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Your thoughts on the '72 Summit Series "deserters"

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06-15-2005, 03:01 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Your thoughts on the '72 Summit Series "deserters"

There were four guys who left in the middle of the '72 Summit Series vs. Russia. They were, Gilbert Perreault, Vic Hadfield, Rick Martin and Jocelyn Guevremont. What do you think of these guys doing that. Here is my take on it.

After the teams went over to Russia to play the last four games, Perreault played the 5th game in which the Canadians lost. He arguably was the best skater on the team. Only he and Cournoyer and Henderson seemed to be the only ones who could skate with the Russians. But for whatever reason it was told that harry Sinden was going to annouce that these guys, as long as guys like Dionne, Cashman, Redmond, etc were going to not be playing in any more games. So they had permission to go home if they wanted to. Punch Imlach was putting pressure on Perreault to come home for training camp as was Emile Francis doing that to Hadfield.

So there was supposed to be a press conference annoucing that, but it never happened. And only those four guys ended up going on the plane home. So they felt betrayed and unfairly branded as deserters. Perreault had a Hall of Fame career, and Martin a borderline one, but I think when guys think about Hadfield that's the first thing they think. To me its unfair. In a book about 1972 Series all those players have the same story about Sinden reportedly having a press conference and then not having one and when they left he made them look like they were abandoning the team. Henderosn and Esposito both wrote in their books how they understood why the guys left. Henderson said if he wouldnt have never played then he may have left too. And no one thinks any less of these guys at '72 Reunions according to the players. So my question is were thes guys treated unfairly? And does anyone know more to this story?

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06-15-2005, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
There were four guys who left in the middle of the '72 Summit Series vs. Russia. They were, Gilbert Perreault, Vic Hadfield, Rick Martin and Jocelyn Guevremont. What do you think of these guys doing that. Here is my take on it.

After the teams went over to Russia to play the last four games, Perreault played the 5th game in which the Canadians lost. He arguably was the best skater on the team. Only he and Cournoyer and Henderson seemed to be the only ones who could skate with the Russians. But for whatever reason it was told that harry Sinden was going to annouce that these guys, as long as guys like Dionne, Cashman, Redmond, etc were going to not be playing in any more games. So they had permission to go home if they wanted to. Punch Imlach was putting pressure on Perreault to come home for training camp as was Emile Francis doing that to Hadfield.

So there was supposed to be a press conference annoucing that, but it never happened. And only those four guys ended up going on the plane home. So they felt betrayed and unfairly branded as deserters. Perreault had a Hall of Fame career, and Martin a borderline one, but I think when guys think about Hadfield that's the first thing they think. To me its unfair. In a book about 1972 Series all those players have the same story about Sinden reportedly having a press conference and then not having one and when they left he made them look like they were abandoning the team. Henderosn and Esposito both wrote in their books how they understood why the guys left. Henderson said if he wouldnt have never played then he may have left too. And no one thinks any less of these guys at '72 Reunions according to the players. So my question is were thes guys treated unfairly? And does anyone know more to this story?
If they hadn't put so many players on the team none of this would've happened and Canada might have done better in the series.

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06-15-2005, 03:58 PM
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Whoever calls those guys "deserters" needs to be slapped. We're talking about hockey players here.

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06-15-2005, 04:17 PM
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Another interesting bit of trivia is that Dallas Smith, Boston dman, was apparently slated to be named to the team, but asked out because he had responsibilities to take care of on his farm back home.

A fascinating footnote, and so telling of the times: here was an NHLer who had to make end$ meet by taking on a second, full-time (and undoubtedly demanding) summer job. And undoubtedly, his story was not uncommon.

Times change, eh?

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06-15-2005, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
Another interesting bit of trivia is that Dallas Smith, Boston dman, was apparently slated to be named to the team, but asked out because he had responsibilities to take care of on his farm back home.

A fascinating footnote, and so telling of the times: here was an NHLer who had to make end$ meet by taking on a second, full-time (and undoubtedly demanding) summer job. And undoubtedly, his story was not uncommon.

Times change, eh?
I believe Walt Tczacuk (?sp?) backed out because he was running a hockey school. I'm not sure this is true, but it was either Clarke or Henderson that got the invite b/c he backed out

I was only 2 years old at the time of the summit series, so I can't pretend to know the context, but I think it is fair that at the time the younger guys (perreault, Martin, guevermont) were probably under a fair amount of sway from their NHL orgs to get back home. times were different for sure

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06-15-2005, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masao
Whoever calls those guys "deserters" needs to be slapped. We're talking about hockey players here.

