A Few ’72 Tidbits
September 23, 2012 in 1972 Canada-Russia hockey, Bobby Orr, International Hockey, Maurice Richard, Montreal Canadiens Tags: Bobby Orr, Carl Voss, Dennis Hull, Ed Johnston, Harry Sinden, Maurice Richard, Punch Imlach, Valeri Kharlamov, Whipper Billy Watson
Team Canada had a six-hour stopover in Paris on the way to Stockholm, and goalie Ed Johnston said this about the beautiful old city: “What’s wrong is the same thing you find with all these European cities. Too many old buildings.”
While in Stockholm, a Swedish fellow at the press conference mentioned that maybe Bobby Orr, who was injured and didn’t play in the series, wasn’t as good as Russian Valeri Kharlamov. “He’s good in the NHL,” said the guy, “but in Europe he’d be only average.” A Canadian who overheard this said, “Put this down. Bobby Orr-healthy-would eat any Czech or Russian alive. And he’d spit out any Swede.”
In Moscow, the Canadians were seen coming back to their hotel at all hours of the night. While some of the boys were sitting around the lobby of the Grand Hotel, someone mentioned hearing that the Russians had put street crews with jackhammers outside the Canadian team’s windows in the early morning. “No problem,” said one player. “We won’t be in anyway.”
Coach Harry Sinden celebrated his 40th birthday while overseas. “Ten days ago I was 29,” he said.
Some Canadian fans who arrived in Moscow found out there were no tickets available for them. These included Maurice Richard, Punch Imlach, former referee-in-chief Carl Voss, and legendary wrestler Whipper Billy Watson. Those left out were given three options: they could take an all-expenses paid 10-day tour of Copenhagen; they could fly home and be refunded; or they could stay and take their chances on finding tickets. Most chose the third option.
Dennis Hull, after a tour of Moscow, gushed, “I really like the place. It reminds me of Buffalo.”
The Russian players who didn’t dress for the games in Moscow had to buy their own tickets to get into the rink.