September 02, 2012

Catching Up With The Past: 1972 Edition

News and notes from the media and web:

In 1972 Hockey's Cold War Boiled Over

From Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times: At the height of the cold war, two hockey styles clashed: the swift, precise and contact-averse game of the Soviets against the dogged, rugged, punishing game of the Canadians. The series played out before a rapt audience on both sides of the Iron Curtain. As it moved across Canada and on to Moscow, the games became increasingly desperate, although almost everyone had assumed the Canadians would win all eight games. The pressure drove the players to new heights of skill and, for the Canadians especially, questionable behavior. Full Story

Also see the New York Times: Talking With J.P. Parise

1972 Summit Series Shaped Modern Hockey

From John Kreiser of NHL.comthe biggest consequence of the series was what Soviet star Boris Mikhailov called "a meeting between two schools of hockey." The fruits of that meeting, and the changes it engendered in the sport, are still felt today.
"Both teams won in 1972," Vladislav Tretiak, now the president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, told TSN this summer. "It was a great series for all of hockey. The best that Russia had and the best of the NHL. The winner was the game of hockey." Full Story

Alan Eagleson Shutout By Team Canada

From Patrick White of The Globe And Mail: In a modest glass and concrete house along the southern shore of Georgian Bay lives a lean 78-year-old man who enjoys a Coors Light before noon and may be the world's biggest booster of the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series. His Nissan's plate reads "TC 1972." His phone number ends in 1-9-7-2. He scrawls a sentimental note next to the Paul Henderson stamp on all his outgoing mail:
His name is Alan Eagleson and he had a little something to do with creating that historic eight-game match with the Soviets – but has been disinvited from offiicially commemorating it. Full Story

Red Fisher's Backstage Pass To The Summit Series

From Red Fisher of the National Post: “You came a day late,” Gresko said.
“I did not arrive a day late,” I said. “You were informed that I would be arriving on Thursday. Unfortunately, I was six hours late, but that was only because the Aeroflot pilot decided to stop in Kiev before coming to Moscow.”
“You came a day late,” he insisted.
“Your Aeroflot flies from Montreal to Moscow only on Wednesday. It’s impossible to leave Montreal on a Wednesday night and arrive in your country the same day. That is why I arrived on Thursday.”
“You came a day late,” he repeated.
“All right, let’s say I arrived a day late. Now that I’m here, where is Valeri Kharlamov? Where is Alexander Yakushev and Boris Mikhailov? Where is Alexander Maltsev? When can I meet with coach (Vsevolod) Bobrov?”
“Ah, since you came a day late, Mr. Fisher, I regret to tell you that Kharlamov is in East Germany, Yakushev is at the Black Sea, Bobrov is at the Caspian Sea,” Gresko said. “Mikhailov and Maltsev are training outside the city.”
“You mean I’ve come all this way and I won’t be able to talk with your players and coach?”
“You came a day late,” Gresko said. Full Story

Also From Red Fisher: Game 1: Canada Reels From Shocking Loss
Also From The National Post: Dave Bidini: 40 Years Later Canada-Russia Games Ring With Emotion

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