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To what extent would a healthy Bobby Orr have affected the '72 Summit Series?

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Old
02-05-2014, 05:54 PM
  #76
Killion
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But where Phil, painful as it is? Youve got Esposito, Lemaire, Perreault & Keon, and Im not seeing Jean Ratelle surpassing nor bringing better all round & or specific skill sets to the party than those 4 guys. IMLACH's got some good balance there with the lines. Ratelle could prove invaluable as a spare with a short-shift game, replacing Keon or Lemaire every now & again. Used in certain situations, a handy piece to have on the bench for sure.

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02-05-2014, 06:03 PM
  #77
IMLACHnME
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G.A.G. Line Memories

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I'm not even saying Hadfield who scored 50 goals in 1972. I know that his attitude wasn't the best during that tournament and he didn't do well himself when he played. I will say in his defense that the ones that have made him look bad in hindsight were Eagleson and Sinden who aren't exactly the most noble people. To this day, from their own mouths (including Rick Martin) the other Canadians on the team never treated them differently for deserting them mid-tournament. There were a lot of lies told to them.

Alright, so it isn't as if I'm pining for Hadfield here. But Ratelle? Isn't he good enough to knock one of those guys from the list? I would reckon that Ratelle is almost an automatic on that team. You've got to slide him in there somewhere don't you think? As more than just a spare.
Big Phil, nobody was a bigger fan of the G.A.G. Line than yours truly. In the late 60s/early 70s I made a point of listening to the Rangers' games on the radio precisely because of that trio. That said, I can not be accused of overlooking or underestimating either of Rod Gilbert's linemates.

I'm glad you mentioned Vic Hadfield. Remember his first few seasons in the NHL? He was, then, a lot like Steve Ott, although maybe a little more willing to drop his gloves. With Jean Ratelle and Gilbert, #11 became a legitimate goal scorer, and, yes, remained such with the Penguins.

Gilbert may be remembered as a shooter, but, as his statistics and Hadfield's goal-scoring demonstrate, he was actually quite a playmaker. Imagine how effective he would have been with Phil Esposito and Bobby Hull, another 50-goal scorer like Hadfield.

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02-05-2014, 06:21 PM
  #78
Killion
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Dont forget as well that the GAG line was benched in Game 2, a 4-1 TC Win. 9 Players
in fact who started Game 1 didnt play, including Dryden who was replaced by Tony Esposito.

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02-05-2014, 06:32 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Dont forget as well that the GAG line was benched in Game 2, a 4-1 TC Win. 9 Players
in fact who started Game 1 didnt play, including Dryden who was replaced by Tony Esposito.
Yes, the G.A.G. Line was terrific, in the NHL. Against the Soviets, Gilbert with Hull and Esposito would have been a much more effective trio. In the NHL too.

If Team Canada had had that line, Hull - Esposito - Gilbert, I have no doubt that it would have been the most productive.

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02-05-2014, 06:38 PM
  #80
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If we factor out our whole knowledge of what Scotty Bowman was about to achieve afterwards, then I think the choice of Harry Sinden as Team Canada coach is very reasonable from a 1972 point of view. Sinden had coached the Boston Bruins to a Stanley Cup and had shaped the team that seemed to be emerging as the leading one in the NHL, winning two Championships in three years. There's nothing to suggest he wasn't well respected. He also had international experience and success (won gold at the 1958 World Championship, silver at the 1960 Olympics) playing against the Soviets and playing on european/large ice.

Not mentioned so far has been the fact that Sinden had no coaching obligations in 1972 while Scotty Bowman was head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Remember that the 72-73 NHL season was scheduled to begin in early October, never mind the Summit Series that would keep Team Canada and its staff occupied all September through. Had Bowman been in charge of Team Canada, he wouldn't have been able to run the Canadiens training camp and preseason games. I can't see it being a satisfactory solution for him or the Canadiens to have some assistant coach doing it in his place. Being NHL head coach and coach of Team Canada was not compatible in summer/autumn 1972.

