From Russia With Hockey Love

You may have noticed the picture over on the sidebar on the lower right, the one with Jacques Plante’s mask etc., and I just wanted to mention that I was a smallish-yet-shifty right winger for Byer’s Bulldozers Orillia Midget All-Star team and not Jacques Plante.

This Hall of Fame photo, altered only slightly, was sent to me by Denis Brel in St. Petersburg, Russia, who is also my son-in-law.

Denis and his dad Anatoli have created their own website specializing in the days of Canada Cups, the WHA, and the great Super Series ’76 – the games that gave us the wonderful Montreal-Red Army New Year’s Eve thriller, and the debacle in Philadelphia when Red Army skated off the ice to protest the Broad St. Bullies’ thuggery.

The pair have only just recently gotten their site off the ground, I’ve chipped in with a little English help here and there, and if you have the time, please have a look.

Anatoli Brel is one of Russia’s foremost experts in past Canada-Russia hockey, and I’m willing to bet knows more about the NHL and the WHA than just about anybody, which is surprising considering he doesn’t speak English. He once won a nation-wide contest in Russia that ran for weeks in which obsure NHL questions were asked, he answered them all correctly, and was interviewed on state television. And he’s been keeping a personal and detailed compilation of NHL statistics, penned manually over a period of many years, that just keeps on growing.

This is a serious student of the game.   

The website shows Anatoli’s staggering international hockey video collection and examples of his book, released last year, about the ’76 Super Series, plus various other things you might not be able to read because much of it is in Russian. But not all.

It’s still in the building stages but growing fast, and can be seen at Brel’s Hockey From Russia.

And thanks once again, Denis Brel, for the great picture.

2 thoughts on “From Russia With Hockey Love”

  1. Thanks Danno. Tretiak was great because he was so quick. A couple of years after the ’72 series, Red Army came to Ottawa and played the ’67’s, believe it or not. (They toyed with the juniors for two periods and then turned it on). But it was Tretiak’s pre-game warm-up that stands out. He went through all kinds of acrobatics and the crowd watched him with mouths open. It was very interesting.

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