George Smith and Canada Cup 1981 gesture

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by MaxV, Aug 21, 2017.

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  1. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    I might be the only one, but I find this story really cool.

    Very classy gesture from Smith and those that contributed.

    What I just found out was Eagleson trying to prevent the replica from being made, even threatening lawsuits. I guess I get it, he went on the media campaign claiming that Soviets tried to steal the trophy and trying to portrait himself as a national hero and here this small-town trucker is making him look like a dolt.

    Any other details about this story?
     
  2. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Yes indeed.... and more here... www.torontosun.com/2011/10/06/revisiting-canada-cup-drama

     
  3. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Was the trophy expensive?

    I always thought it was a piece of metal and glass.

    I don't get the point of not letting it go.
     
  4. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Did you read the article I linked Max?.... Details therein..... but in a nutshell, no, not terribly expensive. About $1500 Canadian according to a quote Smith got from a custom trophy maker however... as the article explains.... the trophy maker, also outraged that Eagleson wouldnt allow the Russians to take the trophy home offered to make the replica for free and did so even though Smith, through the Sun Newspaper Group had raised not just the $1500 required, but over $30,000 from Canadians & Americans upset over Eaglesons treatment of the Soviets.... So Smith donated the funds to minor hockey organizations in Winnipeg and presented the replica Canada Cup to the Soviet Ambassador at Portage & Main (the two main streets downtown) in Winnipeg, who then sent it to Russia where it still resides. Two other Canada Cups exist. The Original at the Governor Generals Residence in Ottawa and the one that the Russians had grabbed back from them & damaged... which was in fact a replica as well (typical Eagleson, he doesnt even have the class to present the Original Canada Cup to the Winners), and it lives at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

    As for "why wouldnt Eagleson let them take it home"?..... According to Eagleson, the agreement they signed stipulated that the actual Trophy would be Awarded but that it would then reside in Canada at the Governor Generals Home or the Hockey Hall of Fame or wherever, wasnt exportable, to be taken out of the country.... What wasnt known was that he'd made a copy, a replica, and thats what the cheapskate & thief presented to the Soviets on the ice. So heres the deal...If youve already made a replica, and worth all of a lousy $1500... what is the problem? Let them take it home, let them keep it. They earned it, they won it fair & square. For all anyone knows, Eagleson could have had 2-4-6 replicas made, selling them to his buddies for their rec rooms, ski chalets, cottages. God only knows. Maybe he felt he could monetize the original somehow. Sell if for huge dollars to a collector. He felt he owned it. Not the victorious Russians, not a Team Canada who'd won it, not Hockey Canada; Al Eagleson. He owned it. Thats the way he looked at things. At everything. Its all mine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  5. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    I've never heard anything about Eagleson threatening Smith with a lawsuit if he made a replica trophy.

    As far as whether it was right or wrong to not let them keep the trophy: They don't make a new one for every single tournament, so why should a team expect permanent ownership of it if they won the tournament once?
     
  6. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Well, first of all the one he awarded was a replica... secondly, the situation was fluid whereby further Canada Cups were pending. So if youve got the original residing at the HHOF or at the Governor Generals residence, Russia wins, its my opinion they should have been allowed to have taken that replica CC home, had a parade, displayed it wherever they saw fit & then come next Canada Cup if they lose, it stays in Canada & so on & so forth. This is a normal practice in many many countries, sports. In Canada & the US in some cases. Nowhere have I read "Russia intends to keep it permanently". No. Another Canada Cup & they lose? Give it back to Canada.

    Its not like its a fragile antique like the original Stanley Cup or whatever, its a replica for one thing, not worth a fortune monetarily per se' so whats the problem?... The problem was that Eagleson claimed there was "only one" and you cant take it out of the country.... Why? Why would he do that? Lie like that? What was he cooking? That it was a "safety issue"?. Didnt want the players wrecking the one & only Canada Cup so he switched it in secret with a replica? Why not admit it then?... No idea reckoning. Just seems so petty. Classless. Then threatens Smith. Calls the Cops.... I mean, you cant make this stuff up. :laugh:
     
  7. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    No-one was expecting permanent ownership of the trophy. But following international sport custom the winner can either expect to keep the trophy (the original one, or possibly a replica in case the original trophy is of unusual value) until the next tournament (in German such a trophy is called a Wanderpokal, a "wandering" cup, because it "wanders" from one winner to the next) or to receive a replica that he can keep permanently. The decision they made after the 1981 Canada Cup tournament went contrary to international custom and was a display of unusually bad sportsmanship. Fortunately there were people like George Smith who understood that very well and who really saved the honour of Canada in this case.
     
