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11-28-2012, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Macman View Post
See what I mean by tedium?

Please show me the source for this ref business. I watched the '87 Canada Cup final again a few weeks ago and the play-by-play guy Dan Kelly said during Game 1 that the Soviets had the option for a neutral ref and chose Koharski because they liked the way he did an earlier game of theirs. Was he wrong or lying?

A Canadian worked the final of the Vancouver Olympics. Did the IOC and IIHF issue a similar decree?
The Eagleson decree is not something I learned in a book or in Wikipedia. I remember when it happened, and it happened exactly the way I described it. To document it, you would probably have to go the Archives section in your library and dial up the Toronto Globe and Mail, circa September 1984. If you don't want to make the effort, you could just choose not to believe it - whatever. It might be easier to check and see how many European refs worked Medal Round games at the Canada Cup, beginning in 1984. I promise you won't find Dag Olsson's name.

Kelly was telling the truth. Eagleson offered the Soviets the choice of Don Koharski or Mike Noeth of the United States to referee the best of 3 final (European refs were prohibited). Koharski worked the semifinal between the Soviets and Sweden in 1987, and seemed to be very fair toward the Soviets, as opposed to the other choice that the Soviets had for the final, Mike Noeth. I won't go into the whole Mike Noeth issue, but the bottom line is, given an either-or choice, Koharski was definitely the more competent and accomplished ref of the two. The problem is that it is one thing to be absolutely neutral when you are working a game involving two foreign countries, and quite another to work a game involving your native land - the flag that you bear allegiance to - and a foreign "enemy" as the Soviets were viewed in those days. Especially when at least half of the population of the country was living or dying based on the results of the best of 3 final. It was totally unfair to Koharski, but even more unfair to the Soviets. Game 3 was where the alleged bias manifested itself most heavily. Tiny, skinny Slava Bykov "dragging down" the huge Mario Lemieux 3 times, for 3 minor penalties, with the replays clearly showing Lemieux grabbing Bykov's stick, wrapping it around himself, and throwing his skates into the air. Koharski knew it was physically impossible for Bykov to drag Lemieux down, but the crowd demanded that he make the calls, and he gave in. On the series winning goal, I believe it was Hauerchuk who hooked Bykov down as he was about to catch up to and check Lemieux, but Koharski swallowed his whistle. By that time the crowd was going wild, and he didn't have the guts to spoil the party. It was an absolute farce!

Last edited by Yakushev72: 11-28-2012 at 12:49 PM. Reason: omission
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