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December 26, 2015

Oddball Stories From The World Juniors

Here's some oddball stories from the WJC over the years.

By the way, I got these all from a great Andrew Podnieks book called Red, White, And Gold: Canada At The World Junior Championships 1974-1999. The book can be found online at Chapters. It's an excellent title, one I hope Podnieks updates sometime soon.

1984 - Canadian forward Gary Lacey injured his wrist in a game against the Finns. Despite the pain he played the next game against the Americans. However his tournament came to an end when the Swedish doctor told him he had a hair line fracture and placed a cast on him. Upon returning home, doctors told Lacey he had no such break, only annoying calcium deposits, and that he could have continued to play.

1987 - While this tournament will forever be remembered for the Canada-Soviet brawl, Canada and USA had an earlier brawl. In the warm up before the game US player Bob Corkum crossed center ice into the Canadian zone, a territorial sin. Canadian goalie Shawn Simpson took a light swipe at Corkum's ankle, igniting a brawl featuring several fights, most notably between Steve Chiasson and Mike Hartman.

1989 - Roman Kontsek of Czechoslovakia and Sergei Gomolyako of the Soviet Union were both arrested for shoplifting in Anchorage,Alaska department stores. Neither player was charged, though both faced team discipline.

1993 - Mike Rathje almost had to forego his spot on the 1993 WJC team because of a hockey card. Team Canada had cut a deal with Upper Deck to produce an exclusive card set. Players had to sign waivers, thus giving Upper Deck a jumpstart on the competition for these players' rookie cards. But Rathje had to sign a similar waiver earlier in the season as Classic Cards had a similiar deal with his club team, the Medicine Hat Tigers. A deal was later reached allowing Rathje to appear on both sets, and allowing Rathje to play.

1995 - Two years later Pinnacle produced a commemorative WJC set, but they could not include Jason Botterill. Botterill was a NCAA player, and NCAA rules prohibited their players from appearing cards. Instead of producing a set of 21 cards, Pinnacle also chose to not produce a card of Chad Allan, allowing for an even 20 card set.

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