“The First Things They Wanted To See Were An NHL Game And Rocket Richard”
December 18, 2010 in 1972 Canada-Russia hockey, Chicago Blackhawks, International Hockey, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs Tags: 1972 Summit Series, Rocket Richard, Soviet National team 1957 Canadian tour
The 1972 Summit Series wasn’t the first time the Russian National team set foot on North American soil. Fifteen years prior, in 1957, the Soviets played exhibition games in Canada, were guests of Maple Leaf Gardens for a Leafs-Hawks game, and made it known that one of their priorities was to see the great Rocket Richard in action. (I don’t know if this happened or not).
They played to capacity crowds, said the big difference between NHL and Russian hockey was “the unnecessary roughness in the NHL”, and a Canadian teenager, seeing the foreigners in a hotel lobby exclaimed, “They’re humans, just like we are!”