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Thread: The Vienna IHWC's 1967-2005

  1. #1
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    The Vienna IHWC's 1967-2005

    We are back in one of the most exciting and storied cities in the world. Very few places are able to offer the magnificent blend of history, architecture, music and theatre that can be found in Vienna. Innsbruck, picturesque capital of Tyrol, is one of only three cities, which have held the Olympic Winter Games twice.
    It is the fifth time the IIHF World Championship returns to the Austrian capital and on the three last occasions things with historic consequence happened. The 1977 event marked Canada’s return to international hockey after a seven-year absence. Sweden won its first gold medal in a quarter of a century in 1987 and the Czech Republic won its first-ever IIHF World Championship in 1996.

    Rene Fasel, IIHF President, Editorial IIHF's Newsletter, April 2005.


    IIHF's April 2005 newsletter (just released) looks back to the previous five world championships hosted by Vienna. Much of it makes up for interesting reading, but there are also interesting facets of the Vienna IHWC's that IIHF does not cover or only mentions without going into detail. If you can dig anything further up on the Vienna IHWC's, please post it in this thread.

    Here are my additions using IIHF's newsletter as a starting point.

    IHWC 1967, Vienna, 18-29 March 1967

    IIHF only mentions the first IHWC in Vienna briefly:

    "The Soviet Union was halfway through their nine-in-a-row streak when Vienna organized the IIHF World Championship for the first time in 1967.
    The Soviets swept through the championship with a 7-0-0-record and 58-9 in goal differential, but this was also the first and last time “The Big Red Machine” would win gold in the Austrian capital. Sweden took silver after defeating Canada 6-0, which at that time was Sweden’s biggest win over a Canadian national team. Canada was still good enough for bronze, which would be the last time Father Bauer’s Team Canada would get a medal at an IIHF World Championship."

    Nothing special, eh? Well, a few interesting trivia can be mentioned:

    • the 1967 IHWC's would mark the first and only time that one country and city hosted the world championships of all three divisions (A to C) at the same time. No fewer than 21 nations participated (8 in group A and B and 5 in group C) and they were to play a total of 56 games in only 12 days. A logistic nightmare that were never to be repeated. Despite the many games (38 in total) in the lower divisions, the average attendance was high with more than 4,000 per game (231,000 in total).

    • In fact, Vienna wasn't meant to host the World Championships in 1967. Originally, the IIHF asked the Soviet Union to host the championships so that it would coincide with the 50 year anniversary of the revolution. The President of the Soviet hockey federation, Alekhin, rejected the offer because he feared that it would put too much pressure on the Soviet players. Later that year, in 1967, the Soviet hockey federation invented the Izvestia tournament.

    • The 1967 IHWC was significant in that it was the only world championship between 1958 and 1986 (not counting the olympics) that Czechoslovakia ended up outside the medals. Main reason: On 23 March 1967, Czechoslovakia lost for the very first time to Finland (1-3). Had the Czechs beaten Finland as they always had and would do for many years to come, they would have ended up at silver.

    • The 1967 IHWC pitted W. Germany vs E. Germany for the first time - a delicate matter since W. Germany hadn't diplomatically recognized the German Democratic Republic at the time. West Germany suffered a humiliating defeat (8-1) and their players and staff would have to listened to the East German national hymn after the game. However, both teams would be relegated since the A pool in the next IHWC's in 1969 would be cut to six teams.
    Last edited by Karsten; 18-04-2005 at 19:31.

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    1977 IHWC, Vienna, 21 April - 2 May 1977

    IIHF:
    Canada's return was not what the fans had expected

    After a seven-year absence, which included as many IIHF World Championships and two Olympic games, Canada was back in international hockey for the 1977 tournament in Vienna. The expectations were high.
    European hockey fans hadn’t seen Team Canada perform in the IIHF World Championships since 1969 in Sweden. After that, the relationship between the Canadian hockey authorities and the IIHF went sour over the issue of amateur or professional players.
    Team Canada was coming with a team that included the Esposito brothers, Tony and Phil, and other established NHL-veterans like defensemen Carol Vadnais, Dallas Smith and Phil Russel and forwards Rod Gilbert, Ron Ellis, Pierre Larouche, Jean Pronovost - and Wilf Paiement.
    ?? Canada’s showing was a sportive and a public relations disaster. The players who went to Vienna to represent Canada had no idea what to expect and how the international game had developed. Many on the team had never played internationally, or in Europe. Canada regressed to violence and came home shamed and scorned for their behaviour. It
    even became an issue in the Canadian parliament.