I suppose, and in my opinion nobody ever called Shayne Corson a hockey player

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06-15-2005, 05:38 PM
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The 72 Summit Series is overrated

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06-15-2005, 05:56 PM
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There was an article written by Bobby Clarke about the `72 Summit Series a couple years back. Here`s what he said about that situation:




"The day before Game 5, we were shocked to learn that Guevremont, Hadfield and Martin were leaving the team because they weren`t playing. Perreault followed after Game 5 , bringing the number of defectors to four.
It was made very clear to us before the series that anyone could leave without repercussions. Perreault and Martin were teammates in the 1976 Canada Cup, so I don`t think there were any hard feelings. But there wasn`t a single player in that room- myself included- who didn`t find what they did absolutely repulsive, There were Hall-Of-Famers who barely played. Stan Mikita, 2 games. Marcel Dionne, zero games. Guy LaPointe`s wife had a baby in the middle of the series and he didn`t leave; Serge Savard played with a cracked ankle. Bobby Orr couldn`t play because of a knee injury but he hung in there for the whole thing.
It might have different if we were up 5-0, but to walk out on your team when when they`re as down as we were is repugnant. I know Vic Hadfield, he`s a pretty good guy, but I bet he regrets doing that today. It`s a shame because he was a damn good player - he scored 50 goals one season - but he`ll always be remembered as one of the guys who walked out on Team Canada"




Keep in mind that`s Bobby Clarke talking, later in the same article he laments over how "unfairly" Alan Eagleson has been treated. I don`t personally feel those players did anything wrong, they weren`t going to be in the lineup anyways so it`s not like they left the team shorthanded. The way I see it, if they wanted to stay- great. If not, then it`s understandable. The use of words like "defectors" is ridiculous; and I highly doubt Bobby Clarke speaks for every player in that dressing room.

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06-15-2005, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedberg16
The 72 Summit Series is overrated
Why do you say that? Where would you rate it?

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06-15-2005, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Why do you say that? Where would you rate it?
The 72 summit series was a very good series and was great for Canadian National Pride, but the players weren't in game shape till game 5 or 6 for Canada and Russia did not have it's best team, especially after Bobby Clarke broke Kharlmanov's ankle. Team Canada was missing Bobby Hull and Bobby Orr and had players on the roster who were only there because they were Alan Eagleson's friends

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06-15-2005, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masao
Whoever calls those guys "deserters" needs to be slapped. We're talking about hockey players here.
I know. Would you really want to go to the Soviet Union as a member of Team Canada, but knowing you have no chance to play

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06-15-2005, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedberg16
I know. Would you really want to go to the Soviet Union as a member of Team Canada, but knowing you have no chance to play
Why not?

Just because the media made out that the USSR was a big evil country, why would someone want to miss out on a chance to find out for themselves? Different culture, new country, different language, hell if I had the chance to visit North Korea to watch my team mates play, I'd jump at it.

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06-15-2005, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Hedberg16
but the players weren't in game shape till game 5 or 6
what do you think of the challenge cup

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06-15-2005, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingmanrob
Why not?

Just because the media made out that the USSR was a big evil country, why would someone want to miss out on a chance to find out for themselves? Different culture, new country, different language, hell if I had the chance to visit North Korea to watch my team mates play, I'd jump at it.

i tend to agree with you, but when you watch some of the guys recount their experience there, you realize it was a different time. They were given horrible food and accommodations and were apparently certain their rooms were bugged, etc.

I guess if you knew you weren't going to get to represent your country, you might decide to make haste.. Like you, though, I would like to think I would have stayed in their shoes

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06-15-2005, 08:13 PM
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1972

Vic Hadfield, Rick Martin & Jocelyn Guevremont left first, then Gil Perreault later.

Hadfield was angry that he wasn't playing (after all, he was a 50 goal scorer). It was pride with him and he probably felt that Canada was going to lose. He also got sandbagged by Al Eagleson. Eagleson had managed to have a number of his clients named to the 35 man roster, even though a few didn't deserve the honour (Brian Glennie - hard to believe even Eagleson would stoop so low). So, throughout the series, Eagleson clients had a little more 'protection'. Hadfield wasn't an Eagleson client and he was a Ranger. (The players were just getting over their own animosities, even at the time they got to Russia.) You can be sure that Esposito and the other Bruins wouldn't have gone to bat for Hadfield. But Hadfield couldn't play at that level (at that time). I guess the image of him throwing up on the bench after a shift in Game 1, had a lasting impression on Sinden & Ferguson.
And, I believe that Punch Imlach was putting pressure on Perreault & Martin to leave. Typical Imlach. Guevremont, who was a teammate in Junior with Perreault & Martin, followed their lead. They weren't Eagleson clients (I don't think), they weren't playing (except Perreault) and they were young, a little unsure and easily influenced.

