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1974 Canada/Soviet Summit

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01-06-2013, 12:25 PM
  #151
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Originally Posted by cam042686 View Post
Both sides could be "ugly." The Soviets (not all but some) would at times kick our skates to cut the laces. Rick Smith told me he was aghast at being spit on when the series began. Boris Mikhailov really hurt Gerry Cheevers in Game 4 with a viscous spear to the back of Cheevers leg.

But we were not angels. Gordie Howe broke (I believe it was Sergie Kapustin's) forearm with a slash. Rick Ley beat Valery Kharlamov into a bloody pulp at the end of Game 6. Andre Lacroix nearly sent Vladimir Petrov to the hospital in Game 7 with a spear to the groin (that Canadian referee Tom Brown didn't call.) Lacroix then got nailed for spearing 2 games later in Prague when Team Canada lost 3-1 to the Czechs.

I could go on. But this shows the levels that players on both teams would stoop to in the white hot intensity of International hockey.

Craig Wallace
It also shows the pathetic inadequacy of officiating, a trademark of the NHL since the beginning. Only recently has the game been called by the book. Of course, the international refs weren't adequate at times either.

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01-06-2013, 03:15 PM
  #152
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Originally Posted by cam042686 View Post
Both sides could be "ugly." The Soviets (not all but some) would at times kick our skates to cut the laces. Rick Smith told me he was aghast at being spit on when the series began. Boris Mikhailov really hurt Gerry Cheevers in Game 4 with a viscous spear to the back of Cheevers leg.

But we were not angels. Gordie Howe broke (I believe it was Sergie Kapustin's) forearm with a slash. Rick Ley beat Valery Kharlamov into a bloody pulp at the end of Game 6. Andre Lacroix nearly sent Vladimir Petrov to the hospital in Game 7 with a spear to the groin (that Canadian referee Tom Brown didn't call.) Lacroix then got nailed for spearing 2 games later in Prague when Team Canada lost 3-1 to the Czechs.

I could go on. But this shows the levels that players on both teams would stoop to in the white hot intensity of International hockey.

Craig Wallace
Neither side were angels. But it is amazing how some Canadians thought some of the hits they threw were ok, while also funny how baffled the Soviets were by the response to their spearing with fists. They thought covert spearing was part of the game the way Canadians thought rough hitting was part of the game, which baffled Canadian players.
Everything was different. The Soviets passed when the Canadians thought they would shoot and shot when they were sure a pass was coming. And vice versa. both teams goaltenders were caught by surprise often because it was so different from what they were used to

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01-07-2013, 06:51 PM
  #153
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Neither side were angels. But it is amazing how some Canadians thought some of the hits they threw were ok, while also funny how baffled the Soviets were by the response to their spearing with fists. They thought covert spearing was part of the game the way Canadians thought rough hitting was part of the game, which baffled Canadian players.
Everything was different. The Soviets passed when the Canadians thought they would shoot and shot when they were sure a pass was coming. And vice versa. both teams goaltenders were caught by surprise often because it was so different from what they were used to
Very true - it was a "clash of cultures" out there in 1972 and 1974.

Craig Wallace

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01-09-2013, 06:21 AM
  #154
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Here is a great web page dedicated to the 1974 Summit. Also great articles on the 1976-77 WHA/Soviet "Super Series."

Craig Wallace

http://www.chidlovski.com/personal/1974/index.htm


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01-09-2013, 06:40 AM
  #155
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Here is a great web page dedicated to the 1974 Summit. Also great articles on the 1976-77 WHA/Soviet "Super Series."

Craig Wallace

http://www.chidlovski.com/personal/1974/index.htm
I should have added that I wrote the bios on the Team Canada players on this site.

Craig Wallace

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01-15-2013, 06:31 AM
  #156
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Here is a question. A group of fellow historians and myself were discussing this series over the weekend. Billy Harris had come into the series with 2 goals.

1. Win the series.
2. Just as important finish the series with Team Canada being viewed as gentlemen and sportsmen.

Obviously they failed in the first goal and overall came close to the 2nd with a couple of major lapses - most overtly of those being Rick Ley's assault on Valery Kharlamov at the end of Game 6.

Question here is; should Billy Harris have sent Rick Ley home after that?

