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12-05-2012, 02:48 PM
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I don't get why so many people think the Canada Cups were always 'best vs. best' and all competing countries held the tournament with same high regard and importance as Canada does/did. That clearly doesn't seem to be the case.

1976 Canada CUp

...analysts ranked the Soviets as only the fourth best team entering the tournament. They chose to leave most of its elite players home for reasons that remain unclear. Officially, Soviet officials said many of their players were suffering from fatigue, though goaltender Vladislav Tretiak later claimed the omissions were the result of a power struggle between Olympic coach Boris Kulagin and Canada Cup team coach Viktor Tikhonov and that the former sought to undermine the latter by forcing him to coach a weaker team. The Soviets downplayed the importance of the tournament, stating their true focus was the World Championships and the Winter Olympics. As a result, they sent a much younger, "experimental" team to Canada
1991 Canada Cup

The team representing the USSR was relatively weak compared to past tournaments, it did not have many of its top stars due to severe political turmoil at home, many players declining to play for the team, and purposely left off the roster (such as Pavel Bure, Vladimir Konstantinov, etc.) for fears of defection.
I believe some of the same could have been said of the Czech team as well.

For the record I certainly don't think the Canada Cups should be dismissed I just think this is stuff we should keep in mind before we go around down playing other's accomplishments while bragging about Canada's.

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