    Canada lost both their games to the Soviet Union by scores of 11-1 and 8-1, but they rebounded nicely in the four-team medal round where the Canadians defeated Sweden, 7-0 and the eventual world champions. Czechoslovakia, 8-2. But few took notice. The damage was done. No one had ever witnessed a world championship team play in such an undisciplined way as the 1977 Team Canada did.
    And no one had ever seen a player like Wilf Paiement, who did his best to mar the reputation of Canadian hockey for several years to come.


    Personally, I really looked forward to Canada's homecomming. In September 1976, I had watched the Canada Cup on Swedish television, and I was really excited about Canada's come back to the worlds. As it turned out, I was utterly disappointed about their performance and attitude.

    IIHF doesn't go into detail on what the Canadian players actually did. So what did they do? Just to mention a few of the incidents:

    • Esposito, one of the most revered names in North American hockey, punched Czechoslovakian Coach Jan Starsi, chased Sweden's Stig Salming around the rink following an exhibition game and was reprimanded by the International Ice Hockey Federation for refusing to shake hands with Finnish referee Raimo Sepponen following an 8-1 loss by Canada to Russia.

    • Vadnais, a teammate of Esposito on the New York Rangers and a player considered chippy even by North American standards, sent Sweden's Kent Erick Andersson to the hospital with internal injuries after levelling him with a pitchfork-like jab with his stick to the mid-section.

    • Eric Vail of the Atlanta Flames was thrown out of a game against Russia for swinging his stick at the head of an opponent in a deliberate attempt to injure.

    • McKechnie of the Detroit Red Wings was accused of flipping a puck at the face of an opponent during another stoppage of play and showing disrespect for the Russian national anthem by casually leaning on his stick when it was being played prior to a game between the two teams.

    Read more: Remembering the 1977 World Championships - Fiasco in Europe

    -----------
    As IIHF mentions the 1977 IHWC was also different in that the championship was much more even than previous championships. In fact, Sweden managed to beat the mighty red machine twice, but still failed to win the gold. Due to Canada's 8-2 victory over Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union could still win gold if they beat Sweden in the last game. Sweden however won that game 3-1. Göran Eriksson scored the hattrick and thus became one of only two players to score a hattrick on Tretiak in a world championship game (the other player was Buzz Schneider in USA's 5-10 defeat to USSR in 1975.

  3. #3
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    1987 IHWC, Vienna, 17 April - 3 May 1987

    Despite its double victory over the red machine, tre kronor didn't win the world championship in 1977. Sweden, however, bounced back at the next IHWC in Vienna in 1987 and won the gold for the first time in 25 years - and it might be added, for the first time ever in an IHWC that gathered all the big hockey nations (USSR and Czechoslovakia boycotted the 1962 IHWC in Colorado Springs).

    Tomas Holmström's goal vs Soviet Union that tied the game (2-2) 81 seconds before the buzzer is widely considered the best ever in the history of the world championships. You can read more about it in IIHF's newsletter.
    Quote:
    Sweden’s 2-2-equalizer has all the criteria that make an unforgettable moment:
    1. It was a beauty from the beginning of the action
    until the puck crossed the goal line.
    2. It was history breaking.
    3. It was scored against the toughest possible opposition.
    4. It was scored in the dying moments of a crucial game.
    5. It proved to be a World Championship decider

    Another thing that makes the 1987 IHWC unforgettable was the Sikora case. The IIHF briefly the mentions the case calling it "the nightmare ov Vienna 1987".

    ? The 1987 IIHF World Championship in Vienna is remembered as much for Sweden’s victory as for the “Sikora-case”. Miroslav Sikora was representing West Germany until the Finnish team -- after a loss to Sikoras’s German team -- filed a protest. The Finns had evidence that Sikora had ten years earlier played in an IIHF World U20 Championship for his native Poland - - a breach of IIHF’s eligibility regulations at that time.
    ?? When the championship directorate decided to deprive the West Germans of its points the team had won with the Polish-German player, they took the case to a Vienna court. In an unprecedented event, the district court of Vienna overruled the decision of the championship directorate, who had to adjust the standing according to the court’s decision.
    But Miroslav Sikora was disqualified and his career as a West German national team player ended after four games in Vienna.