Finally a note on the G.A.G. line: The Canadian side often argues (and not without justice) that the Soviets had a great advantage because their players were more familiar with each other, having trained and played together in units of three or even five men many times before they faced Team Canada. Well, the Hadfield - Ratelle - Gilbert line had played together more than any Soviet forward line in the Summit Series, it makes perfect sense that they brought in all three of them & of course played them together for the instant chemistry, especially in an eight game series where they intended to use a lot of lines anyway. In hindsight, after that line failed in game 1, it's easy to say you would have iced a different line if you had been in charge back then, but did you also say it or would you have said it in August 1972?

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02-05-2014, 06:57 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Finally a note on the G.A.G. line: The Canadian side often argues (and not without justice) that the Soviets had a great advantage because their players were more familiar with each other, having trained and played together in units of three or even five men many times before they faced Team Canada. Well, the Hadfield - Ratelle - Gilbert line had played together more than any Soviet forward line in the Summit Series, it makes perfect sense that they brought in all three of them & of course played them together for the instant chemistry, especially in an eight game series where they intended to use a lot of lines anyway. In hindsight, after that line failed in game 1, it's easy to say you would have iced a different line if you had been in charge back then, but did you also say it or would you have said it in August 1972?
Remember, my lines were put together with the proviso that Bobby Hull is not banned. If he's in the lineup, and on a line with Phil Esposito and Rod Gilbert, that is a trio preferable to the G.A.G. Line for a series against a team with the skating and playmaking ability of the Soviets.

Another proviso is that the folks in charge have their heads on straight, and, as such, thoroughly scout the Soviets, and assemble a roster capable of competing effectively against the Soviets. Then, time enough is utilized to get Team Canada into shape, and the members of each line familiar with each other.

Since there was no scouting, and too little time was spent preparing Team Canada, it did make sense to bring in a trio having played many games together. That same thinking might have/should have prompted the folks in charge to bring in another ready-to-go trio.

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02-05-2014, 07:10 PM
  #82
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Toe Blake

Retired less than four years, no NHL obligations. Schooled Harry Sinden in their brief NHL confrontations. Ideal for the speed and movement game that the Series required. Great at handling multi position players.

Would Toe Blake be willing to be part of the Eagleson circus? Very doubtful.

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02-05-2014, 08:12 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Would Toe Blake be willing to be part of the Eagleson circus? Very doubtful.
... rather doubt that. Shame too as there's really none better than Toe Blake. Like the antithesis to a guy like Eagleson.

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02-05-2014, 10:35 PM
  #84
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Why not put Ratelle on the wing instead of Henderson? I mean if it wasn't for this series, not many today would even know of Paul Henderson. And I'm sure the brain trust for this team was not thinking we'll win because of him. Was he truly that deserving of a spot? I think Ratelle is. But I was 4 yrs old when this was going on.

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02-06-2014, 12:09 AM
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
But where Phil, painful as it is? Youve got Esposito, Lemaire, Perreault & Keon, and Im not seeing Jean Ratelle surpassing nor bringing better all round & or specific skill sets to the party than those 4 guys. IMLACH's got some good balance there with the lines. Ratelle could prove invaluable as a spare with a short-shift game, replacing Keon or Lemaire every now & again. Used in certain situations, a handy piece to have on the bench for sure.
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Originally Posted by IMLACHnME View Post
Big Phil, nobody was a bigger fan of the G.A.G. Line than yours truly. In the late 60s/early 70s I made a point of listening to the Rangers' games on the radio precisely because of that trio. That said, I can not be accused of overlooking or underestimating either of Rod Gilbert's linemates.

I'm glad you mentioned Vic Hadfield. Remember his first few seasons in the NHL? He was, then, a lot like Steve Ott, although maybe a little more willing to drop his gloves. With Jean Ratelle and Gilbert, #11 became a legitimate goal scorer, and, yes, remained such with the Penguins.

Gilbert may be remembered as a shooter, but, as his statistics and Hadfield's goal-scoring demonstrate, he was actually quite a playmaker. Imagine how effective he would have been with Phil Esposito and Bobby Hull, another 50-goal scorer like Hadfield.
I guess my logic is more or less along the lines of "which player is too good to leave off the team?" To me Ratelle is the clear one here. He and Gilbert had played together time and time again. I just wouldn't break that pair up at all. Forget Hadfield, he doesn't fit on here. You just have to shuffle things up a bit I think. Put someone like Lemaire or Perreault on the wing and slot someone like Martin as a 13th forward. I'm not sold on Martin doing a heck of a lot as a youngster.

