When it comes to Russian hockey, few people are respected more than former national team goalie Vladislav Tretiak.
So when Tretiak says who he’d like to see in the gold medal game, people are going to pay attention. As Neil Davidson at The Canadian Press shares, he’s got one marquee match-up he wants to see.
“I want Canada-Russia to play in Sochi final. It’s very important. I’m ready. I don’t know, is Canada ready?” the former star goalie, speaking in English, said with a laugh.
Tretiak has already been a star at the Sochi Olympics as he helped light the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremony. In his career as a goalie, he won three gold medals for the Soviet Union in 1972, 1976, and 1984 and a silver in 1980. You might’ve heard a thing or two about what happened in the ’80 Games.
The last time Russia and Canada faced off for gold was 1992 when six republics of the former Soviet Union were known as the Unified Team. A meeting between the two countries this time around would have a revenge aspect to it for Russia after they were humiliated out of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics by Canada 7-3.
There hasn’t been a World Cup of Hockey since 2004 but it sounds like its return won’t be too far off.
Pavel Lysenkov of Sovietsky Sport in Russia (link in Russian) spoke with Vladislav Tretiak who says the World Cup will make its return in August and September of 2016. If this sounds like news out of the blue, it’s not.
As Dan Rosen of NHL.com reported, the NHL is close to approving a new transfer agreement with the IIHF. Part of that agreement is re-starting the World Cup series. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly spoke about that happening to Rosen.
“We talked about the World Cup and that is included in the terms of our Player Transfer Agreement and the [anticipation] that we will cooperate on something like the World Cup of Hockey,” Daly said. “It’s obviously something we have been talking about with the [NHL] Players’ Association, and I think we have a conceptual understanding with them that we should be in a position to play in World Cups and announce them soon.”
The World Cup of Hockey has only occurred twice in 1996 and 2004. Team USA took home the title in ’96 while Team Canada won it in ’04. The World Cup was the successor to the old Canada Cup which ran from the mid-1970s til the early-90s.
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.”