Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1987-88 Dynamo Riga Igor Pavlov Jersey

July by the Numbers begins to wind down with jersey #28 from Latvia.

Dynamo Riga (or Dinamo Riga) was founded in 1946 and one of eleven teams which played in the first Soviet championship tournament. Their best ever finish was during the 1987-88 season when then finished as runner-up to the always dominant Central Red Army Club (CSKA) in the championship final.

Viktor Hatulev of Dynamo Riga became the first player drafted by an NHL club when the Philadelphia Flyers took a flyer on Hatulev with the 160th overall pick in 1975. He was also selected 116th overall by the Cleveland Crusaders in the WHA draft in the same year, as the WHA teams had a reputation of using the NHL draft results as their own scouting reports! He never made it to the NHL due to the political climate of the time not allowing Soviet players to leave for North America.

Helmut Balderis had the most goals and points in the 1976-77 Soviet League season while playing for Dynamo Riga en route to capturing the league's Most Valuable Player Award. He would also lead the Soviet league in goals in 1975-76 and points in 1982-83.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Dynamo Riga would play until 1995 as a member of the International Hockey League, which would later evolve into the Russian Super League, when after nearly 50 years the club would disband.

The franchise's most recognizable player in North America was easily Arturs Irbe, best known as a goaltender for the San Jose Sharks and Carolina Hurricanes.

In early 2008 the club was reformed and is now competing as a member of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Dynamo Riga traveled to North America in 1989 and took part in the Super Series, a series of exhibition games versus various NHL clubs, posting a 2-4-1 record. It was during this series of games that I was able to obtain today's featured jersey, a 1989-90 Dynamo Riga Igor Pavlov jersey.

This jersey is typical of the European jerseys of the time period in that it has all dye-sublimated graphics like the crests and numbers, but the name on the back is quite unusual in that it is a crudely printed name using stencils for the Cyrillic letters onto a piece of fabric which was then somewhat carelessly sewn onto the jersey.

Pavlov's playing career would take him from Russia, where he would play in Riga for seven seasons before moving to the Czech league for one season before spending the final seven seasons of his career in Germany, the majority of which were with Landsberg EV before moving into coaching.

1989-90 Game Worn Dynamo Riga jersey
1989-90 Game Worn Dynamo Riga jersey

Here's an amazing find, footage of Dynamo Riga and Arturs Irbe vs. the Calgary Flames from the 1988 Super Series.

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