Moscow was covered by typical autumn weather, and the Hockey Museum has a warm, festive and at the same time warm atmosphere. The pilgrimage of media representatives who took the legends into circulation. Of the surviving Soviet participants in the Super Series-72, only Vyacheslav Starshinov and Alexander Martynyuk were absent, as well as translator (who grew up to ROC vice president) Viktor Khotochkin and commentator Vladimir Pisarevsky, who was reporting from the seventh match with Nikolai Ozerov right from the side.
The special issue dedicated to the Super Series-72 – a joint project of “Soviet Sport” and FHR – sold like hot cakes. There is no doubt that with the autographs of its members, this magazine will become a rarity.
Among the guests, in addition to the heroes of those matches, are the legendary captain of the USSR national team in the 1960s, two-time Olympic champion Boris Mironov, the 1964 Innsbruck Olympian Stanislav Petukhov, the honored coach of the USSR Igor Tuzik, the elder journalist, publicist and writer Vsevolod Kukushkin, who worked at the Moscow matches.
Four Alexanders were invited to the stage – Yakushev, Maltsev, Vochkov and Pashkov, three Yurievs – Lyapkin, Lebedev and Blinov, Vyacheslav Anisin, Boris Mikhailov, Vladimir Lutchenko and, of course, Vladislav Tretyak – the hero of the Super Series-72 and the president of the FHR all rolled into one. The head coach of the Red Machine, Vsevolod Bobrov, was represented by his widow Elena Nikolaevna. First vice-president of the FHR and head coach of the championship leader SKA Roman Rotenberg did not fail to recall the motto of the ice hockey federation – “Connection of Generations”.
And the questions of meticulous journalists rained down.
Photo: FHR press service
– Vladislav Alexandrovich, over the past 50 years you have celebrated the anniversary of the Super Series-72 more than once. Which one do you remember the most? – a question to Tretiak.
– Most of all – the 45th anniversary. We celebrated it here at the Hockey Museum, invited Canadians and handed them rings. Then President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin invited us to Sochi. It was the biggest celebration ever.
By the way, five years ago, we invited defender Pat Stapleton, a participant not only in the Super Series-72, but also in the Super Series-74, to the editors of Soviet Sport. It was he who was left out of work in Quebec by Valery Kharlamov before scoring his brilliant goal.
– How long hockey will live, those historical matches will be remembered for so long. Like Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space, Tretyak continues. – And we represented not only the Soviet Union, but the whole of Europe, all amateur hockey. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, we met with amateur teams in North America, and there were only fights. Now hockey has changed. And 1972 played a major role. We learned from them, they learned from us.
– Alexander Sergeevich, have you watched the feature film “Legend No. 17”? Does each of the Super Series 72 contestants deserve to be made into a movie? – a question to Alexander Yakushev, who has collected the richest collection of rings for the best players of the matches – four (!).
– A film about hockey and Kharlamov is a great event for sports and cinema. We watched it with pleasure in Sochi together with the President of our country. He liked the film very much. Although there were some episodes … But this is fiction. I think such films are very necessary for young guys who have embarked on the path of hockey. They saw how to achieve goals in sports and life. Only through work and love for the profession!
As for the film about each of us, I think it would not hurt. You can tell about the facts from our life – it will be interesting. After Legend No. 17, many films about sports and its heroes began to be made.
– Yuri Evgenievich, do you agree that the Super Series-72 has changed world hockey? – a question to Lyapkin – our most productive defender in those legendary matches.
– Of course! It became interesting for Canadian professionals to play at the World Championships and the Olympics.
– Which of the matches you personally ran into the memory?
– Starter, of course. We haven’t seen how fans in Canada treat their players before. Matches in Moscow also come to mind. There were few real hockey fans in the stands at Luzhniki. Because almost all the tickets went to people in ties. Maybe this affected us – we did not receive real support.
Photo: FHR press service
– Boris Petrovich, do you remember the first minutes after the end of the Super Series-72? – a question to Mikhailov.
– The first moments in the locker room were so “good”: everyone sat silently and thought: “What kind of weirdos are we!”. You can say in the worker-peasant way, but then you have to plug your ears. And Vsevolod Mikhailovich Bobrov came and said: “Dudes, you lost to the Volga! I sat and thought: “Firs-sticks, for the first time in our lives they could give us cars! If they had said earlier, then we would have won!”
To be honest, the Canadians were stronger. They won one more victory than we did. These matches gave impetus to the development of world hockey. But we were not talking about the Super Series, but about friendly matches between Canadian professionals and amateurs from the Soviet Union. Later, these matches began to be called the Super Series-72.
The strongest league in the world, the NHL, suddenly opened its eyes. It turns out that not only in Canada they know how to play hockey. There are also Russians, communists… After the 72 Super Series, the NHL began to invite players from Europe.
– Now there is a lot of talk about the World Cup, which they want to hold in February 2024. You led the Russian team at this tournament in 1996. How do you assess the role of this tournament, which they want to restart?
– In the current situation, the World Cup is an outlet for us. Let’s show you how to play. But there are questions – who are the organizers and leaders of the tournament? At the first World Cup, strange things happened that I personally did not understand. But in any case, the World Cup is needed, it unites all our sports and hockey players. Our team must be there. I do not want to offend other participants, but without the Russian team, this tournament is an empty place.
Photo: FHR press service
– Vladislav Alexandrovich, remember the first meeting with the Canadians after the Super Series-72. – a question to Tretiak.
– In 1972 there was a cold war. The Canadians didn’t even want to say hello to us. And after the first game in Montreal, each of them came up and said hello. Respect the strong, the winners. These games were amazing. We are all proud to have played in this Super Series.