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Sixty Moments That Changed The Game

Sixty Moments That Changed The Game

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.

IN THIS ISSUE

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!

FROM THE FIRST TIME CANADA AND THE Soviet Union met at the 1954 World Championship, NHL GMs were interested in getting their hands on the USSR’s best players. But in the days of Communist government, Soviet officials were not interested in releasing stars to seek their fortunes across the ocean. Winning World Championship and Olympic gold medals for their country was the players’ sole duty. Outstanding talents like Vsevelod Bobrov, Anatoly Firsov and Valery Kharlamov, who could have starred on any of the Original Six NHL teams, didn’t get a chance to play for the big bucks. The world changed, however, and as Glasnost approached in the 1980s the Soviets changed their position. The hockey world was shocked when Sergei Priakhin was announced as the first Soviet national team player to be…

IN THIS ISSUE

SUMMIT SERIES AN EYE-OPENER

THE 1972 SUMMIT SERIES CHANGED hockey forever. Many Canadian fans were tiring of the watered-down NHL product, which resulted from a six-team expansion in 1967 and a second in 1970 that added the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks to the league. The predominant tactic of most teams was to shoot the puck into the opponent’s corner and chase after it. Skilled playmaking was on the wane. The home crowd was shocked when the Soviets won the series opener 7-3 in Montreal, yet what they saw from the Soviets was like a breath of fresh air. The Olympic champions passed the puck with precision, often using indirect passing, where a player would simply touch the puck redirecting it to another teammate. And they did it at top speed. The Soviets took a more scientific…

Team Reports

New York Rangers

BEST PLAYER EVER He was named captain upon his arrival and Messier delivered, bringing Lord Stanley back to Broadway; his sixth Cup. Very few players from any era possessed his strength, speed and skill. FRANCHISE FORMATION The initial success of the New York Americans convinced Madison Square Garden president G.L. ‘Tex’ Rickard to apply for his own franchise. The NHL granted him one for 1926-27. TOP BUILDER Throughout his run as GM (1964 to 1975), Emile Francis’ draft picks were hardly successful. But the Rangers made the playoffs nine consecutive times starting in 1966-67, including a tough loss to Boston in the 1972 final. BEST DRAFTED PLAYER > BRIAN LEETCH (9th overall, 1986) Leetch was one of the game’s top offensive ‘D’ and played a pivotal role in the Rangers’ 1994 Cup. He won the Calder, Conn…

IN THIS ISSUE

KEEP NHLERS IN OLYMPICS

SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE HOCKEY moments in the history of the game have come on the international stage. Sure, most of the best players in the world compete in the NHL. But when the best of these 700-plus players are hand-picked to represent their country, something special is in the making. Who can forget two of the most offensively gifted players in the history of the hockey – Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux – teaming up in dramatic fashion to beat the Russians in the 1987 Canada Cup? How about the Canada-U.S. showdown in the goldmedal game at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City? Virtually all of Canada watched a Canadian victory. What about Mike Richter’s spectacular performance in the 1996 World Cup? Richter warded off a heavy Canadian barrage in the…