While the GAG line started out slow, it was Ratelle who had a couple of points in Game 8. Somehow, someway I put him on this team.

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02-06-2014, 04:55 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Side note: I thought it was the other way round, Firsov refused to play under Bobrov even though they wanted him for the Summit Series.
This is what Anatoli Firsov said about it in an interview:
Quote:
Interviewer: When in 1971, 1972 negotiations came to that games are going to happen, why did Tarassov disappear?

Firsov: After Olympic games Tarassov wanted to just have a rest, because starting from 1963 practically till 1972 he, with Arkadiy Ivanovich (Chernyshov), were coaches of both TsSKA and combined team without a replacement. They left for a little rest for other coaches to go to World Championship, while they after the Olympics to relax from hockey during 3-4 months, just to have a rest from hockey. They thought that after world championship, when ours lost in Prague, they will be invited again to train a team for professionals, but they bore everybody with their victories, and Tarassov with his hockey insistence, that neither Sport Committee nor others -- nobody supported his return. So once Tarassov was not taken, I, relating to him like to a father, just said, that I don't want to work with these coaches, which did not take me to World Championship to Prague. Or let they write a whole truth, why they did not take me. Coaches did not write anything, and they began beating me again for a whole year, because I refused from a combined team and did not go to play with professionals. But I was devoted to Tarassov, and it was psychologically fixed at me that once there is no Tarassov, there won't be a victory. I already did not believe into any of other coaches.
http://www.pbs.org/redfiles/sports/d...oly_firsov.htm

So I guess he himself at least thought that it was him who refused to play, i.e. because "I don't want to work with these coaches, which did not take me to World Championship to Prague". But how much did they really try to persuede him, that's another question; I think he was past his peak at this point, but on the other hand, he would've most certainly been more useful than e.g. Vyacheslav Starshinov, another '60s icon.

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02-06-2014, 09:14 AM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Why not put Ratelle on the wing instead of Henderson? I mean if it wasn't for this series, not many today would even know of Paul Henderson. And I'm sure the brain trust for this team was not thinking we'll win because of him. Was he truly that deserving of a spot? I think Ratelle is. But I was 4 yrs old when this was going on.
It may, and seems to be, true that Paul Henderson would not be remembered today, were it not for his heroics in the Summit Series. Nonetheless, Henderson did deserve to be there, and, as indicated above, I would have had him with Dave Keon and Rejean Houle. He was Michael Grabner with a scoring touch. In 1970-71, with the Leafs he scored 30 goals, then topped that in 1971-72 with 38 goals.

Had the Soviet team been properly scouted, Canada's team would have been assembled with an eye towards having forwards who skated (very) well, and could produce offensively.

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02-06-2014, 09:21 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
So I guess he himself at least thought that it was him who refused to play, i.e. because "I don't want to work with these coaches, which did not take me to World Championship to Prague". But how much did they really try to persuede him, that's another question; I think he was past his peak at this point, but on the other hand, he would've most certainly been more useful than e.g. Vyacheslav Starshinov, another '60s icon.
Firsov (and Vitaly Davydov, I was wrong about that in an earlier post) were both named to the Soviet roster for the Summit Series. Even after Game 3 of the Series Bobrov told the Canadian press both would play in Moscow. That strongly indicates they really tried to persuade him, given the embarrassment of not living up to their announcement. Seems like Firsov effectively refused.

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02-06-2014, 09:24 AM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Retired less than four years, no NHL obligations. Schooled Harry Sinden in their brief NHL confrontations. Ideal for the speed and movement game that the Series required. Great at handling multi position players.
I should have written "reasonable choice over Bowman". Sure, other people were available, in the case of Blake more decorated, renowned, capable than Sinden.

