Thursday, March 25, 2010

1989-90 Khimik Voskresenek Dimitri Kvartalnov Jersey

Born on this date in 1966, Dimitri Kvartalnov looked for all the world to be on his way to NHL stardom.

Kvartalnov began his career with five full seasons with Khimik Voskresenek of the Soviet League, which included leading the league in scoring in 1989-90 and playing for the Soviet Union in the World Championships twice, winning gold in 1989 and bronze in 1991. 

Kvartalnov Khimik photo KvartalnovKhimik.jpg
Dimitri, incorrectly identified as his brother Andrei

Kvartalnov then moved to North America and joined the San Diego Gulls of the International Hockey League, where he destroyed the league, scoring 60 goals and 58 assists for 118 points in 77 games. Kvartalnov picked up a trio of awards that season as the Rookie of the Year, Scoring Champion and Most Valuable Player.

Kvartalnov Gulls photo KvartalnovGulls.jpg
IHL scoring champion Kvartalnov

Following his stellar IHL season, the Boston Bruins selected Kvartalnov with the 16th pick in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.

Already with ten years of pro experience and entering the prime of his career at age 26, his NHL career got off to a record start in 1992 with 12 goals and ten assists to give him points in his first 14 games, a mark that would stand for fifteen years until surpassed by Evgeni Malkin in 2007.

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Playing on "The Bonanza Line" of Adam Oates (Adam) and fellow NHL rookie Joe Juneau (Little Joe) and Kvartalnov (Hoss), the line would score nearly a third of the Bruins goals that season, with 107 of the club's 332 for the year. Oates would finish third in league scoring with 142 points and Juneau topped 100 with 102 while setting a record for left wingers with 70. Kvartalnov would amass 30 goals and 42 assists for 72 points in 73 games in his first season and had the look of a future NHL star - at least on the outside.

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The Bonanza Line even had their own hockey card

The first sign of trouble was when the Bruins left him unprotected in the expansion draft, and despite his 30 goal season seemingly indicating enormous potential, he went unclaimed.

Once the season began, Kvartalnov found himself in coach Brian Sutter's doghouse. Sutter, who had little use for Kvartalnov's apparent one dimensional style of play, left him out of the lineup on many occasions during his second season. After 39 games, in which he scored just 19 points, half the pace of a year before, and with a -9 rating, Kvartalnov was placed on waivers and eventually demoted to Providence of the AHL. There he was back to a point a game, but his time with the Bruins and North America was over at the conclusion of the season.

His career was far from over however.

Kvartalnov would move to Switzerland and play three seasons with HC Ambri-Piotta, finishing third in league scoring in 1995-96 and leading the team in scoring in 1996-97.

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Kvartalnov back in Europe with HC Ambri-Piotta

Klagenfurt AC in Austria was his next stop, where he would play for three seasons which included leading the team in scoring with 72 points in 45 games in 1997-98.

He would split the 1999-00 season between the Manheim Eagles in Germany and Jokerit Helsinki in Finland.

The following season he would return to Russia, joining Ak Bars Kazan where he would play for four seasons and lead them in scoring twice. 2004-05 saw a move to Cherepovets Severstal and then a return to Khimik for six games. He would play the 2005-06 season with Krylja Sovetov (Soviet Wings) in the lower division, helping them regain a place in the top league for 2006-07. Half way through the season Kryla would deal Kvartalnov back to Cherepovets, and he would retire at the conclusion of the season after a 24 year professional career in which he would score a total of 509 goals and 474 assists for 983 points.

Kvartalnov has subsequently gone into coaching and is currently the head coach of Sibir Novosibirsk of the KHL.

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Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Khimik Voskresenek Dimitri Kvartalnov jersey as worn by Kvartalnov when he was the leading scorer in the Soviet League. It's typical of the Soviet jerseys of the era in that it is a relatively light weight mesh and all the elements are either dye sublimated or screened on. Of note are the wild numbers on the back, reminding us of the 1982 movie "TRON". This jersey also has Dimitri's first initial "D" on the back in cyrillic, as his brother Andrei was also a member of the team.

We obtained this jersey from a member of the Khimik traveling party during a game at Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota when Khimik was playing a game in the Super Series against the Minnesota North Stars. Having no real idea who the players on the club were at the time, given our choice of a few different jerseys, we opted for the one with the longest name simply because it looked the most "Soviet". Only later when we decoded the Cyrillic lettering did we realize we had unknowingly obtained the jersey from the Soviet League's leading scorer from the year prior!

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Russia Khimik 1990-91 jersey photo RussiaKhimik1990-91B.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1991-92 San Diego Gulls Dimitri Kvartalnov jersey. version of the Gulls played in the IHL from 1990-91 to 1994-95 before moving north to become the Los Angeles Ice Dogs for one season prior to becoming the Long Beach Ice Dogs.

The Gulls wore the same striking black and red jerseys for their entire run in San Diego and are easily our favorites of any of the four teams to have used the San Diego Gulls name.

San Diego Gulls 1991-92 jersey photo SanDiegoGulls1991-92F.jpg
San Diego Gulls 1991-92 jersey photo SanDiegoGulls1991-92B.jpg

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 1993-94 Boston Bruins Dimitry Kvartalnov jersey.  As well as obtaining Kvartalnov's game worn Khimik jersey, we later acquired his Bruins road jersey from his second season in the NHL. When paired with our Khimik jersey from the Soviet League, we like to call it our "Ultimate Home and Away Jerseys".

Boston Bruins 93-94 jersey photo BostonBruins93-94F.jpg
Boston Bruins 93-94 jersey photo BostonBruins93-94B-1.jpg

As you can imagine, the internet is not exactly overflowing with Kvartalnov videos, so we present you with the theme song to the TV series Bonanza, from where the Bruins Bonanza Line of Oates, Juneau and Kvartalnov got their name.

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