Soviet Union beat Canada (4-3) 1991 Canada Cup
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02-28-2013, 05:44 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Originally Posted by
I think you can make a distinction between the Canada Cup and the World Cup. In the Canada Cup, you had mostly a matchup between Canada and the Soviets. Other countries were competitive at times, but it came down to those two in terms of who was going to win. By the time the World Cup came about, the Soviet Union was extinct, and it was basically an intramural tournament for NHL players. Russia stopped producing hockey players by about 1992, and the Russian teams in the tournament in 1996 and 2004 were admittedly garbage.
In my view, its impossible to have a tournament which is produced, directed, funded and staffed by one of the participant countries and still have a fair, level playing field. I am sure that Canadians are as fair-minded as any people on Earth, but its impossible to have those conditions and not meddle to create a competitive advantage for your side. You own it, you have the right to do it, so you do it. The fact is that the two teams in 1984 and 1987, man-for-man, were so incredibly close that just a handfull of calls and executive decisions could make the difference.
In 1984, the Soviets beat Canada in the round robin, 6-3, and Alan Eagleson blamed the referee, Dag Olsson of Sweden, for the bad result. He made the statement that no European would referee a medal round game again, and his decree stood through the last Canada Cup in 1991. EbencoyE is right - it is unfair to the referee and to the team from the other country to have a game refereed by someone from the home country *Note, the referee in the medal round game between Canada and the Soviets was American Mike Noeth - a minor league ref who was a candidate for an NHL job - thereby putting him under tremendous pressure to please his prospective employers. The 1987 games were refereed by Canadian Don Koharski (twice) and Paul Stewart. Its not so much calls that were made, but more so those that were let go. In the final, decisive match in 1987, the refereeing was egregiously biased, and you'll hear a lot of Russian fans *****ing about it to this day.
As I've shown many times in the past it was team experience, not man for man equality that allowed the Soviets to excel. You are right that since the Canada Cup was organized by us that we had the right to structure the tournament as we saw fit and we did by having it played on NHL sized ice, with NHL rules and NHL officials. Just as IIHF tournaments used European sized ice, rules and style of officiating. I think anyone who suggests that officials should have been used who had little or no experience calling the physical brand of NHL hockey in those days, especially in a tournament of this level, is out to lunch.
I've come to understand that the complaint about the origin of the officials really revolves around two things. Firstly from fans whose teams didn't win the tournaments and are trying to discredit those who did. Secondly and most importantly it represents a cultural divide between hockey fans.
Cheating and corruption exists in every country and culture but the level and acceptance of it varies greatly from place to place. If you are from a place where people are expected to act professionally, with honour and integrity, then you don't really see an issue in using officials who are under the same cultural expectations. If you are from a place where cheating and corruption are rampant then of course you are not going to want to trust anyone who might in your eyes have a reason to cheat.
I find it deeply offensive when people like you with no credible evidence suggest that Canada cheated and conspired to fix the Canada Cups. People love to point out that Alan Eagleson was involved, but he did not officiate a single game and as far as I can tell had no power over NHL officials so I don't really see how his involvement is relevant to the discussion.
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