September 16, 2012

Catching Up With The Past: 1972 Summit Series News and Notes

The Story Of The Summit

Just a spectacular read here from Patrick White of The Globe And Mail. Not only is it must read, it is must save, must print, must cherish. White tells the story of 1972 through nothing but quotes of the players. Simply fascinating! Here's a sample:

Rick Noonan, Canadian trainer assisting the USSR: Game time was 7:30, I think, but by 6:45 the Soviet players weren’t on the bus yet. I go up to the hotel dining room [and] the whole team was lounging up there, sipping back black coffee, Coke, eating pastries.

Phil Esposito, Canadian forward: We were confident in the dressing room. We were going to go out there and have some fun and win a hockey game.

Noonan: We got the Soviets to the Forum just in time. All the Soviets carried their own gear. There was no star treatment.

Yuri Liapkin, Soviet defenceman: We had never seen so many people at a hockey game. When the teams were presented, 18,000 people cheered for five minutes straight. They were national heroes, these hockey players. We had never seen anything like it.

Igor Kuperman, Russian hockey writer, then just 14: I watched all the games from Moscow. They were tape-delayed and I would shut down all the radios the day of the game so as not to spoil the result. I was sure the Canadians would win eight in a row.

Howie Meeker, broadcaster: I knew as soon as I saw the warm-up. All you had to do was watch the Russian passing. Geez, could they pass that puck.

Brian Glennie Skips Anniversary For Concussion Research

From Jennifer Bowman of CottageCountryNow.com: Brian Glennie is supposed to be in Russia celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1972 USSR-Canada hockey series.

Instead, the Bracebridge resident will be at a Toronto hospital having MRIs done through the concussion program of the NHL Alumni.

“I waited so long to get into this program that I cancelled Russia,” he said. Full Story

Listening To Dennis Hull's Booming Slapper

Here's a fun story from Wayne Young of the Charlottetown Guardian: Dennis Hull's slap shot was just as wicked as his famous brother, Bobby's. I should know. I heard it .... at least I think I did.

It was August 1972 and I was at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto "listening" to Team Canada practise for its historic eight-game Summit Series against the Soviet Union. At 13, I was making my first visit to Toronto - my first time off P.E.I., actually. And when my uncle offered to take me to the Gardens where Team Canada had been holding open practices all week, I knew the hockey gods were smiling on me.

I'd been watching the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada for five years - firmly hooked on the Leafs since 1967 when I watched them win the Stanley Cup. And now, not only would I enter the hallowed Gardens but I'd see two of my favourites, Leafs Paul Henderson and Ronnie Ellis who had been named to the Canadian squad.

In fact, I'd see them all - brother acts Tony and Phil Esposito and Frank and Peter Mahovlich, as well as Perreault, Clarke, Dryden and Ratalle - the greatest players on the planet. I knew them well, measuring them every Saturday night from our black and white TV back home in rural P.E.I. I dared to imagine there'd be such a small crowd at that practice I'd get some autographs, maybe even a few handshakes.

But alas, thanks to Harry Sinden, the only memory I have of that practice was the sound of pucks caroming off the boards. The head coach's last-minute decision to close practice that day left my uncle and I standing in the Gardens lobby. No amount of protesting or pleas would convince security to open the door. I was leaving the next day so there was no chance to try again. Full Story

1 comment:

hockey kazi said...

Welcome back Joe--great reading on the 72 Series