    A couple of years ago, I digged deeper into the case, and this is what I found out:

    Miroslav Sikora was a Polish refugee who played for Kölner Haie in DEL most of his career. In 1979-94 he played 510 games clocking 681 points so he was a quite productive player.

    Before participating in the World Championships in 1987, Sikora had played for Poland in the U20 World Championships in 1977. Later that year he fled to West Germany and later became a West German citizen. Sikora finally wore the West German jersey at the 1987 IHWC.

    The West German hockey federation was aware of the problem and asked the IIHF whether Miroslav Sikora would be eligible to play for W. Germany in the world championship. The IIHF, which had a West German president, Günter Sabetzki (!), said "no problem".

    In the round robin, West Germany then went on the beat Finland and Switzerland. This send Finland outside the medal round and made it very difficult to avoid relegation since W. Germany's 3-1 win over Switzerland was also transferred to the relegation round.

    However, Team Finland soon became aware that Sikora had played for Poland during the U20 World Championships and that he was not eligible to play for West Germany according to IIHF's regulations at the time. What IIHF forgets to mentions in its newsletter is that the federation obviously made a mistake when it gave Sikora the green light to play.

    Now, Finland officially complained, and Switzerland obviously followed suit. This set in motion a nightmarish circus. Should West Germany be send home and what then about the already sold tickets for West Germany's games in the relegation round? These were the lesser problems. The biggest problem was that if the IIHF gave in to the Finnish complaint, then Sweden would be send out of the medal round. The president of the Swedish federation, Tommy Sandlin loudly complained about Finland who had "made a circus out of this and insisted they were right".

    However, the IIHF had nothing else to do than to declare that Sikora was ineligible after all. W. Germany's victories over Finland and Switzerland were converted to losses and this propelled Finland into the medal round and West Germany down to the B-pool.

    The case didn't end here, however. First, Sweden's hockey federation threatened a court case that would put the West German IIHF president in jail. Meanwhile, West Germany took the case to the Austrian civil court. Here a judge named Fritz Kelbermass, who knew little of ice hockey and perhaps even less of the IIHF regulations, made the infamous Salomonic decision that Sikora should be banned for playing more games, but Germany should keep the points harvested in round robin!

    The court decision was made only one day before the medal round started. The IIHF panicked and withdrew its second decision, and the Finns complained loudly calling the whole thing for "a muppet show, a farce, and a circus".

    The rest is history so to speak. Sweden went on to win its first gold in 25 years. Had the IIHF stucked to the rules, tre kroner would have ended up in the relegation round.

  4. #4
    Banned hockeynomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dancan
    1977 IHWC, Vienna, 21 April - 2 May 1977

    Personally, I really looked forward to Canada's homecomming. In September 1976, I had watched the Canada Cup on Swedish television, and I was really excited about Canada's come back to the worlds. As it turned out, I was utterly disappointed about their performance and attitude.
    These were players from bottom six teams of 18 team NHL, hastily assembled together. What do you expect? The odds were really stacked against this team.

    • Esposito, one of the most revered names in North American hockey, punched Czechoslovakian Coach Jan Starsi,[/QUOTE]

    I remember this clearly. Mr. Starsi spat at P. Esposito.

    • Eric Vail of the Atlanta Flames was thrown out of a game against Russia for swinging his stick at the head of an opponent in a deliberate attempt to injure.
    I also remember as I was watching. There was a big thud, but no contact.
    The ref didn't see, as Marcel Dionne kept asking him. The ref reacted to crowd noise. Typical incompetent european ref.

    [/QUOTE]

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    Banned hockeynomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeynomad
    • Eric Vail of the Atlanta Flames was thrown out of a game against Russia for swinging his stick at the head of an opponent in a deliberate attempt to injure.
    I also remember as I was watching. There was a big thud, but no contact.
    The ref didn't see, as Marcel Dionne kept asking him. The ref reacted to crowd noise. Typical incompetent european ref.

