseman
in the history of world hockey.
Number two, Viacheslav Fetisov.
Slava was our leader, of course.
In the way he skated, his character.
And he gets leveled by Fetisov.
Fetisov showing that good strength.
6'1 205 pounds. He's no small player.
Tikhonov came from the Politburo
and said:
"Slava, I got good news.
"You're going to be captain of
the Soviet National Team."
I said, "Thank you, but I'm not."
He said, "You stupid?"
I said, "I'm not."
But when I talked to the guys,
they said, "We want you
to be our captain."
I said, "Okay."
Why they choose me, I don't know.
But I become the youngest ever
captain of the national team.
In Soviet hockey,
the lines stay together.
Five-man unit.
They like to keep the line
and the two defensemen together
for as long as they possibly can.
We were great friends in real life.
I tell you, they were good people,
kind and always ready to help.
We never let each other down.
What were they like as individuals?
We were all practically
the same, you know?
We'd celebrate the birthdays,
the family things.
We went to restaurants together.
We would spend vacation time.
We were all the same.
But did they read, have hobbies?
What were their personalities?
We were the same.
Why are you asking me the same thing?
They just clicked from the get-go.
They had a lot of confidence in each other,
and they had a lot of pride.
And those players will go down in history
as the greatest five-man units of all time.
They had a sixth sense about them.
They had eyes in the back of their head.
Sometimes you feel without a look.
Your partner must be there.
The Soviets really perfected the weave.
They move like one body.
Holy cow, what a play by the Soviets!
Fetisov was number two in scoring,
even though he was a defender.
He would go forward
and Makarov would draw back.
They score!
Everything was like this.
The opponents did not know who to cover.
Circling back, Fetisov,
Larionov, Makarov.
He scores!
The goals that they scored
would be highlight reel goals.
They all touched the puck.
The skill level of that team
was astounding.
They elevated hockey to an art form.
No one could hold them back.
What they did on the ice...
Yes, they were the best.
The Soviet Union
has defeated Team Canada
8-1 in the Canada Cup.
And this crowd here at the Forum
has gone very quiet
as Scotty Bowman looks on.
We had Wayne Gretzky,
Guy Lafleur, Gilbert Perreault.
But they whipped us so bad.
We didn't expect it.
They have beaten the Islanders,
the Boston Bruins,
and now the Jersey Devils.
A Soviet team has defeated
the defending Stanley Cup champion.
The first time ever.
They've outscored the opposition 42-5.
The Soviets are the best team
in the world.
Gold medal, give it to the Russians.
Let them go home.
- You just don't see how it can get any better.
- He scores!
Well, you know,
the Russians are so darn good.
One man and a goalie to beat.
Drops it back. Krutov scores.
That's how it's done.
You'll not see any nicer
than that, folks.
You just can't compete.
It's just too difficult.
When the Big Red Machine gets rolling,
they're mighty hard to stop.
This is the big one.
So, we are now
into the gold medal match.
It's Czechoslovakia
against the Soviet Union.
For the Soviets, it's very,
very important
because they didn't take that medal
in Lake Placid in 1980.
And if the Czechs take it
from them this time,
there will really be
a shake-up in Soviet hockey.
This is Larionov, number 11.
Drops it back. Getting set.
Here's Kasatonov.
Back to Larionov.
Larionov is checked.
Krutov has it in behind the net.
Makarov is standing
right in front of the goal.
Here's Krutov.
He gets it back, now to Fetisov.
Fetisov setting up. Slides it in front.
Krutov scores!
Krutov! And it's 2-0 for the Soviets!
It was the greatest moment in my life.
My childhood dream come true.
I got this gold medal.
I was the happiest man in the world.
My brother, his name was Anatoly.
I think he would be one of the
best forwards ever to play the game.
He was like a son to me.
We got almost 10 years apart.
He was killed in a car accident in 1985.
I was driving the car.
To be in a situation like that,
I didn't want to live.
I share everything they go through.
All the training,
all happiness and sadness.
Losses and victories, all the positive,
and the negative, too.
Andrei Khomutov found out
his father was going to die soon.
He came to him and said,
"Viktor, can you let me go
to see my father?"
He said, "No.
"You have to get ready
for the next game."
Andrei never saw his father again.
This was tough to imagine for me,
that Tikhonov can do
something like that.
The players often ask,
"What is this all for?
