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Russia to play Canada in Red Square for 1972 Summit Series anniversary?

Jan 25, 2012, 2:52 PM EDT

Paul Henderson

To mark the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union, Russia would like to host a commemorative exhibition game next month, possibly in Moscow’s Red Square.

“We have a working group, we have found partners on the Canadian side and sent them an invitation. We plan ceremony along with a hockey match on February 26. I don’t rule out that the match will take place on Red Square,” Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, told RIA Novosti.

More from RIA Novosti:

An official close to event organizers told RIA Novosti that 30 stars of past and present had been invited to take part, and four had already accepted: Former Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ray Bourque; Finland’s former Edmonton Oilers forwards Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen; and Paul Henderson, who scored Canada’s winning goals in the last three games of the summit series, securing victory for Canada.

Officials hope the Canadian captain during the series, Phil Esposito, will also take up the offer, along with Bobby Hull, Paul Coffey, Mark Recchi, Dale Hawerchuk and Wayne Gretzky, among others.

… The Summit Series was a series of eight matches played in Canada and Russia throughout September of 1972. The pulsating series, played at the height of the Cold War, went to a deciding game after three wins apiece and one draw. Henderson scored the dramatic winning goal past Vladislav Tretiak in the Soviet goal with half a minute remaining in the final period to win the match 6-5 and the series 4-3, in what went down as one of the Canada’s greatest sporting moments.

Consider me skeptical whether this game will actually take place. Only a month away and still sending out invites?

I’m also a little worried it’s a Russian trap, i.e. Paul Henderson has gone missing in Moscow. Police have no clue as to his whereabouts. “Maybe he go to Siberia for vacation,” said one government official. “Siberia very nice this time of year.”

Related: Summit Series redux? Hockey Canada, Russian Federation presidents to meet

  1. blomfeld - Jan 25, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    “‘I think he needs a tap on the ankle’ …

    Neither side won during that fateful September forty years ago. Despite their skillful play and excellent sportsmanship, the Russians ended up as the losers on the final score sheet, when all was said and done. As for the Canadian side, their “last minute” triumph will forever have an asterisk beside it, due entirely to the “orders” as referenced above which were issued by Coach John Fergsuson to Bobby Clarke in game 6. The true winner back then was the game of hockey and I for one am grateful to have seen this when it happened …

  2. michiganhockey11 - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Will we see another ankle breaking?

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    I get wanting to commemorate this event, but without the Cold War context this and every other meeting between the two teams is just another hockey game. I really wish I could have been around to see this series and the 1987 world juniors game.

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