    More from Nomad: Its all coming back to me. Eric Vail, a usually mild mannered guy, moved to hit player hard, but on replay it was not to injure.
    Very clear. Meantime, the soviet player acted by he'd been lanced, the other Soviet players, motioned with a stick swing,(as what Vail had done), to the ref who took their word, but saw nothing. :018:

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    IHF Member NyQuil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dancan[i
    ? The 1987 IIHF World Championship in Vienna is remembered as much for Sweden’s victory as for the “Sikora-case”. Miroslav Sikora was representing West Germany until the Finnish team -- after a loss to Sikoras’s German team -- filed a protest.
    I remember this incident clearly as I was living in Hamburg, West Germany at the time, and Canada had also lost to West Germany in hockey, 5-3.

    My German friends weren't too impressed with Canada's hockey abilities. After all, it was the "WORLD" championships, so obviously our best team must have been there.

    The incident was big news in that country for weeks to come, after the wins earned against Finland and Canada were replaced with 5-0 defeats. Of course, this decision was later reversed, as DanCan had pointed out.

    Finland, Canada, Switzerland and the US all had self-interest in mind with respect to their protests, as did the Soviet Union, Sweden and West Germany counter-protest.

    I can't envy being in the middle of that firestorm.

    Interestingly, the involvement of the Austrian Landesgericht preceded the move a few weeks later of the IIHF headquarters from Vienna, Austria to Zurich, Switzerland, where the Swiss had already proclaimed that Swiss law and civil courts would not interfere in matters related to the IIHF. Coincidence?
    "Maybe it wasn't talent the Lord gave me, maybe it was the passion..." - Wayne Gretzky

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Hockeynomad, there's no need to repeat the Canadian excuses for the IHWC 1977. They are all included in Joe Pelletiers article

    Fiasco in Europe

    Pelletier doesn't mention Johnny Wilson's infamous comment after Canada 1-11 defeat to Soviet Union. It is included on Marc's magnificient pages on the World Championships:

    http://www.hockeyarchives.info/
    Look for: Championnats du monde 1977

    "Nous ne pouvions simplement pas rivaliser avec les Soviétiques. Et quand quelqu'un se joue de vous, en un contre un, il est naturel d'essayer de prendre sa revanche. Et la triste vérité est que le seul moyen de le faire avec les Russes est de les démolir."

    I am almost to embarrased to translate

    We could simply not match the Soviets. When someone outplays you, it is only natural to take revenge. And the sad true is that the only way to deal with the Russians is to demolish them

    In the end of his article, Pelletier quotes the U.S. coach, Mariucci:

    Mariucci, like just about everyone else, questioned the Canadian intimidation tactics.

    "I'm not going to criticize what other teams did," he says, "but as to Canada, with 20 NHL players, their score against the Russians in two games leaves no question in anybody's mind you cannot play that type of aggressive, intimidating style of hockey over in Europe or against European styles.

    "European hockey is strictly a skating and passing game. I'm not knocking it - it's great hockey. But I tried to tell my players you cannot play national Hockey League style in Europe and expect to be successful. you don't win by how rough you are."

    You win at hockey by playing hockey - something the NHL players apparently forgot how to do at times in Europe.
    It would take 10 years for Canada to restore its reputation on this side of the pond (Europe). Incidentially, whereas 1977 marked the low point of Canada's performance in international hockey, 1987 marked the high point. 1987 was the year when Canada won the Canada Cup after some of the best and most exciting international hockey games, the world has ever seen.

    On the other hand, 1987 marked the low point for IIHF. And yes, the movement of IIHF's headquarters from Vienna to Zürich was definitely the first step in IIHF's attempt to restore its "demolished" reputation. :003:

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    IHF Member NyQuil's Avatar
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    What occurred in 1977 for Canada at the World Championships isn't so surprising if you consider what was going on in the NHL at the time.

    Fred Shero and his Philadelphia Flyers, the "Broad Street Bullies" had captured Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975, losing in the finals in 1976 and in the semi-finals in 1977.

    As with any "dynasty", the biggest compliment is imitation, thus the NHL was a very rough and violent league at this time. Teams realized that they had to be tough to compete with the sheer physicality of the Flyers. Players like Wilf Paiement thrived in this environment (in remarkable irony, he is perhaps best known for wearing the #99 associated with the generally non-violent Great One, Wayne Gretzky). Remember, this was not long after the Red Army left the ice in Philadelphia in 1976 in their game against the Flyers in protest of the violent nature of the game.