  8. FerrisRox

    FerrisRox Registered User

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    The Stanley Cup has spent the summer with members of the Pittsburgh Penguins team and staff. And then, when it is being competed for again, it will return to the Hockey Hall of Fame and the control of the National Hockey League.

    The Russians never expected permanent ownership, but they wanted to get off the plane and Russia and host the trophy the just won in front of their countrymen. Seems like a pretty reasonable expectation.

    In 1984, at the next Canada Cup, it would have been back in the hands of the organizers of the tournament as the right to claim it would be once again being battled for on the ice.
     
  9. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    To be fair, no one knew if another CC was going to take place.

    I might be completely alone at this, but I actually don't hate Eagleson. He is responsible for some great moments in hockey history.

    I honestly hope, in a few decades when there is no longer bad blood against him, he is reinstated to HHOF.
     
  10. FerrisRox

    FerrisRox Registered User

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    The man stole from dozens if not hundreds of players and lied to one of the all time greats in order to orchestrate his departure from the only franchise he had ever played for to enrich himself.

    He's an enemy of the game and he will never, ever, ever be back in the Hall of Fame.
     
  11. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Like I said, I'm probably alone
     
  12. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Alan Eagleson is a piece of human garbage who is one of the worst people ever associated with the sport, and I can only assume that anyone supporting him is completely ignorant of the sport's history and his part in it. He should be shot before he's ever allowed back in the HHOF.
     
  13. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    I doubt if even his wife & family members would support that & if Alan was being honest with himself, somewhere in there actually has a conscience, then he as well acknowledging that that no, no way in light of his transgressions & crimes should he ever be reinstated. The pain & suffering he caused... well, if you had any idea Max (readily available, books, Russ Conway etc) you'd change your tune pretty darn quick & if you didnt even after reading up on everything.... dont know what to tell you, say....

    .... fact one.... no, Eagleson was not the key, not the lynchpin to the Summit 72 & Canada Cup's, Challenge Series etc, but a guy who basically hijacked a process that was already well underway & then assumed the mantle of authority, responsibility & origination, stole it, stole the glory & thunder from others who were responsible, shoved them aside & all to enrich himself & a few Fat Cat's in the Soviet Union.... Gangster stuff. Samsonites full of cash delivered to nameless, faceless high ranking Soviet's, numbered Swiss accounts, no questions asked. Money that was supposed to go to the NHL Players Pension Fund. I dont know Max. You admire people who operated like this on both sides of the old Iron Curtain do you? Millions of Russian citizens having to line up for hours for a loaf of bread while some high ranking & thoroughly corrupt Politburo Man in Moscow feasts on caviar & quails egg's?....

    Thats just the international side of the equation, just a sampling.... you want to read up on what he did to his own clients & everyone else who he dealt with in Canada & the US..... Real swell guy..... deserving of respect is he? Rehabilitation huh? Sociopath was convicted of maybe 1 / 1000th of the crimes he committed. His is a legacy of shame that has forever stained the game, the Summit Series, Canada Cups etc etc etc.
     
  14. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    I mean, I have to get the full story. I guess I don't know all the facts.

    I know he stole from players, which is well ... not good.
     
  15. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Good heavens Max. If you dont know the whole story & theres even worse that's still not public... you'd be beyond shocked & appalled if you even have one ounce of respect for the game, the players, for fair play... just... everything. Sadly, it wasnt so much "Team Canada 72" or subsequent series & games vs the Soviets (and others) as it was "Team Eagleson", all his clients & friends thereof. It was Al's piggy bank, ATM, enriching himself & his family members.

