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Tretiak reflects on Summit Series: “The winner was the game of hockey”

Sep 2, 2012, 8:08 PM EST

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

The 1972 Summit Series kicked off 40 years ago today.

John Kreiser provides an interesting look back at the eight-game series (which Canada won 4-3-1), describing the resulting competition as “a landmark cultural event in Canadian history and a huge source of national pride.”

Kreiser also points out that the matches provided compelling evidence that the Soviet Union’s team were far from “amateurs.”

In fact, Kreiser believes that the Summit Series’ biggest impact came from what Boris Mikhailov called a “meeting between two schools of hockey.”

It prompted Vladislav Tretiak to say that both teams really “won.”

“Both teams won in 1972,” Tretiak told TSN. “It was a great series for all of hockey. The best that Russia had and the best of the NHL. The winner was the game of hockey.”

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Sep 2, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Sure hockey won, that and thankfully Canada, because the hockey world knows that the Russians would have lauded a victory as being due to the strength of communism and their former training systems. (In Soviet Russia you play hockey well or you never see your family again, you leave Russia to play hockey, you never see your family again)

    The Summit series was the beginning of many kicks to the Russian hockey ego

  2. itsallniceonice - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Far from amateurs? Well that hardly stopped the Canadian thuggery from turning the tides. If you can’t beat them then for gods sake don’t blatantly break legs at least.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      Different time, different game, but ya they sure did rough them up something awful.
      Great documentaries have been done on the series, it’s a shame that they didn’t have Hull & Orr for Canada, or Firsov for Russia, guy was their MVP 3 of 4 years, lead the World Championships in scoring 4 times. It was already an unreal series, but to add those characters into it would have been something else.

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