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Thread: Is the IIHF to blame for World Championship being less popular than U20 in Canada?

  1. #1
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    IHWC Is the IIHF to blame for World Championship being less popular than U20 in Canada?

    This year Switzerland for overpriced tickets or no-interest didn't have many attendee's. The trip for the Russians was easy since it's on the same continent and all you need is a car and some cash.

    Last year the event was a giant success in terms of attendance when no one thought Canada would care. There was great hype in the country, this year the hype wasn't even that big. Mostly you could place it on hosting the Olympics, so it detracts from the hype.

    The World Championship should be a greater event than the U20, it's the most important event in Europe. Why did the U20 evolve as the most important event in Canada. Simple, through TSN, hyping the tournament and hosting it then eventually it evolved from there.

    This is one of Canada's biggest discussion boards:

    Look at the interest for the Worlds vs the U20s.

    466 posts vs 4 posts.

    Now you can claim this as Canadian ignorance or bias. You know what though, this squarely rests on the shoulders of the IIHF for not capitalizing more on the North American market. Oh sure, they'll give Canada the U20's every few years to make themselves a quick buck, but what about promoting the most important tournament here. Last year was a start, but where were they before?

    You can throw anything hockey in Canada and it will take off. ANYTHING.
    If the IIHF acted sooner with the IIHF, around the late 80's, the World Championship would hold more significance in Canada than the U20.

    We don't send our best U20 players, other countries don't send their best u20 players.
    What's this excuse for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    If the IIHF acted sooner to promote the Worlds in Canada, which has been mostly a European event, then there would have been more exposure. Canadians would see more and here more. Seeing "no evil and hearing no evil" is a great way to abstain this tournament from Canadians eyes.

    And Europeans wonder why this event isn't popular in Canada.

  2. #2
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Well this appeared in the MSN network on Canada, an editorial with a one sided opinion.
    http://www.thecheapseats.ca/2009/05/...y-tourney.html

    This is the kind of mentality that's the IIHF's job to fix and negate.

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kun View Post
    This year Switzerland for overpriced tickets or no-interest didn't have many attendee's. The trip for the Russians was easy since it's on the same continent and all you need is a car and some cash.

    Last year the event was a giant success in terms of attendance when no one thought Canada would care. There was great hype in the country, this year the hype wasn't even that big. Mostly you could place it on hosting the Olympics, so it detracts from the hype.

    The World Championship should be a greater event than the U20, it's the most important event in Europe. Why did the U20 evolve as the most important event in Canada. Simple, through TSN, hyping the tournament and hosting it then eventually it evolved from there.

    This is one of Canada's biggest discussion boards:

    Look at the interest for the Worlds vs the U20s.

    466 posts vs 4 posts.

    Now you can claim this as Canadian ignorance or bias. You know what though, this squarely rests on the shoulders of the IIHF for not capitalizing more on the North American market. Oh sure, they'll give Canada the U20's every few years to make themselves a quick buck, but what about promoting the most important tournament here. Last year was a start, but where were they before?

    You can throw anything hockey in Canada and it will take off. ANYTHING.
    If the IIHF acted sooner with the IIHF, around the late 80's, the World Championship would hold more significance in Canada than the U20.

    We don't send our best U20 players, other countries don't send their best u20 players.
    What's this excuse for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    If the IIHF acted sooner to promote the Worlds in Canada, which has been mostly a European event, then there would have been more exposure. Canadians would see more and here more. Seeing "no evil and hearing no evil" is a great way to abstain this tournament from Canadians eyes.

    And Europeans wonder why this event isn't popular in Canada.
    I agree that the IIHF could always do more to make the tournament more popular in NA, but I honestly believe the answers to why the U20 is more popular are logical and somewhat obvious:
    1. Canada generally sends its best players to the U20. (certainly, a lot more than what is available for the senior championship).
    2. Canada's success has created mass interest
    3. TSN has made the tournament its flagship event marketing and promoting it excesssively.
    4. I think Canadians view the U20 tournament as more "pure" hockey because the players are amateur juniors playing strictly for love of game and country, unlike the pro / money driven game of the NHL that provides players for the senior tournament.
    5. The reality of the Stanley Cup playoffs conflicting with the senior championship schedule reduces interest and the IIHF cannot be blamed for that. Talk to the NHL if you want a different policy and good luck. The CHL accepts losing their best players to U20 Team Canada during the tournament.

  4. #4
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kun
    Now you can claim this as Canadian ignorance or bias. You know what though, this squarely rests on the shoulders of the IIHF for not capitalizing more on the North American market. Oh sure, they'll give Canada the U20's every few years to make themselves a quick buck, but what about promoting the most important tournament here. Last year was a start, but where were they before?
    Though I personally would like Canada to host the IHWC more often, the issue you are raising is actually not an IIHF matter if you by the IIHF mean the IIHF Council (Fasel & Co.).

    Hosting the IHWC is a vital issue for the heavy-weight European federations. The profit the federations make on the gate receipts from the IHWCs are essential to their financial wellbeing. It's their main source of income.

