1991 Canada Cup

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by cynicism, Jan 7, 2011.

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  1. cynicism

    cynicism Registered User

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    So like a lot of people I picked up the 1987 Canada Cup DVD and I'm enjoying it very much (just getting primed to watch the final three games against the Russians) and I read through the recent thread on the 1996 World Cup and it led me to wonder. How does the 1991 Canada Cup rank up there in terms of quality?

    The Canadian team featured Fleury, Lindros, Gretz, Coffey, etc
    the Yanks had Leetch, Lafontaine, Modano, Chelios, etc
    The Swedes had Sundin, Lidstrom, the Samuelssons, etc

    So for those who were around, was it a worthy, memorable tournament? What were your general impressions of it?
     
  2. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    I had the feeling dueing the entire tournament that the only teams who really cared for it was Canada and the US. The finals were somewhat mildly amusing to watch.
     
  3. lextune

    lextune I'm too old for this.

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    Good.....can you tell us if game 2 is edited or not when you watch? Because no one seems to want to answer that for us, lol.
     
  4. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    By 1991 the Canada Cup had started to lose some of its edge as communism had fallen and many of Russian and Czech stars were playing in NHL. It was a good tourny but not great, didn't have the same character as the '87 or '76 Canada Cup.

    I remember Ranford standing on his head, the Suter check on Gretzky and first time I had chance to see Lindros play. At the time Lindros was hailed as being "The Next One!" Watching the tourny, one of my friends said Lindros is overrated. I doubted him but he turned out to be right.

    The '91 Canada Cup lead to Montreal acquiring Kirk Muller who played a big part in Montreal winning a Cup little over a year later. Pat Burns was Montreal's head coach at the time and Team Canada's assistant coach. Burns told Montreal's GM Serge Savard to get Muller if at all possible
     
  5. 86Habs

    86Habs Registered User

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    How so? Muller didn't play on Team Canada, nor do I believe he even made an impact in the training camp (not sure if he was even invited?).
     
  6. tazzy19

    tazzy19 Registered User

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    What I remember the most about the 1991 Canada Cup was witnessing Gretzky in his prime for the very last time. After the Suter hit, it was over. But watching him skating circles around Sweden like they were standing still while killing a penalty was a sight forever etched into my memory. That was the Gretzky that owned the record book, and the one I'll take home with me since I missed his Oilers years.
     
  7. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    It was quite well known around Montreal at the time. Yeah, it was in training camp Burns became impressed with Muller and his work ethic and leadership. Muller was a late cup from training camp and one of Burns favorite players.

    Elliot Freidman column:

    "When Kirk Muller was cut from the 1991 Canada Cup team, Burns (an assistant) saw him in the team hotel and said, "Let's grab a few beers." Burns happened to have the key to head coach Mike Keenan's suite. Muller wouldn't say what was done to it, but, to this day, isn't sure if Keenan knows who was responsible."

    From CBC:
    "One of them was Kirk Muller, who was brought to the Canadiens by Pat Burns, and went on to lead the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 1993. Here is what Mr. Muller had to say about his former mentor, for the record."
     
  8. 86Habs

    86Habs Registered User

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    Interesting, never knew that.
     
  9. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    My only memory was someone trying to hit Lindros and just bouncing off. I was left wondering how an 18 year old could be that strong.
     
  10. JaymzB

    JaymzB Registered User

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    Come on, doesn’t anyone remember Steve Larmer’s slapshot that busted Tommy Soderstrom’s mask?
     
  11. cynicism

    cynicism Registered User

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    I'm not sure what you mean. There are a couple of skips that seem to happen on returning from commercial breaks, but that's probably more an error with the source media than anything else.
     
  12. lextune

    lextune I'm too old for this.

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    Do they show the entire game?

    Earlier DVD releases of the 2-OT Game 2 were edited.
     
  13. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    Finland's best ever Canada Cup performance, finishing third. Tied Canada in the tournament opener at Maple Leaf Gardens, beat Sweden 3-1. Teemu Selänne's breakthorugh tournament (ok, he played at the Worlds a few months earlier).
     
  14. Zam Boni

    Zam Boni Registered User

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    The '87 CC was the last big tournament between Soviet Union and Canada. Soviet wasn't the same in '91 and a lot of the mysique from '87 was gone, Canada-USA just wasn't the same.

    Although Canada went on to win the semi-final 4-0, Tommy Soderstrom stood on his head and kept sweden in the game until Gretzky scored on a breakaway midway through the second.

    I thought Soderstrom looked hot as hell donnig yellow-blue Heaton's and that giant cage.
    I have this fine publication laying around the house someplace. Ranford was really really good!

    That's how I remember it.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    I just went on Ebay to buy this program, they wanted like $30 plus shipping for it. I said I don't want it that bad
     
  16. Zam Boni

    Zam Boni Registered User

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    That's quite alot for six teams and 19 games..
    It somehow felt cheaper than the ones covering the NHL, had more of a rushed feel to it.
     
  17. cynicism

    cynicism Registered User

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    It's the whole game. Best game of the series by far
     
  18. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    Due to health issues, Canada missed Mario Lemieux (on rehabilitation for his back injury), Cam Neely (leg injury), Patrick Roy (sinus operation in August) and Joe Nieuwendyk (hurt his left knee during training). Others were healthy, but turned down Hockey Canada's invitation nevertheless: Ray Bourque (he prefered his summer break), Mark Recchi (free agent, didn't want to cover his own insurance), John Cullen (same as Recchi). And then there are those wo were cut from Mike Keenan's roster, guys like Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Brian Bellows. Last but not least there's the odd case of Steve Yzerman who was actually on the roster, but saw no ice time in the first two games and was cut from the roster after game 2. The reason? Ask Mike Keenan.

