Cold War on Ice

The NHL versus the Soviet Union in Hockey’s Super Series ’76


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SKU: 9781476693873 Categories: , , , , ,

About the Book

Between December 28, 1975, and January 11, 1976, a groundbreaking hockey event took place: Super Series ’76. Eight National Hockey League clubs each hosted a single exhibition game against one of two touring teams from the USSR: Central Red Army or Wings of the Soviet. Officially nothing was at stake, but serious hockey fans realized that a Cold War clash of political ideologies was occurring on North American ice surfaces. The top pro teams would finally meet the best “amateurs” from the Soviet Elite League. The reputations of the NHL and Soviet hockey were both on the line. Canadians already knew how strong the Soviets were, based on the eye-opening experiences of both countries’ hockey stars in the 1972 and 1974 Summit Series. For many Americans, however, the talents of the exotic, Eastern Bloc visitors provided a stunning revelation.

This book outlines the history of the intense Canada–USSR hockey rivalry that preceded Super Series ’76 and then focuses on those eight captivating games in New York, Pittsburgh, Montréal, Buffalo, Boston, Chicago, Long Island and Philadelphia. Two of these contests are still widely discussed today for vastly different reasons. One may have been the greatest hockey game ever played.

About the Author(s)

John G. Robertson is a private tutor and sports historian who lives in Cambridge, Ontario. He is the author of numerous books on baseball, hockey and boxing history.
Carl T. Madden lives in Welland, Ontario and is the author of multiple books on the history of sports.

Bibliographic Details

John G. Robertson and Carl T. Madden
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 226
Bibliographic Info: 17 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9387-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5130-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
Terms and Spellings 6
1. The IIHF Years, Part One: Canada Seems Invincible 7
2. The IIHF Years, Part Two: The Soviet Superpower 16
3. The Awakening: The 1972 Summit Series 33
4. The ­Often-Forgotten 1974 Summit Series 56
5. The Making of Super Series ’76 75
6. Soviet Lineups 82
7. Game #1: Central Red Army vs. New York Rangers 83
8. Game #2: Soviet Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 97
9. Game #3: Central Red Army vs. Montréal Canadiens 108
10. Game #4: Soviet Wings vs. Buffalo Sabres 126
11. Game #5: Soviet Wings vs. Chicago Black Hawks 138
12. Game #6: Central Red Army vs. Boston Bruins 147
13. Game #7: Soviet Wings vs. New York Islanders 161
14. Game #8: Central Red Army vs. Philadelphia Flyers 167
15. Aftermath 1976 to 1991: What It All Meant 190
Chapter Notes 201
Bibliography 213
Index 215