Mid-1800s: Bandy, a sort of field hockey on skates, becomes a popular Russian pastime. Competitive bandy is still played today.
1922: The USSR is formed following the Russian Revolution of 1917.
1946: The first Soviet hockey league is formed; Anatoly Tarasov is asked to build a national hockey program.
1953: The USSR joins the International Ice Hockey Federation.
1954: The Soviet Union wins its first world championship, defeating Canada 7-2 in the finals in Zurich.
1956: The USSR wins the gold medal in its first Olympic hockey competition at Cortina, outscoring the competition 40-9 while compiling a 7-0 record.
1956: The USSR's first indoor hockey rink -- Luzhniki Arena -- opens for business.
1960: The Soviets suffer their first loss to the U.S. in ice hockey at the Squaw Valley Games, and take the bronze medal with a 4-2-1 record.
1963: The USSR wins the first in a string of nine consecutive world championships.
1964: The Soviets come from a 2-1 deficit against Canada in the final to win 3-2 and capture their second Olympic gold medal. They finish the Innsbruck tourney 7-0, outscoring opponents 54-10.
1968: The Soviets lose 5-4 to Czechoslovakia at the Grenoble Winter Olympics, but still eke out a gold medal, with a 6-1 record. Czechoslovakia, the silver medal winner, finishes with a 5-1-1 record.
1972: With the Canadians sitting out the Winter Games in protest against the "professional amateurs" of the USSR, the Soviets capture another gold, defeating Czechoslovakia 5-2 in the final game. In the Summit Series against Team Canada (which included NHL stars like Bobby Clark and Phil Esposito), the Soviets score an upset win in the first game, 7-3, and finish the series with three wins, four losses, and one tie.
1976: Both Canada and Sweden boycott the 1976 Innsbruck Olympic ice hockey competition because of Soviet "professionalism," and the USSR goes on to win another gold.
1980: The USSR is the victim of the USA's "Miracle on Ice," and takes the silver medal at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics with a 6-1 record.
1982-83: Viktor Nechaev, allowed to leave the USSR to be with his American wife, plays three games for the Los Angeles Kings. He's the first Soviet citizen to play in the NHL.
1984: The Soviets dominate the Sarajevo Winter Olympics, outscoring opponents 48-5 and taking the gold with a 7-0 record.
1988: The USSR wins gold again at the Calgary Olympics.
1989: Vladislav Tretiak becomes the first Soviet player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
March 29, 1989: Calgary Flames announce the signing of Sergei Priakin to a 4-year, $125,000 contract, made in agreement with the Soviet Hockey Federation.
May 5, 1989: Aleksandr Mogilny, drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1988, defects with the assistance of Sabres management.
October 1989: Nine Soviet players start the season in the NHL.
August 1991: Playing with a handful of NHL stars for the first time, the Soviet national team is crushed in the Canada Cup, going 1-3-1 and failing to make the medal round.
February 1992: The Unified Team, made up of players from countries of the former Soviet Union, wins the gold medal at the Albertville Winter Olympics.
February 1994: Forty-six Russians are under contract to the NHL, which doesn't permit the pros to compete in the Olympics. Without a single player returning from the 1992 gold medal Unified Team, the Russians finish fourth at Lillehammer with a 4-4 record. They are shut out in an Olympic game for the first time by Finland, 5-0.
1994: The NHL begins compensating Russia on a regular basis for its players.
1995-96: Detroit Red Wings field the first Russian five-man unit: Igor Larionov, Sergei Fedorov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Vyacheslav Fetisov, and Vladimir Konstantinov.
February 1998: The Russian hockey team, comprised of 22 NHL players, wins the silver medal at the Nagano Games, losing to the Czech Republic in the final.
January 17, 1999: Pavel Bure, after a five-month holdout during which he refused to play for the Vancouver Canucks, is traded to the Florida Panthers in a nine-player deal.
November 2001: Fetisov becomes the second Russian player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
August 21, 2001: The Russian Olympic Committee announces Fetisov will be coach and general manager of the Russian team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.