Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Team Canada's 1972 Summit Series application form

While hockey fans may have missed it among all the lockout doom and gloom, Sunday was an important anniversary in hockey history. The day marked forty years since Canada and the USSR took to the ice at the Montreal Forum for game one of their infamous 1972 Summit Series.

Most Canadians know the story of the series by heart. But did you know how the team was put together? Hockey historians recently unearthed the original application form that was sent to Canadian players, and DGB spies were able to send me a copy.

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Thank you for your interest in playing for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series. To help us narrow down the list of candidates, please fill out the application form below.

Your name: _______________________
Your position: ________________________
NHL team that you play for: _______________
(If you wrote “Montreal Canadiens”, skip the rest of the form; you’ve made the team!)

What was your first thought after series organizer Alan Eagleson initially approached you about participating?
( ) “It would be an honor to represent my country.”
( ) “This sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
( ) “It will be interesting to travel all the way to Russia.”
( ) “Hey, that’s weird, my wallet is missing.”

What is your primary reason for wanting to join Team Canada for the Summit Series?
( ) Have always admired the passion of Canadian hockey fans, and think it would be fun to be booed mercilessly by them the first time we have a bad shift.
( ) Will be a nice change of pace from the typical 1970s player’s pre-season preparation of trying really hard not to chain-smoke quite as much while grilling ribeye steaks three meals a day.
( ) Hoping assistant coach John Ferguson brings his adorable five-year-old son to the practices, since it’s so cute how he falls for the “trade me two dimes for a nickel” trick every single time.
( ) Honestly, just want to be close to Phil Esposito’s sideburns.

Based on what you know of the Soviets, what would you describe as their greatest weakness?
( ) Their disciplined team play rarely results in outstanding individual efforts.
( ) They’ll have trouble adjusting to the smaller North American ice surface.
( ) Their forwards are obviously terrible, since our scouts say they’re constantly getting robbed in practice by this Tretiak guy.
( ) Their weak ankles can often only withstand one or two golf club-style swings before shattering.

Which of the four games in Canada are you most looking forward to?
( ) Game one in Montreal, since it will be fun to still feel like the uncontested greatest hockey nation in the world for the first few minutes.
( ) Game two in Toronto, since it will be last time those fans get to see a team wearing a maple leaf win something for 40 years.
( ) Game three in Winnipeg, since it will be fun to awkwardly wave at Bobby Hull.
( ) Game four in Vancouver, because it will be funny to watch all the Soviet players struggle to find “Please stop setting our team bus on fire” in their English/Russian dictionaries.

In the unlikely event that things aren’t going well for Team Canada, are there any backup plans you would suggest?
( ) More grittiness!
( ) Get some fresh legs into the lineup, which shouldn’t be hard since there’s like 400 guys on the roster for some reason.
( ) Have Phil Esposito rant about Canadian hockey fans being mouth-breathing idiots, which should definitely turn things around or at least guarantee him a future job working in the media.
( ) Well, suppose we could always get Paul Henderson to rub that magic lamp he found in the abandoned genie cave…

Are there any of your potential Team Canada teammates who you are not looking forward to playing with?
( ) Bobby Clarke, since he keeps insisting that it would be a great idea to build the team with no goaltending.
( ) Stan Mikita, because every time we all start talking about how only players born in Canada are any good he gets all awkward and quiet.
( ) Bobby Orr, since he can barely walk due to multiple knee surgeries which makes it really annoying that he can still out-skate me.
( ) J.P. Parise, because he’s always rambling on about how much he wants to find a nice girl and settle down and have kids who’ll someday sign $98 million contracts that cause a lockout.

Thank you for applying to represent Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series. If you make it to the next round of the selection process, when would be the best time of day to contact you for a brief in-person interview?
( ) 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m
( ) 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
( ) 7:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
( ) 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. the next following Thursday (Ken Dryden only)


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22 comments:

  1. two dimes for a nickel......lmfao.......that was just amazing!

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  2. I don't think I get the last joke about Dryden.

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    Replies
    1. You were lucky enough not to have to sit through one of his interviews when he was running the Leafs.

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    2. Ken Dryden is the smartest person to ever play in the NHL. Just ask him, and he will tell you about it for several dozen hours.

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  3. I loved the one about weak ankles!

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  4. screw the application for team Canada, where can I get an application to be a DGB spy.

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    Replies
    1. If you have to ask, you probably won't get the job!

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  5. The comment about Clarke building a team without goaltending was particularly good. Well done.

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  6. "Their weak ankles can often only withstand one or two golf club-style swings before shattering." Hey now, hey now ... :-)

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  7. Not that I come here for facts, but it did bug me that you got the scouting report on the Russians backwards.
    The Canadian scouts who went to see the Russians practice described Tretiak as a Junior B goaltender, and that the only Soviet who could have caught on with a weak NHL team (and god knows there were some weak NHL teams) was forward Alexandr Yakushev.

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    Replies
    1. Call it comedic license.

      But my favorite part of the scouting reports from '72 is the one (possibly untrue) story that the Canadians saw Tretiak get shelled and concluded he was terrible without realizing it was the day after his wedding party.

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    2. This belongs in the category of Things That Are True And If They Aren't, Should Be Treated As If They Were. :-)

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    3. Janis, you are the smartest girl in hockey

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    4. I thought you were.

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  8. Oh, my God, I nearly died at the Alan Eagleson/wallet line. Gold!

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  9. I'm an American under 30, who didn't become a hockey fan until his teens. Let's just say, I needed to use some google for this.

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    Replies
    1. Nice try Gary... American hockey fan in his 30's that was turned onto it by a sunbelt team...

      Oh, wait, they DO exist?

      *Snaps a picture, runs it back to his Canadian friends as proof*

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    2. Nice try Gary... American hockey fan in his 30's that was turned onto it by a sunbelt team...

      Oh, wait, they DO exist?

      *Snaps a picture, runs it back to his Canadian friends as proof*

      Delete
    3. I guess that's one benefit of being an under-30 Canadian, rather than an American. Your parents/grandparents/CBC/Heritage Moments/history class/commercials drilled the story into your brain.

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  10. I still get chills when I see the footage and "Henderson scores for Canada!" just like I did when I was 9 and there were TVs set up in our classroom.

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