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02-06-2014, 09:38 AM
  #90
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Emeritus

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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
I should have written "reasonable choice over Bowman". Sure, other people were available, in the case of Blake more decorated, renowned, capable than Sinden.
Toe Blake after 1968 continued to contribute as part of the Canadiens entourage - regularly at practices, including the juniors and Voyageurs.

Somewhat like King Clancy with the Leafs but without the personality that made Clancy a media darling. A number of NHL teams had elderly types around well into the nineties that would unretire if need be. Milt Schmidt, Al Arbour with the Islanders.

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02-06-2014, 10:36 AM
  #91
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
He and Gilbert had played together time and time again.
Ya, since childhood & all through Junior. He & that line were actually used as a more defensive & checking unit in the remainder of the series after being sat in Game 2. The Russians were apparently extremely impressed with Ratelles composure, hockey smarts & crafts, honorable way in which he played the game & certainly something all NHL fans wouldve echoed having watched him (and Gilbert) for years. Total Class Act. But isnt that something huh? Here the famous GAG Line, Goal-A-Game forced, used as a Defensive Line. Seriously underscores the poor selections, the lack of appreciation & understanding as to just who & what Team Canada would be facing. It also says a lot for Ratelle & his linemates, that they just accepted this role, adapted, performed well enough for Canada to eke & gut out a win. Also underscores how players of that generation were fully schooled in defensive play as forwards from amateur through pro. Full toolboxes. Play it anyway their asked. At the very least, hired him as an Assistant and Head Scout and EARLY. His experience & knowledge invaluable.

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Toe Blake after 1968 continued to contribute as part of the Canadiens entourage - regularly at practices, including the juniors and Voyageurs.

Somewhat like King Clancy with the Leafs but without the personality that made Clancy a media darling. A number of NHL teams had elderly types around well into the nineties that would unretire if need be. Milt Schmidt, Al Arbour with the Islanders.
Well, with Eagleson essentially calling the shots in terms of who would be Coach & GM and Im sure by inference if not directly was influential in player selection, with that whole Toronto-Boston Mafia Dealeo he had going on it was really no surprise Sinden was hand picked. Yes he was available, out of hockey, but still. Theres no way he wasnt picked as a result of his close relationship to Orr & Eagleson, other players on Team Canada, a nice showcase for Harry who did belong back in hockey however, and all due respect, he was the beneficiary of some very astute & wise signings, trades & drafting in Boston. A team that went from 0-160mph in about 24mnths from 66-68, then broke all land speed records thereafter. Cups, excellence that lasts to this very day.... and perhaps completely off the wall, but there was also Jackie MacLeod available, Coach of the Canadian National Team from 66-70, more than familiar with the Soviets. Im sure with the NHL guns available to him he'd have thought long & hard about selections, thought he'd died & gone to Heaven, had the experience Internationally. Hired him early, even at minimum as Head Scout & Assistant Coach along with a Toe Blake or whomever, one of the older Professorial types. Jackie went on to Coach in the WHL I believe.


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02-06-2014, 02:27 PM
  #92
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Toe Blake & Sam Pollock Revisited

A litte read-up reveals that Toe Blake declined to coach Team Canada because "his health wouldn't allow it at this time." Says the Montreal Gazette: "Toe will be 60 in August. His nerves have given him problems for years. The condition lingers." (MG, May 2nd 1972, page 13). Therefore Blake was not available.

As for the wisdom of Sam Pollock, his advise was to hire "a figure of stature, rather than a strategist" to coach Team Canada. In his own words: "If we need a tactical edge to beat them, we're in trouble." Sounds like a nice Alan Eagleson quote, but it was Sam Pollock who said it and meant it. His actual suggestions for the coaching job? Jean Beliveau and Gordie Howe, neither of which had any serious coaching experience. (Source: Montreal Gazette, May 13th 1972, page 17). When Pollock paid a visit to the Team Canada camps late in August 1972 his only fear was that Canada could lose the second game in Moscow: "If we beat them easily, particularly in the first game over there, we may let down and they'll come out angry." (Montreal Gazette, 25h August 1972, page 17).

Toe Blake BTW accompanied Pollock to the camp, what did he have to say about Team Canada as it was, roster and all? "Toe Blake said it was the best team he'd ever seen. 'I think my clubs of the late 1950s could take Russia today, and this team is better.'"