    DanCan's parallel is interesting because by 1987, the Edmonton Oilers set the pace for the NHL and were characterized for their skilled offensive play and tremendous speed. Undoubtedly, the Canada Cup Team Canada of 1987 reflected the shift in emphasis.
    Last edited by NyQuil; 19-04-2005 at 00:11.
    "Maybe it wasn't talent the Lord gave me, maybe it was the passion..." - Wayne Gretzky

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Interesting points on the NHL of the mid-75s, Nyquil, I didn't knew that. :023:

    Now, let me see what I can dig up from the 1996 IHWC's. :scratchhe

  10. #10
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    1996 IHWC, Vienna, 21 April - 5 May 1996

    Vienna had always been kind to Sweden, but this time tre kronor would only end up at #6 place. Every team has its excuses. This time, Sweden blamed its disappointing result with the heat of the Wiener Stadthalle. Only problem was that the 1967, 1977 and 1987 IHWC's also took place in Wiener Stadthalle. So it will this year, but this time the arena has been completely renovated.

    Team USA took bronze for the first time in the real world championships (i.e. excluding the olympics) since 1962. Apart from that, I don't have anything else to add to IIHF's entry:

    • As the teams came in to Vienna for the 60th IIHF World Championship in 1996, it was anybody’s guess who would win the medals. The Soviet Union and its superiority was no more, and a new Europe as well as a new world order in hockey was taking shape. Russia won the 1993 IIHF World Championship, Canada took its first world title in 33 years in 1994 and Finland got its first-ever world championship gold medal in 1995. There were no clear-cut favourites.
    USA’s 3-2 win over Sweden was the only real surprise of the quarterfinals. Canada defeated defending world champion Finland, 3-1, while Russia and the Czech Republic easily handled Italy and Germany respectively.
    •The Czech vs. US semi-final was no contest (5-0), but the other, a Russia vs. Canada classic, was a thriller. The teams were tied, 2-2, after regulation time and a ten-minute overtime. It took fourteen penalty shootouts before Yanic Perreault finally won it for Canada.
    The gold medal game pitted the Czech Republic against Canada, the first time since the IIHF in 1992 adopted a playoff system leading up to a winner-takes-all final. Again, Canada seemed bound to play to a 2-2 deadlock at the end of regulation. But with 19 seconds left Martin Prochazka scored for the Czechs, avoiding the overtime and the gold medal for the Czechs. Canadian coach Tom Renney tried to get a late power play and requested a measurement of defenseman Stanislav Neckar’s stick, but the German referee Gerhard Müller found nothing wrong with the blade, forcing Canada to play shorthanded. Jiri Kucera scored an empty netter for the 4-2 win.
    • It was the Czech Republic’s first gold medal after the separation from Slovakia and it started the most successful period in the nation's hockey history. The Czechs went on to win the 1998 Olympic gold in Nagano and sweep a triple in world championship gold medals: 1999, 2000 and 2001. Canada rebounded immediately with gold in Helsinki one year later.

  11. #11
    Banned hockeynomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dancan
    Hockeynomad, there's no need to repeat the Canadian excuses for the IHWC 1977. They are all included in Joe Pelletiers article
    No excuses, Dancan. Really?! I won't take this sitting down.

    After reviewing this article, it could only be from some bubble head from the IIHF.

    How Hockey Canada got suckered into these tournaments is beyond me. I know, it was necessary to participate, in order to continually sanction our Canada Cup, a much more balanced, playing field for all considered.

    How they contributed to subjecting our proud game to such ridiculous lows was humiliating. Canadian fans are very proud, and with the knowledge that our hockey tradition be dragged through the mud, through none other choice but to ship out ill-prepared, garbage teams, with players airlifted at last moment to compete against teams, having trained as a unit for a long time. What did they expect.

    Soviet teams would never field anything but their best, and hence not tarnish their image.

    There's a story I read then about why Walt McKenzie, disrepectfully leaned on his stick during Soviet anthem.
    He was disgusted about what he encountered with the east bloc system. During a pre-tournament game in Prague, he describes a police state, secret police everywhere with rifles, barbed wire and dogs. He saw some young fans, who were so thrilled to see himself and their teammates, because they were from Canada, a free country.