    As a result, the Russians & the public were shortchanged from 72 on with rather than a well prepared "Team" of Canadian born NHL players what the Soviets faced & what we watched was an under-prepared disparate group of All Star's who in being under-prepared & getting beat went dirty. Played cheap, g00n hockey. They were arrogant & that arrogance began with Eagleson, poisoning each & every series in which he was involved.

    For most anyone who really knew hockey over here in North America, NHL'rs, Juniors, Elite Amateurs, Coaches etc, beyond disappointing at that time & through the years that followed that a guy like Eagleson & his sycophants could hijack what should have been far superior exhibitions of the game of hockey without all the idiocy & violence, disrespect & un-necessary drama that his involvement insured would take place. And thats not even a 50th of that story, of the Canada Cups etc....

    Additionally, youve got a miles long train of baggage, of crimes, criminal, civil & moral to go along with it, the contents of which are beyond despicable when Alan was acting either as an Agent or as President of the NHLPA. Just incredible. Charging players huge sums just to process their career ending insurance claims, the NHLPA insurance agents "good friends" of Al's based in London (UK) and with whom he shared a "swinging pad", million dollar townhouse in Mayfair, party central. If you werent one of Al's clients not only do you pay a huge "processing fee"..... and then after paying it guess what?.... "Application Denied".

    And I mean guys with major post concussion syndrome, completely messed up, cant work, cant even watch tv or sleep for more than an hour in a 24hr cycle, in some cases practically vegetables.... that according to Eagleson, "Best insurance in pro sports" and insurance they were told that would cover exactly what they were dealing with. On & on & on. Lives destroyed. Ruined. Eagleson cut a huge swath through the league alright, leaving countless hundreds of victims in his wake.... So ya. Before you go suggesting that he be placed back into the HHOF on a pedestal, that he be returned as a Member of the Order of Canada which was also revoked amongst other awards & honors also revoked including being disbarred as a Lawyer by the Upper Canada Law Society, you might want to read up on the life & times of R. Alan Eagleson. Then come back & tell us you still think he should be honored for putting together the Canada Cup's & so on.... I think not. Reckon you'lll change your tune pretty quick once you understand what really went down, the facts.
     
  16. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    I have a hard time buying that notion. Who were those clients of Eagleson you're referring to among Team Canada who shouldn't have been there?
     
  17. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    You have a hard time "buying" the notion that TC 72 was comprised mainly of Eagleson clients & or guys who he hoped to have as clients, in some cases included because NHL ownership insisted upon certain selections (Ballard) in side deals.... quid-pro-quo for use of Maple Leaf Gardens & so on & so forth?..... Your unaware of all of that?.... Who was behind the bench/GM Theo? What was with the "Boston Mafia" & Bruins playbook being used against the Soviets, the most ineffectual & just plain "dumbed down" strategy of the game at that time, and one that wouldnt work vs the Soviets..... why?

    Why was Harry Sinden even involved let alone John Ferguson? These are not the kinds of hockey minds you'd want selecting (with input from Eagleson) & Coaching NHL players in a series against the Soviets.... Indeed, this is a long story, way off topic for this thread, right down the rabbit hole. Readers Digest Version; Eagleson used the CC's to solicit clients for his agency representation business & made promises to for example Bill Wirtz then the most powerful owner in the League that if he gave the ok to use NHL players he, Alan Eagleson would deliver Bobby Orr to the Chicago Black Hawks when his Contract expired with the Bruins... and ya, he'd also block Bobby Hull's participation... and ya, he'd make sure other "loyal" players on Chicago's current roster would be included on the TC roster & on & on & on... he used his role as President of the NHLPA to curry favors with the league itself & various owners...

    Tangled web.
     
  18. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    Yes, I'm unaware of that. As far as I know, only 8 of the 35 players on Team Canada are known to have been Eagleson clients. Who do you think was included based on "side deals" or because he was an Eagleson client?

    Ferguson? A good question, even though he wasn't exactly part of any "Boston mafia". Sinden? He was a logical choice in 1972 when you consider how many other Stanley Cup winning coaches with international experience were available: zero.