"Why get maximum scores?
"Maybe we should rest a little."
It's absurd.
They was eleven months at camp.
Training camp.
And thirty-six nights, they was home.
They never get out of that camp.
We always fight against Tikhonov
to let us live at home.
But he said,
"This is the style of my team.
"And this is the style of Soviet sport
in the Soviet Union."
I'm by myself in the apartment.
And when he talks on the phone with me,
it's like lines staying behind him,
and everybody listening.
Because it's one phone
and it's like twenty-five guys.
We get together, the Russian 5,
and said, "Can we lose
the World Championships next?
"Maybe they'll kick his ass
out of the team.
"And we can live a better life."
I'm telling you,
so many times we asked ourselves,
"Why are you suffering so much?
"Why play for a guy who doesn't
respect us as a human being?"
In the Soviet period,
the individual had to obey very strictly
and had no say.
And if he tried to have a say,
that could end his career.
So many competitions
and you are never home.
At first, I'd get home
and Dima wouldn't recognize me.
I'd ask him, "Where's your dad?"
And he would show me photographs.
Your youth is wasted.
New Year's Eve, holidays, birthdays...
You're always alone with the team,
without your wife and kids.
It's a tough life.
At 32, I felt old and worn out.
I wanted freedom to train
on my own, or to stop playing.
So I was forced to quit.
There was a lot of disillusionment
that was going on in the Soviet Union.
For over 70 years,
the Soviet Union was a closed society
and the Iron Curtain was a reality.
The belief that existed for so long
that had really held
the country together,
the profound, idealistic belief
that was part of it, dissipated.
Dear comrades, delegates,
a new democratic era is upon us.
Do you think people realized
that this was the end of the Cold War?
What's the Cold War?
The Cold War.
No, I know. What's the Cold War?
What's it about?
About the money?
About business?
Sure, probably. You think so?
For resources?
I think so.
Nothing else?
I think it's just about fear.
Fear of what?
National security, probably, right?
That's bullshit.
The sports world has heard
the Russians are coming.
That is, that some
of those world-class athletes
that are in the Soviet Union
will be allowed to come west,
turn pro and play for big rubles.
Soviet athletes are in big demand.
New Jersey Devils have offered
defenseman Viacheslav Fetisov
a half million dollars
for just one year along the blue line.
We think that they will raise
the level of excellence
in the entire National Hockey League.
The only reason these well-dressed
and well-off hockey bosses
even consider selling players
is that they have been told
by the Politburo
their big subsidies must be cut.
The sale of defenseman Fetisov
to New Jersey is one way out.
It is not something
those officials want to do,
but in this clash of capitalism
and socialism,
money is proving to be the big lure.
And if you're a Soviet player,
and you see what's ahead for yourself,
except more of this dreariness.
And then they realized, "My God.
"Look what these teams and the players have
in the NHL and the money they get,
"and the automobiles
and the houses and the vacations."
Then you're gonna want like hell
to get out of there.
Tikhonov came from the Politburo
to the training camp and said,
"Slava, if you do good in Calgary,
in the Olympics, you win the gold medal,
"you're gonna be the first Soviet player
who go play in National Hockey League."
I said, "Okay."
The face of the Soviet Union,
Slava Fetisov.
There's the captain of the Soviet Union,
Viacheslav Fetisov,
representing his team
on the podium here.
I was so happy.
When I landed in Moscow,
they called me to the Ministry.
They give me in the Kremlin,
the Lenin Award.
The biggest award in the country.
And then I was called for private talk
between three men:
The Minister of Sport,
Tikhonov and myself.
When the Minister said,
"Slava, finally you deserve it.
"We'll let you go. Good luck
and I wish you all the best."
And he said, "Am I right, Viktor?"
You know what Viktor said?
"Yeah, you're right. But I need
him for another year.
"Because we can't replace him."
He said, "January 2nd, we got the
Super Series against New Jersey.
"And we promise you after
the game against New Jersey,
"you're going to finish
the season in the NHL."
Fetisov goes back to get it.
Top scoring defenseman.
Four times Player of the Year.
Fetisov right there, he scores!
It's a four-to-nothing Red Army lead.
Is Slava Fetisov coming to the NHL?
It's possible for him to stay here.
Not now, eventually.
See what happened?
Publicly he said, "He can go."
But inside, not behind my back,
in front of me he said, "No."
