As the Olympics come closer and closer, you will notice this website stray somewhat from it's hockey history focus to the Olympics. I have plenty of historical Olympic features in the planning stages, but I will be commenting on the 2010 Games as they unfold, too.
Probably a couple of times a month I get an email from down-right angry European fans who seem to have a huge chip on their shoulder about the NHL's dominance of the sport. Here's the most recent email I got, from a fellow named Dmitri. I call it my Dumb Email Of The Week:
Greatest Hockey Legends? You have none of the non-NHL European stars. Kharlamov? Mikhailov? Martinec? Johansson? You North Americans are all the same. You know (expletive) all about hockey.Funny thing is, I have Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Martinec, Johansson and nearly 150 other International Hockey Legends featured here! I've profiled players from 18 different nations, all based on their international careers, not their NHL careers.
There's some great stories there too. Like Douglas Murray's grandfather singing the national anthem, sort of; an enigmatic Latvian superstar in the days of Soviet oppresssion; the Soviet player who got busted for shoplifting; a Canadian goalie who spent more time chatting with girls than stopping pucks during games; the best player from Israel; the founder of hockey in Austria; and the Jewish hockey superstar of Germany's 1936 Olympic team, one of only Jewish athletes to represent the country in Hitler's Games at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. So be sure to indulge yourself in my international hockey legends section.
I take emails like Dmitri's with a great deal of offense. My hockey knowledge can be questioned, but not my love of international hockey and it's history. I've written two books (1, 2) on international hockey, and contributed pieces to The Hockey News, Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and several European media outlets about international hockey. And, of course, I also run a little website called 1972 Summit Series.com.
My love of international hockey will become quite obvious in the coming months. I hope everyone, including Dmitri, enjoys and contributes to the many upcoming features.
In the mean time, let me know what you would like to see from GHL concerning the Olympics, international hockey and the legends of the world game.
Here's a classic snap shot in the mean time. It's an early day Soviet hockey team, possibly as early as 1937.
Ah, The Internet - Where the Weak are the Bullies. Hiding behind hundreds, if not thousands of miles of distance and anonymity they can act tough and say anything they want, no matter how wrong, ill-informed, misguided or just plain stupid with no accountability or repercussions. A good rule to follow is - if you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it at all.
Dimitri has clearly picked the wrong person, and likely the worst person possible, on the internet to accuse of being biased to just the North American game. I suspect Joe has written more books on international hockey that certain people have read.
Here's an open invite to Dimitri. Think you can do better? Start your own website and fill our brains with your vast knowledge. If I can do it, anyone can.
I enjoy international hockey almost as much as you do, but I am no where near as knowledgeable. So I have used your site to brush up and learn somethings. You of all people are unbiased in your hockey knowledge. I don't understand why you put up with people like Dimitri. Keep up the good work.
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