    That was his introduction to a totalitarian state, and he was disgusted. Damn it, I would have done the same thing.:rant:

  12. #12
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeynomad
    How they contributed to subjecting our proud game to such ridiculous lows was humiliating. Canadian fans are very proud, and with the knowledge that our hockey tradition be dragged through the mud, through none other choice but to ship out ill-prepared, garbage teams, with players airlifted at last moment to compete against teams, having trained as a unit for a long time. What did they expect.

    Soviet teams would never field anything but their best, and hence not tarnish their image.
    But North America is in control of its own destiny here. It is only their refusal to either have their season finish earlier enough or recognise international breaks that prevents them from having their best players at these tournaments. It isn't some conspiracy by the rest of the world that prevents Canada from having their top players.

    Graham.
    "It's very hard to talk quantum using a language originally designed to tell other monkeys where the ripe fruit is."
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    "Night Watch", Terry Pratchett

  13. #13
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Yes, those were the days.

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeynomad
    No excuses, Dancan. Really?! I won't take this sitting down.

    After reviewing this article, it could only be from some bubble head from the IIHF.
    :blah: Joe Pelletier is a leading, some would say the leading, Canadian hockey historian. He is the author of Legends of Team Canada and co-author of World Cup of Hockey: A History of Hockey's Greatest Tournament. In addition he operates the website www.1972summitseries.com. Pelletier furthermore writes for HockeyCanada.ca (!), The Hockey News, Total Hockey, Hockey Digest, Society for International Hockey Research, and more.

    Do you still think he is a bubble head? Or maybe its time to change avatar; I have the sense that the creature depicted in your avatar is getting under your skin. :003:


    Quote Originally Posted by hockeynomad
    There's a story I read then about why Walt McKenzie, disrepectfully leaned on his stick during Soviet anthem.
    He was disgusted about what he encountered with the east bloc system. During a pre-tournament game in Prague, he describes a police state, secret police everywhere with rifles, barbed wire and dogs. He saw some young fans, who were so thrilled to see himself and their teammates, because they were from Canada, a free country.

    That was his introduction to a totalitarian state, and he was disgusted. Damn it, I would have done the same thing.:rant:
    Nice try, and how do you explain Team Canada's refusal to shake hands with the Finnish players after the game?

    Canada lost a lot of European fans at the 1977 IHWC's, including me. Fortunately, Canada soon invented real hockey players such as Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman, but it would take years to rebuild the reputation lost at the 1977 IHWC's.

    Well, enough said about the 1977 IHWC. It's almost 30 years ago, and any European who still think that the 1977 class is representative of Canadian hockey must have lived in a time bubble.

  14. #14
    Banned hockeynomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dancan
    :blah: Joe Pelletier is a leading, some would say the leading, Canadian hockey historian. He is the author of Legends of Team Canada and co-author of World Cup of Hockey: A History of Hockey's Greatest Tournament. In addition he operates the website www.1972summitseries.com. Pelletier furthermore writes for HockeyCanada.ca (!), The Hockey News, Total Hockey, Hockey Digest, Society for International Hockey Research, and more.

    I don't care who he says he is. He still missed some points. Perhaps he was one of those "expert" writers convinced that Team Canada 72 would trounce the Soviets. Well I wasn't one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dancan
    Canada lost a lot of European fans at the 1977 IHWC's, including me. Fortunately, Canada soon invented real hockey players such as Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman, but it would take years to rebuild the reputation lost at the 1977 IHWC's.
    Hah, So you surmise Canada invented hockey after 1980.
    Let me tell you first, that yes some Canadian teams behaviour during those days were abominal. But I for one would never agreed to those terms impose by IIHF to participate in those early tournaments. It was pure blackmail on their part, non-competing meant no sanctioning of Canada Cup. So Hockey Canada had necessity to field a haphazard team at last moment, poorly managed, with the likes of Phil Russel and Barry Long and other mean characters. Canadian fans are real proud people and many of these guys, over the hillers, and mediocre ones really tarnished our image, unfortunately.
    You believe subsequently, Canadian players suddenly reformed themselves. You probably never heard of Guy Lafleur, Gil Perreault, Ken Dryden, Bobby Hull etc. They were all very much alive.