Craig Wallace

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01-15-2013, 07:29 AM
  #157
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Rick Ley

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Originally Posted by cam042686 View Post
Here is a question. A group of fellow historians and myself were discussing this series over the weekend. Billy Harris had come into the series with 2 goals.

1. Win the series.
2. Just as important finish the series with Team Canada being viewed as gentlemen and sportsmen.

Obviously they failed in the first goal and overall came close to the 2nd with a couple of major lapses - most overtly of those being Rick Ley's assault on Valery Kharlamov at the end of Game 6.

Question here is; should Billy Harris have sent Rick Ley home after that?

Craig Wallace
No, Rick Ley was part of the team and a team stays and plays together from start to finish. Otherwise and Billy Harris would have lost the room for the rest of the series.

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01-17-2013, 11:41 AM
  #158
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No, Rick Ley was part of the team and a team stays and plays together from start to finish. Otherwise and Billy Harris would have lost the room for the rest of the series.
In many ways I agree with you. The only "caveat" would be that Billy Harris had been so open and adamant that he wanted Team Canada 74 to be viewed as "sportsmen" and "gentlemen."

Craig Wallace

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01-17-2013, 11:59 AM
  #159
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Originally Posted by cam042686 View Post
In many ways I agree with you. The only "caveat" would be that Billy Harris had been so open and adamant that he wanted Team Canada 74 to be viewed as "sportsmen" and "gentlemen."

Craig Wallace
But that is not how a dressing room works. Keeping Rick Ley as part of the team was a statement that it was an isolated incident.

Also putting the team at a competitive disadvantage by sending Ley home would have increased the possibility of future incidents in the remaining games.

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01-17-2013, 12:30 PM
  #160
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Keeping Rick Ley as part of the team was a statement that it was an isolated incident.
How is keeping a guy who acted ungentlemanly a statement that it was an isolated incident?

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01-17-2013, 12:38 PM
  #161
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How is keeping a guy who acted ungentlemanly a statement that it was an isolated incident?
Then step-up with examples of similar 1974 incidents.

1972 Team Canada saw the coaches lose control early in the series. This was magnified in the European part of the series - Clarke two times, Parise, Hadfield, Cashman, being prime examples

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01-17-2013, 01:43 PM
  #162
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Then step-up with examples of similar 1974 incidents.
You claim that keeping a guy who did something ungentlemanly was a statement that it was an isolated incident. Which is a illogical thing to claim. Keeping that guy is either no statement at all or a statement that discipline is secondary. In no way is keeping the guy in itself a statement that what he did is not going to happen again. Simple logics.

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1972 Team Canada saw the coaches lose control early in the series. This was magnified in the European part of the series - Clarke two times, Parise, Hadfield, Cashman, being prime examples
Right, and the parallel to the 1974 situation is that Clarke and the likes were not sent home either. Applying your logic: "Keeping Bobby Clarke as part of the team was a statement that it was an isolated incident." No, it really wasn't an isolated incident, and no, it wasn't a statement towards that end. Neither was keeping Ley a statement two years later. Harris might have been better at keeping his players in check overall than Sinden was, but the way you worded it your claim is - pardon me - absurd.

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01-17-2013, 03:02 PM
  #163
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Statements

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You claim that keeping a guy who did something ungentlemanly was a statement that it was an isolated incident. Which is a illogical thing to claim. Keeping that guy is either no statement at all or a statement that discipline is secondary. In no way is keeping the guy in itself a statement that what he did is not going to happen again. Simple logics.



Right, and the parallel to the 1974 situation is that Clarke and the likes were not sent home either. Applying your logic: "Keeping Bobby Clarke as part of the team was a statement that it was an isolated incident." No, it really wasn't an isolated incident, and no, it wasn't a statement towards that end. Neither was keeping Ley a statement two years later. Harris might have been better at keeping his players in check overall than Sinden was, but the way you worded it your claim is - pardon me - absurd.
Perfectly logical. It is a statement that the team has faith that there will be no repeat of the incident and that is exactly what happened.

By the time the Clarke incident happened the team had lost all discipline AND the Clarke incident was coach inspired. So the coaching staff could not send him home or the team would never listen to them again.

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01-18-2013, 11:24 AM
  #164
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Perfectly logical. It is a statement that the team has faith that there will be no repeat of the incident and that is exactly what happened.