What's the current status of this thing?
We keep hearing yes, and then we hear no,
and then we hear maybe.
Well, really, the status right now,
it relies in the hands
of the Soviet government.
Slava Fetisov wants to be here,
and he wants to play
in the National Hockey League.
But really, we have no control
over what is happening right now.
Neither has Fetisov.
Lou Lamoriello
showed me around New York.
He said, "Slava, I learned today
they'll never let you go."
He said, "This is the life.
"You should stay here."
So when Lou asked you to defect,
did you consider it?
I cannot run away from my country.
I cannot
do something illegal.
When I get back,
I called a press conference.
And I said, "I'm never going to play
for the Tikhonov team anymore.
"Because they cheated me."
The day his article went out,
our phone stopped ringing.
People who we know stopped
talking to us.
The sports facilities in the country,
nobody let me in.
You come there, the people know you,
they admire you.
They put their head down and said,
"No, Slava.
You cannot come and skate here.
"No, if we let you skate,
they are going to kill me."
Agents were placed
in their social circle
so we could know
the situation from within.
These people were just
pawns on a chess board.
When you sit at home and you know
some car is sitting down
near your entrance,
and they're going to follow you,
and they're going to try to listen. If you
meet someone, what do you talk about?
What's the worst they could do?
Anything. If they try to put Slava
in prison, what do you think?
Did they do anything?
In Kiev.
In Kiev.
What happened?
What happened...
They tried to put Slava in a car
and take him to the police station.
They put the cuffs on him,
and cuffed him to the battery.
And they just beat him up
until four o'clock in the morning.
When they called Tikhonov,
and Tikhonov came and picked him up.
That's when we heard
when Tikhonov was screaming,
"Do anything, just put him in prison.
"Just don't let him out of the country."
If Slava will not be included on the team,
what will be your next move?
Most likely, we'll all refuse to participate
in the world championship.
You are three. Who else will join you?
There are others who will support us.
Krutov stood up for me,
with my teammates Makarov and Larionov.
Krutov has always been quiet.
When you see the situation get crucial,
he steps up.
And from him, when he said something,
it sounds different when you're not
talking all the time. It's very powerful.
Do you mind, kind of,
just telling the story?
It's very important
because it's a very personal...
It was that.
Slava was leaving.
I stayed to play.
It was a big surprise for me that
Alex Kasatonov didn't go
with the boys on TV.
You know, my best friend
said, "No, I'm not going."
So it was a big surprise.
It's a very long story.
Yeah, but you know...
It's the story of our country, I think.
He said publicly I wasn't
right to leave the team.
He took the position of
Coach Tikhonov in this situation.
That's the funniest part.
You were best friends. I mean,
I want to know, kind of... You know...
It's not the time.
To be continued.
Next question.
A special department was
created in the KGB.
Do you want to say anything?
Take your glasses off.
You can't even see me in dark glasses.
Come on, they are transparent.
I can see you well.
Look at the sun.
I just did. I looked.
I have sunglasses, too.
They are white.
Like this color white.
When did things start to go wrong?
Maybe it was
the incident with Mogilny.
Number 14 is Alexander Mogilny.
Many NHL scouts say
he is the best 19-year-old hockey player
in the world.
I asked Mogilny if he would consider
playing in the National Hockey League.
I'd like, but I suppose
that it's more interesting
to play in the Soviet Union.
All right, what if we offer you
a million dollars cash?
Then would you come and play in the NHL?
The Soviet team was over there
playing a tournament,
and they wake up one morning,
and Mogilny was gone.
His defection began with a phone call
to the managers
of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.
Were you in Sweden to bring him out?
No. What do you mean, was I
in Sweden to bring him out?
I was in Sweden to meet him,
at his request.
Mogilny was considered a traitor,
especially because he was
in the Soviet Army.
He escaped, as they say.
But it was kind of...
How do you say... Illegal.
Here, people enjoy life.
Everyone has their own home,
their own cars.
But that's not the point.
Here, people live for themselves.
And there, I lived like a homeless dog.
Why did the government care so much
if the hockey players defected?
It's difficult to speak
about hockey separately.
It wouldn't be like,
"Oh my God! Hockey players are leaving!"
The regime wouldn't put it like that.
One defection could lead to a wave.
This was a big threat to Soviet power.
Politically, every time
something like that happened,
it was used in the media,
so it was a victory for the West
and a loss for the Soviet Union.