    Interesting how the IIHF never really accomodated the number one or two nation in hockey. How this organization
    deprived the international hockey fans of some of the world's finest players. The World Cup could have commenced long ago, similar to soccer's World Cup. But only the NHL followed through on this plan.

    Maybe this is part of a deeper problem, how the European community selfishly dominates sport and other things.
    The IOC, the guy who really made it prosper and survive was Dick Pound, a Canadian. He was hands-down choice for president, but not a euro. Could you imagine the head of FIFA, an American? Not a chance. Oh, and a non-european pope, no way. :rant:

    I'm done, but about my avator, he was a temporary fixture, but I agree that I can also only take so much of the guy.

  15. #15
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeynomad
    Interesting how the IIHF never really accomodated the number one or two nation in hockey.
    Why should they? The IIHF is a democracy where everyone has an equal vote. Canada and the USA do not have a greater vote than Israel just because they happen to be better at playing the game.

    To take FIFA as an example. They set up the World Cup without the founders of the game, the British home nations. Rather than pander to those countries' egos, they waited until those countries couldn't ignore the importance of the trophy and competed on the same conditions as anyone else. The only recognition that the United Kingdom gets in starting the game is that all 4 home nations get a seat on the council, not just one for United Kingdom. However none of those 4 votes are more important than anyone else's and those 4 votes are not necessarily pooled. There has been more than one occasion where Scotland and England have voted opposite ways.

    For me, the problem is the Atlantic. Just because the 2 big nations are geographically remote, it gets blamed on geography. Personally, I think geography has little to do with. If the IIHF changed everything because of Canada and the USA's needs, it would then be seen as a spineless organisation. Why shouldn't they demand North American participation in the Worlds before they approve the Canada Cup? They should be entitled to expect something back from giving that approval.

    Graham.
    "It's very hard to talk quantum using a language originally designed to tell other monkeys where the ripe fruit is."
    ---
    "Night Watch", Terry Pratchett

  16. #16
    IHF Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeynomad
    Interesting how the IIHF never really accomodated the number one or two nation in hockey. How this organization deprived the international hockey fans of some of the world's finest players.
    Accomodate ? Why would the IIHF accomodate a nation - even if it's the number one - and damage all others... It's the North-American leagues which don't want to accomodate with any international rules (they even don't suspend players who have left an European club despite of a contract, and allow such outlaws), not the IIHF.
    Imagine if Brazil or England football clubs would tell the FIFA "sorry, you can't hold your world cup in june, because we want our national league to take place at that time" !

    It's obvious the IIHF wants greater than anyone to have the best players taking part to world championships ! But they just can't let the WC play in another date.
    May already seems too late to the European public. We hear questions like "isn't it odd to hold the World championships of an winter sport so late ?"...
    In June the summer sports season is booming, you have a Grand slam tournament, then a football World Cup or Euro every two years. There is no chance a ice hockey world championships could take place. There would be almost no TV.
    Moreover many rinks are closed in June in Europe. Some teams couldn't get prepared well... (the same for August if you play on the beginning of September)

    The IIHF tries to develop ice hockey everywhere and organize competitions for all countries. The money they get from the A World Championships is used for that funding, that's why they have to be played every year.
    By acting only for itself without any federation (even wanting to have his own rules without any common thinktanks to decide what could be done with common rules), the NHL doesn't help this effort, and it gives ice hockey the reputation of an unorganized sport.



    About your paranoid comments about "European community selfishly dominating"... As Europeans often can't agree between them, I don't see how they could "selfishly dominate" anything... (moreover I think this worldwide presidencies will be more and more occupied by people from small nations, because of fears of hegemony).
    Rogge was elected IOC president because he was more a diplomat than hot-tempered Pound. The IOC members come from all over the world.
    Still, Pound is president of the WADA, whose headquarters have been installed in Montreal, Canada. And most observers agree to say he's the right man at the right place.

    There is little chance the head of FIFA could be an American, because the United States have marginal interest in football. But the former president was a Brazilian, so I don't see the point.

    One of longest-standing IOC presidents was Avery Brundage, an American.


    And, it really has nothing to do with the subject and you completely deviate, but it's obvious the nationality of the pope wasn't at all a criteria for its election. If it was, you would have had another pope (either Italian or South American, for opposite reasons).
    That's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise

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