By the time the Clarke incident happened the team had lost all discipline AND the Clarke incident was coach inspired. So the coaching staff could not send him home or the team would never listen to them again.
I agree that Harry Sinden could not have sent Bobby Clarke home -after all Clarke was encouraged by John Ferguson to injure Valery Kharlamov. He can't tell a player to go out and do something, and when they do it, then punish them.

The big difference between the coaches of 1972 and 1974 was this. To Harry Sinden and John Ferguson the end justified the means. Billy Harris was like Father David Bauer who ran the Canadian National Team from 1967-70. Both Harris and Father Dave wanted to win badly - but not at any cost. There was a line they would not allow their teams to cross. As well it was just as important to them that whatever the outcome of the game/series that Team Canada be seen as true gentlemen who played the game skillfully and within the rules.

Craig Wallace

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01-21-2013, 02:42 PM
  #165
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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 under 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 conference. 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 criticize Victor Dombrowski's officiating but he did it in a calm fashion, and focused on the rule book. There was no shrieking ala Sinden.


Craig Wallace


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01-21-2013, 03:35 PM
  #166
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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.


Craig Wallace
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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01-21-2013, 05:03 PM
  #167
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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.
You are 100% correct here. That veteran lineup however began to struggle as the series went to Moscow. The older players as a whole were not as effective on the big ice (although Gordie Howe and Ralph Backstrom did play superbly in Moscow.) Frank Mahovlich and Johnny McKenzie were particularly ineffective over there. They just couldn't keep up.

Going back to the officiating it was shocking that Ralph Backstrom, one of the classiest, calmest players received a 10-minute misconduct in Game 5. Valery Kharlamov kicked his skates out from underneath him and Polish referee Waldo Szczypak who was watching the play didn't call a penalty. Backstrom cussed him out and received a misconduct for that. I quoted Ralph in my book on page 137 "He (Kharlamov) kicked the feet from right out from under me, and right in front of the ref. I couldn't believe it. That's when I got mad and said some things to him. It turns out he speaks English. That's the first misconduct I'd had in 12 or 13 years. I don't remember the last one. I'm not very proud of that."

That misconduct was a killer for Team Canada as the Backstrom, Gordie Howe, Mark Howe line was Canada's only effective line that night. With the exception of them and Gerry Cheevers, who played one of his greatest ever games in net, the rest of the team was totally flat. The misconduct broke up Canada's only good line that night.

Craig Wallace

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01-30-2013, 06:21 AM
  #168
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Here is a question for everyone.

Going into the 1974 Summit it was a major goal of Team Canada coach Billy Harris for his team to be viewed as "gentlemen" and for them to play in an outstanding sportsmanlike manner.

At this level - whether it is International hockey or professional where does sportsmanship come into play? Realistically speaking do modern coaches at this level even care about their players playing within the rules? Does the NHL care about sportsmanship or are they just worried about putting a violent product on the ice that sells to the masses? Is it as Al Davis said when he ran the Oakland Raiders 'Just win baby."

Thoughts?

Craig Wallace

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01-30-2013, 09:14 AM
  #169
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It depends on many things. It depends on the moral constitution of the player. Its very difficult to get 20 or so players in one dressing room with the same moral compass. However, it also depends on the moral constitution of the coach. If John Brophy was coaching that Canadian team, I would assume his goals for the team would have been much different. And the players act, for the most part, according to what the coach communicates to them verbally and non-verbally. This issue will likely rear its ugly head in the Bertuzzi/Moore/Crawford court proceedings in the coming year. I would also assume that many NHL teams have some sort of mission statement or guiding set of principals these days. Every corporation has them. Fred Shero had them, but I do not believe there was anything about sportsmanship. There was some messages about being responsible to your teammates I believe, but violence overall was much more accepted in society in those days. Often, what happens on the ice, in the schoolyards or in the family depends on what the attitudes are about an issue at a mega level - society, nation, political - partly at an unconscious level. That is, unless someone like Billy Harris brings particular attention to it and decides on alternative action. Sports in general has made some exceptional progress over the last few years. While we have seen the succeed at all costs attitudes of McGwire, Bonds and Armstrong, we have also seen many take the exact opposite approach. Recently there was a marathoner who was going to finish second in the race without a doubt when his opponent ahead of him misread where the finish line was. Instead of taking advantage of his opponents inability to read the language or notice the visual cues, he approached his opponent and redirected him to finish the race while he gracefully came in second. I am also positive that the suicide of Junior Seau is going to make huge waves in the football and sports world. Many have stated that sports is only a very brief time of their life and real life starts after a sports career. Seau could have still had 30-40 years of quality life to live had he decided to retire at a better time. Instead he suffered mostly in silence and now will miss his kids growing up, getting married etc...And then there is Mike Mussina. He decided to retire after a 20 win season just to be with his family more. He was only a few wins short of 300 which likely would have been his ticket to the HOF. As it stands now, he has a good chance, but is no shoe-in.