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02-06-2014, 02:57 PM
  #93
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....His nerves have given him problems for years... Pollock paid a visit to the Team Canada camps late in August 1972 his only fear was that Canada could lose the second game in Moscow: "If we beat them easily, particularly in the first game over there, we may let down and they'll come out angry."

Toe Blake BTW accompanied Pollock to the camp, what did he have to say about Team Canada as it was, roster and all? "Toe Blake said it was the best team he'd ever seen. 'I think my clubs of the late 1950s could take Russia today, and this team is better.'"
Aha. Very interesting & revealing finds Theo. Good job!.... I dont agree with Pollock nor with Blake at all, wouldnt have then & certainly not today, in retrospect & hindsight, but then again what did I know then or now that they didnt? Well, just what I saw, at that time. I simply wasnt at all impressed with Team Canada. Great players yes but a team of individual stars thrown together, expected to just bond & gel.

Yet if you watched it live as I did as a player myself by that time with considerable experience and a critical eye, really anyone who was a serious student of the game, what you saw was a disparate group of individuals running more wild than in any kind of unified "team" effort. Desperate hockey interrupted by moments of brilliance few & far between in terms of Canada's play. Solo efforts galore. A number of our players resorting to the lowest common denominators in terms of physicality & stickwork to slow the Russians & the frenetic pace of the game down, throw them off their game. Faced with this, the Russians capitalized however as it was all new to them, and once the awe of playing against these "legends" wore off, they would retaliate, provoked as they were. Got ugly at times & of course culminated in "the slash" heard round the World.

While I hold all of the members of Team Canada 72 in high esteem in consideration of their professional careers, and that all of them did give it their very best efforts throughout the Summit Series, I still have a problem with how that team was put together. How ill prepared. The past of course is a different country, and they do/did things differently back then. Team Canada did not have the luxury of a longer training camp, the prevalent attitudes being what they were was that if we just threw our NHL Superstars at them, no problem. Piece a cake. But no. Thats not really how it works in Tournament Hockey. All kinds of extraneous considerations & nuances one has to take into account.

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02-06-2014, 04:28 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by IMLACHnME View Post
It may, and seems to be, true that Paul Henderson would not be remembered today, were it not for his heroics in the Summit Series. Nonetheless, Henderson did deserve to be there, and, as indicated above, I would have had him with Dave Keon and Rejean Houle. He was Michael Grabner with a scoring touch. In 1970-71, with the Leafs he scored 30 goals, then topped that in 1971-72 with 38 goals.

Had the Soviet team been properly scouted, Canada's team would have been assembled with an eye towards having forwards who skated (very) well, and could produce offensively.
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.

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02-06-2014, 04:43 PM
  #95
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To number 10 and Killion.How real or valid was CBC movie about the 1972 series-was it very factual or were there many holes in movie.It seemed the character who played Phil Esposito did not take series seriously also there seemed to be some big egoes on team-any truth

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02-06-2014, 05:28 PM
  #96
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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.


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02-06-2014, 05:51 PM
  #97
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Paul Henderson scores!

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
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.
Growing up in the Niagara Peninsula, I got to see lots of the Toronto Maple Leafs, on TV. From that perspective I developed a respect for what Paul Henderson could do. As I suggested above, to appreciate him today, imagine Michael Grabner with a scoring touch. The big discussion amongst fans of the Leafs, during the late 60s/early 70s, was who was faster, Henderson or the gentleman wearing #14. With that speed, and the ability to score 30 goals, he was someone you'd want on any team, and especially one about to face the Soviets in 1972.

After the Summit Series, Henderson would only play two more injury-shortened seasons with the Leafs, before joining the WHA, and, in doing so, disappearing from sight. Had he had five or six seasons, in the NHL, after the Summit Series, and put up numbers like he had before it, Henderson would today be regarded as a legitimate NHL star.