    You can't blame that one on Eagleson. The NHL wouldn't let anybody play who was headed to the WHA.

    Like who?
     
  19. Zine

    Zine Registered User

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    So the police were pointing their weapons at the Soviet players? That's downright disgusting.
    Much respect to the citizenry of Canada for their fairness and virtue. Good to see sportsmanship won out in the end.

     
  20. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Why do you need a SC Winning Coach to Manage/Coach a Team Canada in an International, first time matchup between NHL caliber players & the Soviets? Where is that written? There were all kinds of other "options" available including guys with deeper resume's than Harry Sinden who's experience was limited to the Whitby Dunlops a generation earlier and as such, badly underestimated his opponents, the tremendous improvements & gains made in the Soviet system through the 1960's.... As for Ferguson, there was initially talk of him actually playing. Eagleson was anxious to get a foothold with his agency biz in Montreal & so....John Ferguson.

    Yes, yes you can "blame R. Alan Eagleson" for the debacle that was in barring WHA Jumpers. He cowtowed to the NHL & specifically Wirtz who was beyond livid at Bobby Hull for signing with the Jets and demanded, in exchange for giving Eagleson access to & use of NHL Players that he enforce his (Wirtz's) barring of Hull, and by rote, any other player who had signed with the WHA. This hit Hockey Canada like a Cruise Missile. Incensed. Disturbed. Upset. Unfair. Petty. Not in the interests of the game, series, putting the best team possible out there against the Soviets. A couple of major Resignations. Even hit the floor of the Canadian Parliament, hotly debated. Even Wirtz's own colleagues, NHL owners roundly criticizing this decision & demanding Hull & others be allowed to play. Eagleson however? Dug his heels in, protecting his rice bowl with elbows out, no way, not happening, common sense & fair play be damned.

    As for the rest of your questions & queries.... details are sketchy, a lot of it I heard first & second hand in the early through mid-80's (and off the record) from then former players & agents who were directly involved at the time, through the 70's. I had shared business interests at that time, until the early 90's that involved player representation, management & marketing, had dealings with Eagleson myself & so on. Beyond that publicly Im not willing to say much so you can take what Ive stated as hearsay, semi-solid, not solid & pure conjecture/speculation, take it however you want. Alan Eagleson was a very very very cunning & intelligent individual. There was a reason, usually hidden, quite often nefarious for just about everything he said & did. Master manipulator but at the same time, unbelievably profane, boorish to downright obnoxious. The webs he wove, the side deals upon side deals.... crazy. Highly entertaining guy to have a bunch of drinks with but watch it, pluck your eyeballs out, stick in a couple of Manzanilla olives & tell you look great, trust me, you didnt need your lying eyes anyway.
     
  21. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Killion, here is the thing.

    You have be careful when you make the arguments regarding Canada's roster selection in 1972.

    Sinden made some good decisions also.

    I'm fairly certain that Paul Henderson wasn't a lock, with his 15 assists that season.

    Sinden made a very good judgment call here. Speed was needed.
     
  22. FissionFire

    FissionFire Registered User

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    Bad people occassionally do good things but you don't forget the evil they did. The Nazi's were the first to develop aspirin which has benefitted hundreds of millions worldwide but I sure don't want to go erect a statue of Adolf Hitler to celebrate that.
     
  23. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Henderson had 38 goals in '72, and coupled with his speed he would've been chosen by most people. Maybe not in any other season, and maybe not with a smaller roster. But he was easily one of the top 35 available players in '72.

    Also, Hockey Canada had insisted that the roster have at least two players from each Canadian NHL franchise (that's why Tallon and Guevremont were there), so there had to be two Leafs on the roster anyways. Henderson and Ellis were probably the best options aside from Keon (who was no fan of Eagleson), and the team needed wingers more than centres.
     
  24. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Which 8 players would that be? I'm surprised it would be that low, as he was the most prolific agent at the time.

    As for your question, a lot of people have wondered why Brian Glennie was on the team.
     
  25. MaxV

    MaxV Registered User

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    Henderson stuck around after game 1 though. That was the judgement call.

    I'm not sure you can just assume that any coach makes the same call.
     

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