In summary though, most professional sports have dug in their heels when it comes time to address sportsmanship issues. The NHL is at the front of the pack in this area. Change often occurs at a grassroots level and moves upwards. Such is the case with many of Don Cherry's innovations to protect players. I believe he stated that the U.S. adopted his "stop sign" on the backs of jerseys at the amateur level long before the Canadian amateur system did. It is in our youth where sportsmanship is learned and crafted.

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01-30-2013, 07:42 PM
  #170
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It depends on many things. It depends on the moral constitution of the player. Its very difficult to get 20 or so players in one dressing room with the same moral compass. However, it also depends on the moral constitution of the coach. If John Brophy was coaching that Canadian team, I would assume his goals for the team would have been much different. And the players act, for the most part, according to what the coach communicates to them verbally and non-verbally. This issue will likely rear its ugly head in the Bertuzzi/Moore/Crawford court proceedings in the coming year. I would also assume that many NHL teams have some sort of mission statement or guiding set of principals these days. Every corporation has them. Fred Shero had them, but I do not believe there was anything about sportsmanship. There was some messages about being responsible to your teammates I believe, but violence overall was much more accepted in society in those days. Often, what happens on the ice, in the schoolyards or in the family depends on what the attitudes are about an issue at a mega level - society, nation, political - partly at an unconscious level. That is, unless someone like Billy Harris brings particular attention to it and decides on alternative action. Sports in general has made some exceptional progress over the last few years. While we have seen the succeed at all costs attitudes of McGwire, Bonds and Armstrong, we have also seen many take the exact opposite approach. Recently there was a marathoner who was going to finish second in the race without a doubt when his opponent ahead of him misread where the finish line was. Instead of taking advantage of his opponents inability to read the language or notice the visual cues, he approached his opponent and redirected him to finish the race while he gracefully came in second. I am also positive that the suicide of Junior Seau is going to make huge waves in the football and sports world. Many have stated that sports is only a very brief time of their life and real life starts after a sports career. Seau could have still had 30-40 years of quality life to live had he decided to retire at a better time. Instead he suffered mostly in silence and now will miss his kids growing up, getting married etc...And then there is Mike Mussina. He decided to retire after a 20 win season just to be with his family more. He was only a few wins short of 300 which likely would have been his ticket to the HOF. As it stands now, he has a good chance, but is no shoe-in.

In summary though, most professional sports have dug in their heels when it comes time to address sportsmanship issues. The NHL is at the front of the pack in this area. Change often occurs at a grassroots level and moves upwards. Such is the case with many of Don Cherry's innovations to protect players. I believe he stated that the U.S. adopted his "stop sign" on the backs of jerseys at the amateur level long before the Canadian amateur system did. It is in our youth where sportsmanship is learned and crafted.
Nice post!

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01-30-2013, 09:06 PM
  #171
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Disciplined

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Here is a question for everyone.

Going into the 1974 Summit it was a major goal of Team Canada coach Billy Harris for his team to be viewed as "gentlemen" and for them to play in an outstanding sportsmanlike manner.

At this level - whether it is International hockey or professional where does sportsmanship come into play? Realistically speaking do modern coaches at this level even care about their players playing within the rules? Does the NHL care about sportsmanship or are they just worried about putting a violent product on the ice that sells to the masses? Is it as Al Davis said when he ran the Oakland Raiders 'Just win baby."

Thoughts?

Craig Wallace
Billy Harris always had disciplined teams in the WHA. "Gentlemen" and "Sportsmanship" was the appropriate politically correct spin for the 1974 Summit Series.

Al Davis reflected the closed NFL culture. NFL does not play outside the league / internationally like other major sports do.

