1974 Canada/Soviet Summit
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01-21-2013, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Originally Posted by
Both Rick Smith and Brad Selwood told me when I was interviewing them for my book that Billy Harris did an
excellent job keeping the players "in check."
For example Paul Shmyr took a couple of needless penalties in Game 1. Harris quietly spoke to him the following day, reminding Shmyr of the teams' goal of being viewed as classy sportsmanlike gentlemen. He also reminded Shmyr of how deadly the Soviets power play was. Shmyr kept things under control after that.
I found it interesting as well when Canadian reporters asked Harris how he kept his composure udner circumstances that were far more trying then what Team Canada 72 faced. Harris's response was basically to say that if he lost his cool (like Harry Sinden did) then his focus would be off and he would not be able to coach effectively. As well how could he expect his players to act in a classy controlled fashion if he lost his composure.
The only time I saw Harris even come remotely close to "losing it" was after Game 6 in the post game press conferance. Soviet Coach Boris Kulagan demanded Ricky Ley be jailed for his attack on Valery Kharlamov. Harris quietly but firmly asked Kulagin if he felt Valery Vasiliev should also be jailed for his attack earlier in the game on Bruce MacGregor. Harris did critisize Victor Dombrowski's officiating but he did it in a calm fashion, and focused on the rule book. There was no shreiking ala Sinden.
Billy Harris also had a more hockey mature roster lead by the likes of Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull with a deep supporting cast - Ralph Backstrom, J.C. Tremblay, Pat Stapleton, Gerry Cheevers, and other seasoned players.
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