1974 Canada/Soviet Summit
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12-23-2012, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Originally Posted by
Here is a question to the group.
The WHA went into this series with the goal of showing that their league was truly world class and could compete with the best. The NHL wouldn't play them so the Soviets were just as good.
My question is would any result have changed the NHL's perspective on the WHA? I don't think it would have. If the WHA (Team Canada 74) won, the NHL would just have said "see look. Canada is so good that even a second class league with the right preparation (which Team Canada 72 didn't have and Team Canada 74 did have) can beat the Soviets." If they lost (which they did) then the NHL would say "see we told you that the WHA was crap."
I kind of think that while the 74 Summit produced fantastic hockey that the WHA was in a no win situation.
Question remains what happened going forward after the 1974 Summit.
The NHL and international hockey adapted. The WHA did not. Key early players aged and were not replaced. The league poached a few underagers who pocketed a few dollars on their way to the NHL and a few European players who cherry picked teams to suit their game before moving on to the NHL.
By the summer of 1979 the WHA was history.
The 1974 Summit Series team was cobbled together. With good preparation and coaching they could compete at the international level. However the next strata of talent in the 1974 WHA was weak and the league eventually paid the price.
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