Authorities in Soviet sports
and hockey authorities,
they realized that it's much better
for themselves, for the system,
to allow the players to go to the NHL
without the opportunity to escape,
just because it's damaged
the image of the country.
Then they start to negotiate.
They said, "Okay, it looks like the
high authority agreed to let you go.
"But you have to understand.
You'll make $1000 a month.
"Doesn't matter how much
is your contract.
"You're gonna bring money
back to the embassy."
I said, "No way. I'm not going.
"I mean, are you crazy?"
They said, "You crazy."
I said, "Okay."
They called me in a couple days
and said, "Slava,
"you got special permission
from the Politburo.
"Because you were so good for
hockey, for the national team,
"and you were captain,
we'll give you 10% of your salary.
"This is a special offer
made especially for you.
"Nobody has to know about the 10%."
I said, "No."
Then it was 20%.
Then it was 25%.
They called my mom. They called my wife.
They tried to scare them.
Momma said, "Son, the people called me.
They explained you got no chance.
"They'll not let you go.
They'll make something bad for you.
"You should not fight anymore."
And Igor Larionov signed
a deal and left.
The Russians are here.
Igor Larionov, center,
Vancouver, a playmaker.
The NHL is paying
the Soviet Union to allow Igor
and other Soviet veterans to play here.
Soviet players in the NHL
have to turn a large chunk
of their contract
over to their cash-starved country.
But to the Larionovs, it's worth it.
In Moscow, things were
completely different.
If they lost, he would not
be allowed to come home.
He was happy with a 50/50
split with the system.
Who, Igor?
Igor, and Sergei and Vladimir.
They was happy to split 50/50.
I said, "No."
And I was alone.
They said, "What do you want?"
I said, "I want my contract."
The problem is
that this defenseman's life
is controlled
by the Soviet Defense Ministry.
Fetisov is an officer in the army
and plays for its top team.
The team is cleared.
Tikhonov has cleared it.
And all they're waiting for
is the Minister of Defense.
Yazov. Dmitry Yazov.
The Minister of Defense.
The second most powerful man
in the country.
They called me
to the Ministry of Defense.
Tried to straighten me out.
They put my uniform on me.
It was a huge, huge office.
He said, "America? This is my enemy.
"No way you're going to America."
He said, "You don't wanna play?
"You're not gonna play
anymore, anywhere, anyhow."
Something clicked inside of me.
I have to do something.
I have to provoke some result
out of this visit.
Because I knew I'd never get back here.
I said, "Mr. Minister,
"if you don't do what you promised to me,
you're not a Minister. You're not an officer.
"Release me from the army.
"Thank you very much."
I turn and go.
He was screaming, yelling.
"You ....sucker.
You try to play for our enemies?
"You know what I can do with you? I'll send
you to Siberia. You'll never get out."
But I never turned back.
I left.
You know what?
In ten days, they give me a passport.
And I was free of the Army.
The first multiple working entrance
visa to United States.
Wait a second. Go back.
I don't get why Yazov let you leave
if he was mad at you.
I'm not a historian.
My feeling was the country
tried to change
something because it's Perestroika time.
But he doesn't want changes.
Everybody was afraid.
It's understandable.
It's like in a dark room,
try to find a dark cat.
You know, it's not funny.
You'll go play our nation's hockey.
Skillful and effective hockey.
You'll be great.
Coach's Corner with Don Cherry.
You look happy. What's the matter?
You know, I was gonna come on here
and be a good guy, you know, right?
The first show, don't talk about the Russians,
and you know, and all that stuff.
And be all, you know, I go,
"We'll let them come over here." No way!
I don't want them here!
The players don't want them here.
And you're gonna be sorry
they're over here.
Nobody like me in the United States.
Nobody knew what I went through.
They would think in clichs.
I'm a bad guy, a communist.
They talk about the Soviets
coming over and play here.
Would some of the players be
a little upset about that?
It would be a touchy situation,
you know,
because you don't like to see
players on your team lose jobs,
and if they come, there's gonna
be two less spots in the lineup.
A shot taken by Clark on Fetisov,
who's not retaliating.
Fetisov looks like,
"You can't be doing this."
Kind of disbelief when Clark
started swinging at him.
Let's take a look at it again.
When I walk in the wives' lounge,
it was like
I was staying in one corner,
and the rest were staying
in the other corner.