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02-04-2013, 06:03 AM
  #172
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It depends on many things. It depends on the moral constitution of the player. Its very difficult to get 20 or so players in one dressing room with the same moral compass. However, it also depends on the moral constitution of the coach. If John Brophy was coaching that Canadian team, I would assume his goals for the team would have been much different. And the players act, for the most part, according to what the coach communicates to them verbally and non-verbally. This issue will likely rear its ugly head in the Bertuzzi/Moore/Crawford court proceedings in the coming year. I would also assume that many NHL teams have some sort of mission statement or guiding set of principals these days. Every corporation has them. Fred Shero had them, but I do not believe there was anything about sportsmanship. There was some messages about being responsible to your teammates I believe, but violence overall was much more accepted in society in those days. Often, what happens on the ice, in the schoolyards or in the family depends on what the attitudes are about an issue at a mega level - society, nation, political - partly at an unconscious level. That is, unless someone like Billy Harris brings particular attention to it and decides on alternative action. Sports in general has made some exceptional progress over the last few years. While we have seen the succeed at all costs attitudes of McGwire, Bonds and Armstrong, we have also seen many take the exact opposite approach. Recently there was a marathoner who was going to finish second in the race without a doubt when his opponent ahead of him misread where the finish line was. Instead of taking advantage of his opponents inability to read the language or notice the visual cues, he approached his opponent and redirected him to finish the race while he gracefully came in second. I am also positive that the suicide of Junior Seau is going to make huge waves in the football and sports world. Many have stated that sports is only a very brief time of their life and real life starts after a sports career. Seau could have still had 30-40 years of quality life to live had he decided to retire at a better time. Instead he suffered mostly in silence and now will miss his kids growing up, getting married etc...And then there is Mike Mussina. He decided to retire after a 20 win season just to be with his family more. He was only a few wins short of 300 which likely would have been his ticket to the HOF. As it stands now, he has a good chance, but is no shoe-in.

In summary though, most professional sports have dug in their heels when it comes time to address sportsmanship issues. The NHL is at the front of the pack in this area. Change often occurs at a grassroots level and moves upwards. Such is the case with many of Don Cherry's innovations to protect players. I believe he stated that the U.S. adopted his "stop sign" on the backs of jerseys at the amateur level long before the Canadian amateur system did. It is in our youth where sportsmanship is learned and crafted.
What an excellent post! Very thought provoking.

Craig Wallace

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03-05-2013, 08:08 PM
  #173
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Here is a question for the group here.

What would the impact on international hockey have been, in so far as Canada sending professional players if Team Canada 74 had won or tied the series? (Not out of the question as despite their 1-4-3 record Team Canada was competitive in every loss with the exception of the later part of Game 3.) By this I mean if Canada had won or tied this series with an "inferior" team (as the NHL and much of the media had referred to it) would Canada and the NHL had perhaps said "hey we have proven we are the best. We had a scare in 1972 with a great but unprepared team. Now in 1974 we sent a very well prepared team with inferior talent and we won (or tied.) We have proven we are the best so we don't need these distractions anymore."

Any thoughts?

Craig Wallace

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03-06-2013, 07:13 PM
  #174
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Originally Posted by cam042686 View Post
Here is a question for the group here.

What would the impact on international hockey have been, in so far as Canada sending professional players if Team Canada 74 had won or tied the series? (Not out of the question as despite their 1-4-3 record Team Canada was competitive in every loss with the exception of the later part of Game 3.) By this I mean if Canada had won or tied this series with an "inferior" team (as the NHL and much of the media had referred to it) would Canada and the NHL had perhaps said "hey we have proven we are the best. We had a scare in 1972 with a great but unprepared team. Now in 1974 we sent a very well prepared team with inferior talent and we won (or tied.) We have proven we are the best so we don't need these distractions anymore."

Any thoughts?

Craig Wallace
I'm guessing we would have still seen North America-USSR competitions. Wasn't the NHL left brooding somewhat after their near defeat to the Soviets in 1972? A WHA victory or tie with the same opponent would have left NHL really itching to get another crack at the Soviets so they could 'really show 'em how its done.' I think that's why the Super Series was started first place. The NHL didn't get the coming out party it anticipated in 1972 so they scheduled a mid-winter series with players in game-shape and playing on familiar lines figuring it would be a truer test of supremacy.

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03-06-2013, 09:33 PM
  #175
LeBlondeDemon10
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In the era of the Cold War, this rivalry was just too juicy to let go stagnant. Maybe it even prevented a real war?

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