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02-06-2014, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by IMLACHnME View Post
After the Summit Series, Henderson would only play two more injury-shortened seasons with the Leafs, before joining the WHA, and, in doing so, disappearing from sight. Had he had five or six seasons, in the NHL, after the Summit Series, and put up numbers like he had before it, Henderson would today be regarded as a legitimate NHL star.
Ya. He's said since that he left Toronto & the NHL to "get away from Ballard" who at that time was in full flight, shredding just about everything & everyone in sight. Wasnt until 1975 apparently despite my literary license earlier in referring to Henderson as a "Born Again" in 72 that he actually did embrace Christianity wholeheartedly. By then gone from the NHL, playing in the WHA. Toronto Toro's & Birmingham from 74 through 79, returning for 30 games with Atlanta when the WHA was Amalgamated with the NHL. He apparently wrote a letter to Ballard after accepting Christ into his life apologizing "for all the bad things I thought and said about you". Harold never did reply. No shock there.... also of course as discussed elsewhere Hendersons public criticism of Clarke's slash on Kharlamov several years after the fact, Clarkes rebuttals also public, that "if he had a problem with it why didnt say something at the time rather than whining about it in some kind of revisionary outrage" (?) or words to that affect.

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02-06-2014, 06:37 PM
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Ron Harris?

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Ya. He's said since that he left Toronto & the NHL to "get away from Ballard" who at that time was in full flight, shredding just about everything & everyone in sight. Wasnt until 1975 apparently despite my literary license earlier in referring to Henderson as a "Born Again" in 72 that he actually did embrace Christianity wholeheartedly. By then gone from the NHL, playing in the WHA. Toronto Toro's & Birmingham from 74 through 79, returning for 30 games with Atlanta when the WHA was Amalgamated with the NHL. He apparently wrote a letter to Ballard after accepting Christ into his life apologizing "for all the bad things I thought and said about you". Harold never did reply. No shock there.... also of course as discussed elsewhere Hendersons public criticism of Clarke's slash on Kharlamov several years after the fact, Clarkes rebuttals also public, that "if he had a problem with it why didnt say something at the time rather than whining about it in some kind of revisionary outrage" (?) or words to that affect.
Remember Ron Harris? If I recall correctly, he was the first NHLer who was into weight training. As a result, he was strong as a bull, and hit very hard. A hip check deemed to be low put Phil Esposito out of commission in the 1973 playoffs.

Had Harris been on the blueline of Team Canada in 1972, he might have done with his hips what Bobby Clarke accomplished with his stick.

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02-06-2014, 07:56 PM
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Remember Ron Harris?... Had Harris been on the blueline of Team Canada in 1972, he might have done with his hips what Bobby Clarke accomplished with his stick.
Oh ya, I remember Ron Harris alright. Tragically he was involved in the Bill Masterton incident. Only ever gave one interview on the subject & just a few brief words.... But yes, not a real big guy, 180lbs, low penalty minutes but absolutely feared for his devastating checking abilities. Like being hit by a Freight Train straight up like a Vadnais or Gadsby, and a Master of the Hip Check. I didnt really like him as I thought he was a bit dirty with those Submarine Hits like the one you mentioned on Esposito.

He was terrific with the Rangers, though usually used as a 5th Defenseman, sometimes playing on the Wing. Wasnt a designated fighter at all but but he sure did numbers on people when riled, Bob Hound Dog Kelly in particular. Dornhoffer. Often put out on the Wing against Schultz who had nothing good in mind for Rod Gilbert. Remember seeing him deck Yvon Cournoyer in a playoff game after the Roadrunner cheap shotted Ed Giacomin. No penalty on it as it happened so fast. Just drove him with a straight right, knocked him out, skates away like nothing happened. Oblivious.

Not sure he wouldve been ideal though IMLACH. But I see your point & agree. You check someone like a Kharlamov or whomever cleanly, no problem, but you dont go looking for him. If the opportunity arises, you check the guy, dont be sending him into the infirmary & next week, beat him & the Soviets or whomever fair & square. If it just so happens that someone does get felled like a Redwood ala Stevens on Lindros or whatever, well, thats hockey. Head down? Your a goner. The Soviets didnt play with their heads down & with the constant movement hard to hit, illusive, great skaters. We had the wheels & guns to beat them that way as well, and thats the kind of talent I wanted out there representing Canada. Best foot forward.

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