To what extent would a healthy Bobby Orr have affected the '72 Summit Series?
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02-06-2014, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
Well, Henderson's totals were respectable, but I still would choose Ratelle over him. I'd suggest that it would be like leaving Gil Perreault off a roster in favour of Steve Thomas. I just don't understand it. I never saw Henderson play so its really speculation on my part, but he seems like the Rob Zamuner of the 98 Olympic squad. Only in 72 it worked out for TC.
Paul Henderson was a standout in Junior & with Detroit, part of the Blockbuster Trade that saw Frank Mahovlich heading for Motown, Norm Ullman & Henderson arriving in Leafland. He along with Ullman & then up & coming par excellence skater Ron Ellis formed a very effective line for the Leafs, Henderson notching 38 goals in 71/72.
At Team Canada's Training Camp in scrimmages, he along with Ellis were Centered by Bobby Clarke & were arguably the best line pre-tournament, so they were kept obviously on the team & together. Kinda funny when you think about it as Bobby Clarke has a reputation thats grown over the years & out of all proportion as being a total Monster, sort of Tasmanian Devil of Team Canada 72, certainly the Flyers & the NHL during that era. And here he was Centering A Born Again Christian Choir Boy in Henderson and the totally squeaky clean Ron Ellis who wouldnt say **** if his mouth was full of it.
So no, dont think if were re-jigging the line-up & have a choice to make between Jean Ratelle & Paul Henderson, lines included & Ratelle paired with Gilbert, that I'd drop Henderson in favor of Ratelle/Gilbert & break up the Clarke/Ellis/Henerson trio. The line was dominant against their own in Training Camp, Ellis with speed to burn, Henderson trickier than 13 miles of bad Muskoka roads, Clarke an extremely intelligent player & fantastic playmaker, excellent on the draw, scoring threat himself of no small abilities.Younger, faster than Ratelle, meaner than a Junkyard Dog.... and lookit what Henderson accomplished? He practically single handedly won not only Game 8, but 2 or 3 others as well scoring critical goals and or assisting on others at key moments. Jesus on the team Man. Giddyup.
Also goes back to the Toronto-Boston-Eagleson-Orr-Mafia dealeo. Eagleson needed Ballard on-side (in order to get him to even allow the Soviets who he absolutely hated to play at the Gardens), so he'd better be picking some Leafs for Team Canada and then some.... the then some consisted of Eagleson & or Hockey Canada I guess but certainly with Eaglesons impetus & desire to please Harold that the Head Scouts for Team Canada were none other than the Leafs Johnny McClellan & Bob Davidson. And my, what a wonderful job of it they did huh? In their defense they only watched them practice & I think maybe play intra-squads, possibly a tune-up or two, while the Russians were permitted the same sending 2 of their Scouts to watch Team Canada practice & play.
In retrospect from the perspective of how Eaglesons over-arching ambitions throughout this thing in giving it wings, how Team Canada even came about, the entire process really beyond amusing. That event made him and he was already "made" via the Brewer lawsuit earlier, the Eddie Shore takedown, the Orr Contract, the creation of the NHLPA. But the Summit Series, that really cemented his position. Very much illustrative of how he operated, and were really only touching on about 1/100th of what really went down that enabled any of it to come about at all. How the model of the 72 Summit Series was the basis for what followed through his Canada Cup's later in the 70's & 80's. Scouting, Management, Coaching & Player personnel picks, venues etc.... the backroom dealings, Samsonites full of cash, well, quite a story.
Last edited by Killion: 02-06-2014 at
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