NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SiriusXM announced today that it will present a special radio series with Hall of Fame center and pioneering former Russian hockey star Igor Larionov, who helped change the course of his sport's history with his fight to break down the barrier that prevented Soviet players from joining the National Hockey League.
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Igor Larionov's Triple Overtime Radio will be hosted by Alyonka Larionov, Igor's daughter, and will air as a five-part series on SiriusXM Sports Zone (channel 92). The program debuts Feb. 7 at 8:00 pm ET, the first day of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and will air throughout the Games taking place in Sochi, Russia.
Larionov will talk at length about his experiences in the Soviet Union, his struggle for hockey freedom, his success in the Olympics and the NHL, and the development of the game - both on and off the ice - from the time he was a young player to today.
Subsequent episodes of the special will air at 8:00 pm ET on Feb. 9, Feb. 11, Feb. 12 and Feb. 14, leading up to the USA vs. Russia Men's Hockey game on Feb. 15.
"I've had quite a journey through this game, from the time I first laced up skates as a boy in the Soviet Union through my years in the NHL," said Larionov. "I'm pleased and grateful to SiriusXM for the chance to talk about my experiences and share what I've learned."
"Igor Larionov was a superstar on the ice but his lasting legacy is the trail he blazed for his fellow countrymen, giving them a level of freedom that countless others enjoyed after him," said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM's President and Chief Content Officer. "His story is remarkable and enormously important in the history of the game. As we watch nations and players from around the world compete on the ice in Sochi, we're pleased to have him share that story and his thoughts on today's game with our listeners."
Nicknamed "The Professor" both for his remarkable intelligence and bespectacled appearance, Larionov was one of the Soviet Union's greatest players and one of the best centers in the world. He starred for Khimik Voskresensk and powerhouse CSKA Moscow, and helped lead the Soviet national team to two Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1988 and four gold medals, a silver and a bronze in the World Championships between 1982 and 1989.
Amid all of his success both internationally and at home, Larionov made it clear that he wanted the freedom to be able to choose his own path in hockey. He and fellow Soviet star Slava Fetisov led an ongoing struggle against Soviet authorities during the 1980s for the right to allow Russian players to play in the National Hockey League. In 1989, after years of battling against a draconian Soviet system, Larionov and Fetisov were given permission to play in the NHL. A barrier that had existed for decades was now broken and Soviet players were free to take their careers to the West.
Larionov went on to play for the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils in a NHL career that lasted through the 2003-04 season. He was an integral part of the Red Wings' back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion teams in 1997 and 1998. After the clinching victory in 1997, Larionov was the first player handed the cup by Detroit captain Steve Yzerman, and he and his Russian
teammates made history that summer by bringing Lord Stanley's Cup to Russia for the first time ever. During the 2002 playoffs, he famously scored the triple overtime goal that gave the Red Wings victory in Game 3 and helped propel them to another Stanley Cup title. Larionov was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008 and he currently works in the game as a player agent.
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