    The USA also had its absentees due to the insurance issue. Just like Recchi and Cullen, Kevin Stevens and Phil Housley were unwilling to cover their insurance and missed the tournament. On the other hand, several players on the US roster paid for their own insurance. So did Eric Lindros, whose appearance in the tournament made headlines, albeit for a different reason: 18 years of age, no experience outside of junior hockey, but the "Next One" was considered ready for Team Canada.

    Despite missing Stevens and Housley, they USA had a good tournament. With Chelios and Leetch on defense, with young forwards like Mike Modano and Jeremy Roenick stepping in and with the inclusion of Brett Hull, they finished second only to Canada, a massive improvement over their earlier Canada Cup performances.

    In contrast, the Soviet Union had a devastating tournament. With the change of generations, heroes like Krutov, Larionov, Makarov, Khomutov, Bykov and Fetisov all were gone. Of the younger guys, Kamensky was injured, Bure was left out because he refused to sign a new contract with CSKA Moscow and Mogilny was a persona non grata for defecting in 1989. In addition, the Soviets lost their best goaltender, Arturs Irbe, to the newly emerging republic of Latvia. Aside from a couple of veterans, Team USSR was very young: Malakhov was 22, Fyodorov 21, Butsayev 21, Kovalenko 21, Korolyov 20, Zhamnov 20, Filimonov 19, Slava Kozlov 19, Zhitnik 18...

    All in all, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Sweden, three traditional powerhouses, had bad tournaments. Canada suceeded, but considering the roster issues and considering the legacy of 1976, 1984 and 1987, the 1991 CC campaign doesn't appear very glamorous. Finland had a good tournament, but not good enough to contend for the cup. The USA had a very good tournament, but far and away overshadowed by the 1996 World Cup. Thus, the 1991 Canada Cup is not the most fancy tournament to remember from pretty much everyone's point of view.
     
  19. Howe pass to Gretzky

    Howe pass to Gretzky Registered User

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    I remember Ranford standing on his head, the Suter check on Gretzky and first time I had chance to see Lindros play. At the time Lindros was hailed as being "The Next One!" Watching the tourny, one of my friends said Lindros is overrated. I doubted him but he turned out to be right.

    The '91 Canada Cup lead to Montreal acquiring Kirk Muller who played a big part in Montreal winning a Cup little over a year later. Pat Burns was Montreal's head coach at the time and Team Canada's assistant coach. Burns told Montreal's GM Serge Savard to get Muller if at all possible[/QUOTE]


    I still have the same memory about Ranford stopping Lafontaine , Steve Larmer destroying the goaltender mask & Wayne skates so WELL, quick + agility (For those who said that Wayne was slow ??? !!:shakehead) & fuxxing Suter crosschecking Wayne in the back.

    Forgot Paul Coffey, most beautiful skater i've seen, (better than Niedermayer, Housley) & he was 30 years old.

    Imagine Lemieux was almost on his peak at that time, but didn't play due to his injuries, Yzerman , Sakic, Francis wasn't there (too many great center) Raymond Bourque didn't want to play & Patrick Roy (don't know why he wasn't there).
     
  20. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    For me personally, the 1991 Canada Cup is a VERY wonderful, special memory.

    It was the end of many things, so it's kind of poignant for me... (excuse me while I get a tissue...)

    -- I was 15, so it was like the last big such tournament of my youth (and the last when I lived with my parents).
    -- It was the last time I saw my favorite player, Gretzky, at his best (and no, he wasn't really at his best in the '93 playoffs... except maybe in the Vancouver series).
    -- It was the last time Gretzky, Coffey, Messier, and some others were the dominant stars in the NHL.
    -- My team, the Oilers, traded/sold their head coach, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier, Charlie Huddy, Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr, Adam Graves, and Steve Smith (Smith and Messier were on Team Canada) right after or during this tournament. Seeing Gretzky play so well with Messier (and Smith and Coffey) one more time was a real treat. Ranford, too.
    -- Other of my favorite players of this period were Ranford, Russ Courtnall, and Steve Larmer. This tournament was the high-water mark of those guys' careers.


    It was hard to take when Gretzky went down near the end. That was just awful. The fact that he didn't get to play in the last game, when he'd been by far their best player, was just a crime.

    And he was never the same again.
     
  21. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    And yes, it was weird how Mario, Bourque, and Yzerman (nearly) were absent.

    Can anyone explain more about how/why Yzerman ended up leaving? Clearly, he and Keenan weren't the best of friends...
     
  22. Thenameless

    Thenameless Registered User

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    Because Keenan was an idiot.
     
  23. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Well, the "idiot" coached the team to two straight Canada Cups...

    Obviously, it was a weird (read: stupid) decision to shoot down Yzerman in '91, but what was his justification? There must have been some reason, at least in Keenan's mind.
     
  24. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    You can take a look at these two articles to get an idea:

    CC91

    http://montrealgazette.com/sports/yzerman-can-relate-to-players-cut-from-team-canada

    Basically, apparently Canada needed the final spot to go to a defenceman because there were injury concerns with those selected. As far as why Yzerman wasn't selected ahead of numerous other forwards, it seems that Keenan wasn't a big fan of Yzerman, and both questionsed whether he actually fit Keenan's game plan. Both agreed that it was better if he could leave and not provide an unnecessary distraction.
     
  25. tjcurrie

    tjcurrie Registered User

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    1991 Canada Cup is one of my fondest hockey memories.

    Maybe it comes down to age, as I was 12 so unlike the 1987 Canada Cup I remember it clearly, but it was a great tournament as far as I'm concerned.
     

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