And the most significant hockey season is…

3 03 2009

Yesterday, In the Game was supposed to announce the details for the set celebrating “the most significant hockey season” as voted on by the 3000 fans that had a computer and knew to go to In the Game website to vote in the first place.

While they may be a few days late with the details, last month they did announce the winning year: 1972.

1972 is best known in hockey circles for the Summit Series, an eight game exhibition between Canada and the Soviet Union. Unlike the Olympics, though, this match up featured the best the NHL had to offer playing for Team Canada versus the best of the U.S.S.R.  Most on this side of the ocean thought Canada would win all eight games.  That was not the case. 

Sure you can read about it on wikipedia, but if you have any older Canadian friends you’d be better served taking them a six of Molson and asking them all about it, eh?  It was such a big deal up there that, with the series tied at three wins a piece with one tie, the entire country of Canada shut down to watch game eight.  So make sure you have both free time and interest before bringing it up.

1972 also saw the creation of the World Hockey Association, an upstart league with hopes of taking on the NHL.  Plagued with financial challenges and other problems, the league would last only seven years but would change the face of professional hockey, adding teams in new areas, raising player contract prices, and bringing attention to the pool of European talent. 

My hometown was set to have one of the initial WHA teams, but due to arena problems, the Dayton Aeros never took the ice and were moved to Houston.  In the Game, if you’re reading this, please add a card for the defunct Dayton franchise.  Just don’t do it like Topps would by making it a stealth parallel insert, okay?

1972 also brought this:

I can’t wait to see the card that commemorates that.

In the Game should have more information soon. I’ll let you know when I see it.

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