The 1972 Summit Series has been called, the series that changed hockey.

Anybody who follows hockey knows The Call from Foster Hewitt at 19:26 of the 3rd period in the final game of Canada versus Russia, in Russia “Here’s a shot. Henderson makes a wild stab for it and falls. Here’s another shot. Right in front. They score!! Henderson has scored for Canada.”  Most Canadians can tell you where they were when that goal happened.  It was, “the goal heard round the world.”  Toronto Maple Leaf, Paul Henderson became a household name.  When Paul scored “the goal,” we all won. That night, every Canadian was a maple leaf fan, that leaf might not be blue but, it definitely was red.

When Team Canada came home every media outlet wanted to talk to Henderson.  Many wanted to talk to Esposito, or Dryden or the others but everyone wanted to interview Paul Henderson.  So, what was that experience like in Toronto for Fellow Leaf, Ron Ellis? He had had a fantastic series by all accounts. He had 3 assists and had done a masterful job of shutting down the flashy Valeri Kharlamov and was also used against the big Alexander Yakushev. But, now they were back in Toronto and everyone wanted to talk with Henderson.  What did that feel like?  Even more so, how did it feel to Leaf, defenceman Brian Glennie?

Glennie had also been a member of Team Canada however, he had seen no action against the Russians.  He did play against the Swedes and Czechs – “I practiced with the best players in the National Hockey League for that entire period of time," he wrote in the 2001 book Team Canada 1972: Where Are They Now. He was chosen after Boston Bruins' stalwart Dallas Smith turned down his invite due to farming commitments.  “At every hockey banquet I go too, I thank Dallas Smith for saying no,” Glennie jokes “It made me a better hockey player and turned out to be one of the greatest moments of my life.”  When other NHLers like Vic Hadfield, Gilbert Perreault and Richard Martin found out their roles were not going to be as important or as prominent as they would have liked, they selfishly quit the team and went home but Brian Glennie stayed and put in his time. In the end this quote makes me sure he made the right decision, “It still brings tears to your eyes to think about it. That’s something I’ll never forget.  My strongest memory is from when Paul was doing his usual job of backchecking and scored the winning goal. After the game, I don’t think I’ve heard ‘O Canada’ sung with such feeling in my life."

I think it only fitting that the entire 72 Canada Russia Summit Series be told from the prospective of unsung, quintessential team player, Brian Glennie.  I will draw a 72 Summit Series jersey from the trunk, with the #38 on it and tell this man’s story as I believe that it exemplifies the true Canadian values that I respect even more than I can say right now.  Brian Glennie deserves his due.



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06/18/2017 8:00am

Wow! I bet the 72 Summit Series is the greatest game that changed hockey for life. The game was tense, especially it was the time of the Cold War that time. Both Canadians and Russians cheered for their team and you can really feel the love and the patriotism in the fans. It was really the game of the history of hockey. Canada was the leading team for hockey, but during the series they were surprised by the uprising Soviet Team that lead them to game eight. The game was intense and the greatest ever in history.

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