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12-23-2012, 02:56 PM
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
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.
Well yes and no. The WHA much more than the NHL began bringing in European players and began playing European teams. In the fall of 1975 both Winnipeg and Toronto staged their training camps in Europe and played European club teams. In December 1976 Winnipeg represented the WHA at the prestigious Izvestia Tournament in Moscow playing the Soviet, Czech, Swedish and Finnish National teams. (They did pretty well, losing 3-2 to the Czechs, tied Sweden 4-4, lost 6-4 to USSR, and beat Finland 2-1. Very good for a club team playing national teams.) When Winnipeg returned the Soviet Nationals then played an 8 game tour of the WHA going 6-2.

The following year Winnipeg again had their training camp in Europe and Cincinnati represented the WHA at the Rude Prava Cup tournament in Prague. Quebec represented the WHA at the 1977 Izvestia Tournament (and only tied 1 game) while both the Soviet Stars (a "National B team) and Nationals toured the WHA. interesting thing about the Stars - their games against WHA teams counted in the standings!

I could go on but the WHA far more than the NHL embraced international hockey.

Craig Wallace

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