I don't know how much faith I would have in anything Bobby Clarke says. He adamantly supports Al Eagleson to this day. And that is probably because of all the money Eagleson made for Clarke. One of Al Eagleson's methods of negotiation that isn't generally known is this:
Eagleson made sure he had at least 4 of his clients on each NHL team. At contract time, he would go to the GM of the team and say that he will deliver 3 of the lesser players at whatever the team wanted to pay them. In return, he wanted to have a specific figure for his other client - which was usually an outrageously high contract. Eagleson sold out his lesser talented players (although some were pretty good players) for his one favourite on a particular team - Clarke, Sittler etc. The player who told me this said he was told well after his career was over by the GM who did the negotiations with Eagleson.
I bring this up to show how devious Eagleson was and how he may have played a part in the defections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
There were four guys who left in the middle of the '72 Summit Series vs. Russia. They were, Gilbert Perreault, Vic Hadfield, Rick Martin and Jocelyn Guevremont. What do you think of these guys doing that. Here is my take on it.

After the teams went over to Russia to play the last four games, Perreault played the 5th game in which the Canadians lost. He arguably was the best skater on the team. Only he and Cournoyer and Henderson seemed to be the only ones who could skate with the Russians. But for whatever reason it was told that harry Sinden was going to annouce that these guys, as long as guys like Dionne, Cashman, Redmond, etc were going to not be playing in any more games. So they had permission to go home if they wanted to. Punch Imlach was putting pressure on Perreault to come home for training camp as was Emile Francis doing that to Hadfield.

So there was supposed to be a press conference annoucing that, but it never happened. And only those four guys ended up going on the plane home. So they felt betrayed and unfairly branded as deserters. Perreault had a Hall of Fame career, and Martin a borderline one, but I think when guys think about Hadfield that's the first thing they think. To me its unfair. In a book about 1972 Series all those players have the same story about Sinden reportedly having a press conference and then not having one and when they left he made them look like they were abandoning the team. Henderosn and Esposito both wrote in their books how they understood why the guys left. Henderson said if he wouldnt have never played then he may have left too. And no one thinks any less of these guys at '72 Reunions according to the players. So my question is were thes guys treated unfairly? And does anyone know more to this story?

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06-15-2005, 08:21 PM
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From the April 1974 Action Sports Hockey Magazine and the feature Marv Albert's Hotseat:

Albert: Although it's more than a year ago, the Team Canada incident is still written about from time to time. What is your account of what happened?

Hadfield: I had given up half of my summer to work with Team Canada. Once the series actually began, certainly players who should have been playing weren't. I played a few games, but people like Rick Martin, Stan Mikita and Mickey Redmond played in about one game each.

Once we got to Russia, Harry Sinden, the coach, made a lineup that he said he was going to stick to. I wasn't supposed to play, so I told him that I might as well go home. I was under a new contract with the Rangers and I didn't want to spend time sitting in the stands in Russia when I could have been back home with the team.

Sinden then told me he could use me a little. Alan Eagleson was supposed to hold a press conference to explain why I was leaving along with the others. He never did and the papers just printed whatever they wanted. Originally, ten players were going to leave but only four of us did. Rick Martin and Jocelyn Guevremont with me and Gil Perreault the next day.

Albert: If you knew then what you know now, would you do it again?

Hadfield: If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have gone in the first place.

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06-15-2005, 08:29 PM
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Thanks, LT, for the info. Pretty crappy to let guys go through life being labelled as quitters when you promised to back them up. Sinden has always seemed like a pretty sly fox, don't know that I'd turn my back on him... Eagleson, of course, is a quiet, timid saint of a man

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06-15-2005, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey
Hadfield was angry that he wasn't playing (after all, he was a 50 goal scorer). It was pride with him and he probably felt that Canada was going to lose. He also got sandbagged by Al Eagleson. Eagleson had managed to have a number of his clients named to the 35 man roster, even though a few didn't deserve the honour (Brian Glennie - hard to believe even Eagleson would stoop so low). So, throughout the series, Eagleson clients had a little more 'protection'. Hadfield wasn't an Eagleson client and he was a Ranger. (The players were just getting over their own animosities, even at the time they got to Russia.) You can be sure that Esposito and the other Bruins wouldn't have gone to bat for Hadfield. But Hadfield couldn't play at that level (at that time). I guess the image of him throwing up on the bench after a shift in Game 1, had a lasting impression on Sinden & Ferguson.
And, I believe that Punch Imlach was putting pressure on Perreault & Martin to leave. Typical Imlach. Guevremont, who was a teammate in Junior with Perreault & Martin, followed their lead. They weren't Eagleson clients (I don't think), they weren't playing (except Perreault) and they were young, a little unsure and easily influenced.