And was looking at me,
and talking in their own language.
I understand nothing
they're talking about.
Looking at me again.
Laughing and looking and talking.
And I think,
"What are they talking about?"
I have no idea.
The coach hate Russians.
See it when he look at you, he hate you.
How you gonna play for the guy
who hate you
because you're a Soviet?
Hockey over here
was a more brutal form of the game
with elbows...
Sticks high, and individualistic play.
There was no style.
They're so simple.
They're not creative.
It was the worst team in the league.
Somebody gets open
and they skate away from you.
And you end up on your ass.
They look at you like
you never played before.
Life challenged me all the time.
All of a sudden, he was drafted
by the New Jersey Devils.
...there, Kasatonov.
Kasatonov, he's a little overshadowed,
I think, by Fetisov.
He's a great hockey player.
Did you tell the coaches, like,
"Listen, I can't play with this guy.
"I mean, I just can't."
Nobody gave a shit
about our relationship.
They sign him. We have to play.
It wasn't friendship anymore.
It wasn't team spirit.
It was kind of competition.
It was tough, trust me.
Fetisov and Kasatonov,
best friends off the ice,
defensive partners on the ice.
I came to the United States
to play the hockey game.
Not to be involved in this bullshit.
Welcome to the big leagues, Vladimir.
Krutov hit hard! Down he goes.
The Soviets in the big league
have been having trouble.
They're too old or too slow.
They're too confused out there,
and they tend to get too fancy.
They tend to pass
when they should shoot,
and it gets the natives restless.
They're not here for the Bolshoi Ballet.
It's a completely new experience for me
to play on a losing team.
I ask the fans to be patient.
It didn't work out for me,
staying in the NHL.
But that's okay, I think.
All in all, my life worked out.
I think everything's okay.
When you come from a system
where everything is regimented
every day of your life,
and it was for these hockey players,
and then you're...
You go to a completely
different environment
where you're supposed
to be able to organize
and run your own life,
you become sort of lost.
I was 36.
And they trade me from
New Jersey to Detroit.
Do you miss Larionov, Krutov, Makarov?
Of course.
We spent so many years
playing and living together.
You miss the ones you're close to.
I think, "Oh my God.
I did something wrong.
"You've been successful.
You've always been on top.
"Now you're a loser?"
Do you feel that the game
is more fun here?
I get out of the dressing room
and see my wife by herself.
I said, "Why are you crying?"
She said, "Oh, we got probably
our last chance."
I said, "No."
We've got two choices:
To pack the stuff, go back
or to fight through.
Soviet Army tanks in their hundreds
moved onto the streets of Moscow,
but the takeover has not gone
ahead without resistance.
...was something that
certainly wasn't anticipated
in this form, this quickly.
The extent of the changes
and the immediacy of them
certainly were not anticipated.
I hereby resign my post
as President of the USSR.
An end has been put to the
Cold War and the arms race,
and the mad militarization
of this country.
The threat of nuclear war is over.
I wish everyone all the best.
I knew how good they were.
I mean, I had watched them play.
Bobby, the Soviets,
they never stop skating.
There is constant motion.
Their style of hockey
bothered our goalies and our defensemen,
because, you know, you get in tune
to playing a certain way,
and then all of a sudden,
the opposition does something different.
The Canadians are getting caught up
in the Soviet vortex.
We initially had three
that came out about the same time,
Konstantinov, Fedorov and Kozlov.
We were able to make a trade
and get Igor Larionov.
And once we got the fourth member
of the Russians,
we said, "Let's go and get one more."
We needed a defenseman,
and we got Slava Fetisov.
He was about 37 or 38.
You could say we took a chance with him.
When they got together
and they designed
their own type of plays,
we were surprised ourselves.
And the Soviet symphony is tuning up.
They crisscrossed a lot.
And they made a lot of passes
in their own zone.
If they don't see
an opportunity to score,
they turn back with the puck
and develop another attack.
They played a totally different style.
Together again on the same team.
It was like a fish put back
in the water.
You never know what they'll do next.
You become younger right away,
and enjoy the game.
Around the arena, Russian often seems
like a second language.
A lot of people complain about it.
To me, see, I don't...
They're playing for us, and they're good.
No, sir! And he gets leveled by Fetisov.