    To make this more clear, lets take the Swedish hockey federation as an example: The Swedish hockey federation makes a profit of US$40-45 mio. when hosting the IHWC. Each year, the federation has an excess spending of around US$5 mio. This means that it is vital for the Swedish hockey federation to host the IHWC every 7-10 years.

    This has been the situation since the 1980s, and that's why you see a historical pattern.
    Sweden thus hosted the IHWC in 1981 - 1989 - 1995 - 2002. The federation has been concerned that there now are more and new bidders on the block and SWE stirred outright controversy when in 2007, its bid for hosting the 2012 IHWC was outvoted in favour of Finland. The Swedish federation's financial coffins are namely projected to be empty around this time. It helped when the 2008 IIHF congress decided to compensate by granting the 2013 IHWC to Sweden, but it still wasn't good enough. Luckily, it has all been settled now after Finland and Sweden proposed to split the 2012 and 2013 IHWC.

    The Russian federation has become much less dependent on the IHWC income stream after it forged a deal with the KHL. But in Finland, I think the situation is the same as in Sweden, and in the Czech federation the situation has been desperate *). The only reason why the Czech federation pulled its 2014 bid was that the 2014 IHWC is not attractive because of the Olympics. Better to wait to 2015.

    Nothing prevents Canada for hosting the IHWC as often as the major European IIHF members. All Canada has to do is to get into the line and wait until its Canada's turn. This above all means that Canada has to show keen interest in hosting the IHWC. It has been a horse race for many years.

    Your post seem to indicate that the IIHF is to be blamed for the fact that Canada haven't hosted the IHWC. This rests on a misunderstanding of the policy process in the IIHF. There is only one part to be blamed, namely Canada itself.

    As for the high ticket prices in Switzerland, this is basically something that is out of the IIHF's control. The IIHF scores the marketing and tv-rights income while the hosting country scores the gate receipts. I have no insights about the financial assumptions when Switzerland set the ticket prices. As you well know, turnover is calculated as price x quantity. Both factors matters when finding a profit maximum.

    ---
    Last year, it became clear that the Czech Fed was CZK 50 mio. (US$2.5 mio) short. At first, the federation decided to cut back on the expenditures. The only items where money really could be saved was unfortunately the programmes for the national U18 and U20 teams. In October 2008, the federation managed to forge a new sponsor deal with its old marketing partner BPA Sport. It was a 5 year deal running from 2008 to 2013 amounting to CZK485 mio (around US$25 mio.) and the federation will receive around US$1 mio. more per year compared with the previosu agreement.
    Last edited by Karsten; 12-05-2009 at 00:53.

  5. #5
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Nothing prevents Canada for hosting the IHWC as often as the major European IIHF members. All Canada has to do is to get into the line and wait until its Canada's turn. This above all means that Canada has to show keen interest in hosting the IHWC. It has been a horse race for many years.

    Your post seem to indicate that the IIHF is to be blamed for the fact that Canada haven't hosted the IHWC. This rests on a misunderstanding of the policy process in the IIHF. There is only one part to be blamed, namely Canada itself.
    Absolutely, and this was the bit that jumped out at me whilst reading the post. The IIHF don't look at a map of the hockey world and decide where to put the pin. Nations apply for the right to host and a vote is taken by the IIHF council to determine who gets it out of the bidders. Your argument would only hold water if Canada were continually bidding but always losing the vote. Hungary have a bigger argument than Canada about being treated badly by the IIHF.

    Personally, I think that the u20 are given more credibility because they are seen as being closer to a true best on best tournament. There are some superstar players who aren't available because they are already big names in the NHL, but it's a small percentage of eligible players. Because of the Stanley Cup playoffs running in parallel, the seniors will never be seen as the same.

    I also think that the SC playoffs have another impact. The u20 tournament doesn't clash with any other tournament. Come late April/early May, North America is too engrossed in the SC playoffs to have any time to pay attention to another tournament.

    Graham.
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    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    ....
    Nothing prevents Canada for hosting the IHWC as often as the major European IIHF members. All Canada has to do is to get into the line and wait until its Canada's turn. This above all means that Canada has to show keen interest in hosting the IHWC. It has been a horse race for many years.

    Your post seem to indicate that the IIHF is to be blamed for the fact that Canada haven't hosted the IHWC. This rests on a misunderstanding of the policy process in the IIHF. There is only one part to be blamed, namely Canada itself....
    I do not know any details, other than what I am to quote below, but Canada and the US were not allowed to host the World Championships after 1976. This was made a rule during the negotiations that resulted in Canada returning to the World Champions and the creation of the CANADA CUP tournament:

    ....The long, tenacious negotiations between Dr. Sabetzki and the top officials of the professional ice hockey resulted in a solution which was satisfactory for both parties: the Canadians and the Americans were allowed to enhance their world championship teams with professional players; in order to be able to achieve that most effectively, the world championships should in future take place as late as possible thus ensuring that a suitable player selection from among the NHL teams eliminated from the Stanley Cup would be available. In their turn, the Canadians and Americans undertook to participate regularly in the world championships. In addition, they relinquished their application to host any world championship tournaments. In return, a competition for the "Canada Cup" should be played every four years on North American territory with the participation of Canada, the United States and the four strongest European national teams according to the last preceding world championship with the understanding that all the teams would be allowed to use their NHL professional players .......
    Source: http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/histor...1975-1989.html

    I have no idea when this rule would have been rescinded though, as Canada hosted in 2008. Hockey Canada had talked about hosting the tournament since the early 2000s.