I don't know how much faith I would have in anything Bobby Clarke says. He adamantly supports Al Eagleson to this day. And that is probably because of all the money Eagleson made for Clarke. One of Al Eagleson's methods of negotiation that isn't generally known is this:
Eagleson made sure he had at least 4 of his clients on each NHL team. At contract time, he would go to the GM of the team and say that he will deliver 3 of the lesser players at whatever the team wanted to pay them. In return, he wanted to have a specific figure for his other client - which was usually an outrageously high contract. Eagleson sold out his lesser talented players (although some were pretty good players) for his one favourite on a particular team - Clarke, Sittler etc. The player who told me this said he was told well after his career was over by the GM who did the negotiations with Eagleson.
I bring this up to show how devious Eagleson was and how he may have played a part in the defections.
I`d always thought Glennie`s name looked out of place on the `72 roster. I wondered if maybe I`d underrated him- after all if he got an invite to join that team then he must have been pretty good. Well now the mystery is solved. Eagleson. Why am I not surprised?

Btw, I really enjoy most of your posts. Lots of inside info I never knew before. Keep it up.

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06-15-2005, 10:18 PM
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35 man roster... what were they thinking? I can understand 35 men for a training camp, maybe 30 for a couple exhibition games, but why in the world would you need to carry that many players around for the whole tournament? Even 26 would have been a big roster for an 8 game series...

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06-15-2005, 10:33 PM
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Thanks, I've been around awhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning
I`d always thought Glennie`s name looked out of place on the `72 roster. I wondered if maybe I`d underrated him- after all if he got an invite to join that team then he must have been pretty good. Well now the mystery is solved. Eagleson. Why am I not surprised?

Btw, I really enjoy most of your posts. Lots of inside info I never knew before. Keep it up.

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06-15-2005, 10:36 PM
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72

Actually, in training camp they had about 40 players including top draft choices to fill out 2 teams.

Because they thought the series would go 8 straight for Canada, all 35 players were promised to play in at least one game.

After game 1, that was promise was thrown out the door.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dolfanar
35 man roster... what were they thinking? I can understand 35 men for a training camp, maybe 30 for a couple exhibition games, but why in the world would you need to carry that many players around for the whole tournament? Even 26 would have been a big roster for an 8 game series...

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06-16-2005, 06:21 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey
I don't know how much faith I would have in anything Bobby Clarke says. He adamantly supports Al Eagleson to this day. And that is probably because of all the money Eagleson made for Clarke. One of Al Eagleson's methods of negotiation that isn't generally known is this:
Eagleson made sure he had at least 4 of his clients on each NHL team. At contract time, he would go to the GM of the team and say that he will deliver 3 of the lesser players at whatever the team wanted to pay them. In return, he wanted to have a specific figure for his other client - which was usually an outrageously high contract. Eagleson sold out his lesser talented players (although some were pretty good players) for his one favourite on a particular team - Clarke, Sittler etc. The player who told me this said he was told well after his career was over by the GM who did the negotiations with Eagleson.
I bring this up to show how devious Eagleson was and how he may have played a part in the defections.
Clarke routinely was paid under market value, and by him doing this it allowed Snider to keep his payroll low. Nobody on the Flyers was ever going to get more than Clarke.

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06-16-2005, 07:23 AM
  #23
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Where are they now

From NHL.com this is a story from 2000 on what the 1972 Canadian team was up to at that time (link).

As far as 'deserters' go (was that from a book by Harry Sinden?), they weren't going to play and their training camps for the NHL season were about to start. And I remember hearing alot of complaints about the players living conditions, especially the food at the time. There's two sides to that story I guess.

I was a teenager at the time and for me no sporting event has ever come anywhere close to the emotion of that series. It was so much more than 8 hockey games at that time.

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06-16-2005, 08:16 AM
  #24
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Movie

The movie on the 1972 Series will be aired this fall and we'll see how successful they are in recreating the drama and the emotion.

I met the actor playing Ken Dryden and he looks like a good fit. Serge Savard's son plays his dad. The guy playing Phil Esposito apparently looks like him too.

You had to have actually been around and watched the games at the time to appreciate the true passion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chili
From NHL.com this is a story from 2000 on what the 1972 Canadian team was up to at that time (link).

As far as 'deserters' go (was that from a book by Harry Sinden?), they weren't going to play and their training camps for the NHL season were about to start. And I remember hearing alot of complaints about the players living conditions, especially the food at the time. There's two sides to that story I guess.

I was a teenager at the time and for me no sporting event has ever come anywhere close to the emotion of that series. It was so much more than 8 hockey games at that time.

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06-16-2005, 09:13 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey
The movie on the 1972 Series will be aired this fall and we'll see how successful they are in recreating the drama and the emotion.

I met the actor playing Ken Dryden and he looks like a good fit. Serge Savard's son plays his dad. The guy playing Phil Esposito apparently looks like him too.

You had to have actually been around and watched the games at the time to appreciate the true passion.
Appreciate the heads up on the upcoming TV movie (CBC). It will be a challenge to recreate the atmosphere of those games. The Eagleson incident in game 8 should play well for the cameras.

Looking forward to seeing it.

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