I didn't really get to learn the system
as much as I would have liked,
but I just let them do
what they wanted to do.
Scotty comes to the dressing room
and said,
"Guys, I don't know who teach you
to play this way,
"but I wanna ask you one thing.
"Don't change anything."
...on game one
of the Stanley Cup Finals...
I start looking for Igor right away.
And I said, "Igor, we'll go together."
It's true American dream, you know?
Afterwards, I went to Gary Bettman.
I said, "Gary, I need the cup in Moscow."
He said, "You crazy? We'll never
let the cup go to Moscow.
"It's mafia. It's a bad country."
I said, "Listen, I want the cup
to be in Moscow."
He said, "Slava, it's impossible."
I said, "What do you mean impossible?"
It's great to be home.
For me, the Red Army Club
is home, of course.
I started here when I was 8 years old,
and I left when I was 31.
It's very strange.
When you're born in the Soviet Union,
and you left one country
and come back to another.
It does not feel comfortable, you know?
When I get back to Moscow,
it's totally different.
Different mentality.
Different culture.
Different... Everything's different.
That capitalism has taken root here
is no longer in doubt,
and some people are making
a great deal of money.
But some of the problems
may be getting worse.
In Moscow and Leningrad,
many are turning their hand
at making a fast buck.
Operating outside the legal boundaries
is often more effective
than operating within them.
Russians don't like
the corruption in this country.
They feel that they're
not protected by the courts.
They feel that the police,
just regular police,
can pretty much do
what they want with you.
Country's got no heroes. Got no system.
No structure. Nothing.
Everybody runs around
trying to get something.
It's not the way I want to live.
Everything is about the material
side of things: money, finance.
Our country's crisis
is now reflected in hockey.
With the first selection,
the Atlanta Thrashers
are pleased to select,
from the Russian Division I,
Spartak Moscow...
Ilya Kovalchuk.
Nail Yakupov.
Alexander Ovechkin.
Teams have very little money to
keep players from leaving.
Yo, it's Alexander Ovechkin.
I am going to red carpet.
We kinda forget about the patriotism.
We are ashamed of what we were before.
We are gonna test
Alexander Ovechkin's shooting accuracy
by filling up these Russian dolls
with Russian dressing,
and he's gonna drill them
with these hockey pucks.
We lost something.
We lost our pride.
We lost...
Our soul.
But would you rather
it be the Soviet Union again?
You know, like, would you have rather
that not happened,
even though you kind of left?
It's not a proper question.
I'm a politician now.
I get my feeling
twenty years ago, right?
I was sad.
I played for the country for many years.
I was proud to play and
be captain of the national team.
When Putin invited me it was 2002.
It's 11 years it's no Soviet Union.
President Putin said,
"Slava, it's enough.
"Get back home."
Vladimir Putin gave me the position
of Minister of Sport.
Sport should be a way of life.
I'm a little guy in a big system,
but I try to do my best.
The people who are running this country,
born in the Soviet Union,
went to Soviet schools,
were members of the Komsomol.
They were created, shaped,
by the Soviet system.
That's who they are.
Much of the problems are still anchored
in that past.
And they're not gonna go away...
Like this.
It's a huge amount of work.
It's twenty hours working day.
Every day.
Y'know, we got lots of problems.
I need to build infrastructure.
I need to find the money.
I need to think about my people now.
The kids, the veterans...
Try to build something good
out of what's happened.
We built a junior league.
We built 300 new skating arenas.
We brought the Olympic Games to Sochi.
We are happy to be back in our country.
I think our country and people need us.
We went through a lot,
and I'm happy today we are
again like brothers.
Very close friends.
We're friends.
It's very important to get the people
you went through a lot with next to you.
It's better than finding somebody else.
We're still friends.
And when we played, we were even closer.
I dream about how we
used to play together.
First, a round of applause
for this great Soviet coach.
The word "great" hardly begins
to describe this great coach!
Unfortunately, Viktor says
he's unable to talk today.
The most important thing for me
is to stress to the kids how it's
important to be teammates.
How important to do stuff collectively.
To be proud of what team you play on.
I played 23 professional years.
One thousand eight hundred plus games.
I never had fun more than
playing with those five guys, together.
When you die,
this is gonna be your legacy.
I know and I appreciate it.
You're a good guy.
I'm lucky to have you.
I think we're both lucky
to have each other.
That's even better.
California boy, and a good guy.