1974 Summit Series
The 1974 Summit Series was the second of two competitions between Soviet and Canadian professional ice hockey players. Canada was represented by World Hockey Association players instead of the National Hockey League players that played in the 1972 Summit Series. The Soviet team won the series 4–1–3 over Canada. The format was the same as the 1972 Summit Series, with four games across Canada and four in Moscow. Canada's lone victory came at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
Negotiations for the event started at the 1974 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, when Andrey Starovoytov of the Soviet Union approached Jack Devine and Gordon Juckes of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association regarding having another series. Initially the event was to be a six-game series, but it was later extended to eight games.
WHA players had been banned from playing in the 1972 series. Bobby Hull, who had just jumped from the NHL to the Winnipeg Jets, had been named to the Canadian team by Harry Sinden, but was not allowed to participate. The 1974 series was an opportunity for Hull and 46-year-old Gordie Howe to play for Canada against the Soviet team. The number one goaltender was Gerry Cheevers who played in seven of the eight games, missing game three to attend the funeral of his father. Goaltenders Don McLeod and Gilles Gratton were the backup goalies for Team Canada. Vladislav Tretiak and Alexander Sidelnikov were the goaltenders for the Soviets, with Tretiak playing in seven of the eight games, missing game eight.
In 1974, the two-season-old WHA was largely composed of players scavenged from the minor leagues mixed with a few NHL stars and aging veterans. Playing on both the 1972 and 1974 teams for Canada were Paul Henderson, Frank Mahovlich and Pat Stapleton. The last active player from the series was Mark Howe, who retired in 1995.
USSR Wins Series 4–1–3
- September 17: Canada 3–3 Soviet Union played in Quebec City, Quebec
- September 19: Canada 4–1 Soviet Union played in Toronto, Ontario
- September 21: Soviet Union 8–5 Canada played in Winnipeg, Manitoba
- September 23: Canada 5–5 Soviet Union played in Vancouver, British Columbia
- October 1: Soviet Union 3–2 Canada played in Moscow
- October 3: Soviet Union 5–2 Canada played in Moscow
- October 5: Soviet Union 4–4 Canada played in Moscow
- October 6: Soviet Union 3–2 Canada played in Moscow
Like it was with the original Summit Series in 1972, CBC and CTV split the coverage, with CTV carrying Games 1, 3, 6 and 7, while CBC aired Games 2, 4, 5 (?) and 8. CTV produced the telecasts. Johnny Esaw called the games for CTV, while Don Chevrier called the action for CBC. Howie Meeker was the colour commentator for all of the games. Both Esaw and Chevrier conducted intermission and post-game interviews during the games either one did not do play-by-play for. In the Soviet Union, coverage was orchestrated by the Ministry of Telecommunications. The first 4 games of the broadcast also featured the Gamerecorder which was the first statistics computer used in professional sports and a print of the Gamerecorder has now been accepted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In December 2006, Hockey Canada and the Hockey Hall of Fame approved the release of a 1974 Summit Series boxset. The original master tapes of the series were destroyed long ago, but an unlicensed recording was recently uncovered and donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame. With Video Service Corp, seven of the eight games of the series were released on a 4-DVD set with a 1970s Summit Series documentary as a bonus feature. Game 5 of the series was not included in the boxset as it was mostly lost through poor television transmission and is thought to be lost for good . VSC was the same company that released the boxset for the 1976 Canada Cup.
- Wallace, Craig (2009). The Forgotten Summit. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-557-04556-3.
- Svoboda, Chuck (April 30, 1974). "Team Canada 74: Production of the WHA". Brandon Sun. Brandon, Manitoba. p. 6.
- "Plans finalized for Soviet-WHA series". Brandon Sun. Brandon, Manitoba. May 27, 1974. p. 9.