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    IHF Member tux96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kun View Post
    The trip for the Russians was easy since it's on the same continent and all you need is a car and some cash.
    Maybe also some Russians could comment on this. If Russians do not book a trip at a travel agency, it is a tedious procedure to get visa, which costs a few days. At least for common people. They guy from Vladivostok, which I met in Berne, surely did not go there by car.

    I think the main issue is that the NHL does not care about IHWC. It even took a long time until they finally agreed to pause for the Olympic Games.
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    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    ....Personally, I think that the u20 are given more credibility because they are seen as being closer to a true best on best tournament. There are some superstar players who aren't available because they are already big names in the NHL, but it's a small percentage of eligible players. Because of the Stanley Cup playoffs running in parallel, the seniors will never be seen as the same......
    I share this opinion as well.

    The U20's are more popular in Canada for 2 reasons:

    • The U20's started to gain steam here in Canada in the late 1980s when TSN took over the tournament (from the CBC, who broadcasted the tournament more as an afterthought) and started hyping it into the holiday tradition that it is today. It is hard to hype something that will compete directly with the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
    • Also, in the late 1980s, there was still significant ill-feeling to the Seniors event due to the perceived anti-North American slant of the IIHF in previous decades (especially with the differing definitions of what constituted as an "amateur" player). Thus the U20s was seen as more of a pure best-on-best competition.

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Jazz, this is taken out of context.

    First of all, its necessary to remember that Canada was supposed to host the 1970 IHWC. Everything was set for the first World Championship to be held in Canada. But what happened: Canada showed absolutely no respect for the IIHF World Championship as an institution as they pulled out, and quick hosting replacements had to be made. I don't blame Canada for pulling out of the IHWC, but they should have announced this in a timely fashion; Likewise, they should have handed over the torch to a European member in a timely fashion. But they didn't. Instead they chickened out because they suddenly realized that Team Canada would very likely not become world champion in the first IHWC held on Canadian ground. This created a lot of anger among the European IIHF members.

    The negotiations between Canada and the other IIHF members in 1975/76 were extremely tense. I will not go into details here. But sufficient to say that Canada was pretty aggressive in the negotations repeatedly using the Canada Cup as a stick to get its will. A compromise was reached but this compromise to which you refer only reflected the atmosphere at the time.

    With the Lake Placid Olympics and the Canada Cup in 1981 the climate became much warmer, and the only reason why there was no talk about Canada hosting the IHWC in the 1980s was that it had already been settled that Canada would host the 1988 Olympics. This, in effect, meant that Canada was lined up for hosting an IHWC.

    When Fasel became president of the IIHF in 1994, he repeatedly made his wish that Canada would host the World Championship--transatlantic relations have always been on top of his agenda--but it took a long time before Canada submitted a bid. My working hypothesis is that it was Fasel who talked Canada into submitting a bid for the 2008 IHWC that marked the 100 year anniversary of the IIHF -- the most prestigous IHWC in many, many years.
    Last edited by Karsten; 13-05-2009 at 00:49.

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    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tux96 View Post
    Maybe also some Russians could comment on this. If Russians do not book a trip at a travel agency, it is a tedious procedure to get visa, which costs a few days. At least for common people. They guy from Vladivostok, which I met in Berne, surely did not go there by car.

    I think the main issue is that the NHL does not care about IHWC. It even took a long time until they finally agreed to pause for the Olympic Games.
    Minor clarification: I think the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary were the first ones that the IOC allowed national teams to use NHL Players (I may be wrong). Anyways, the point is that it was not like the NHL had since 1920 to think about Olympic participation. When Bettman took over the NHL Commissioner in Feb 1993, he tried to get the league owners to commit to the 1994 games in Norway, but was unsuccessful.

    Aside: The whole "amatuer" vs "professional" debate for World/Olympic competition (only instituted because Pierre de Coubertin and his group were elitists) has probably had negative effects on hockey's development worldwide over the 1900s (I would not be surprised if it affected other sports as well). I can't imagine that more cooperation between North America and Europe would have resulted in a more healthy international hockey scene.

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz View Post

    Aside: The whole "amatuer" vs "professional" debate for World/Olympic competition (only instituted because Pierre de Coubertin and his group were elitists) has probably had negative effects on hockey's development worldwide over the 1900s (I would not be surprised if it affected other sports as well). I can't imagine that more cooperation between North America and Europe would have resulted in a more healthy international hockey scene.
    Don't think so. Throuighout most of the period amateurism was ingrained in European sport. I'll give you an apt example: In the 1950s and early 60's, the very best Danish soccer players were signed by Italian clubs where they earned millions of dollars in today's money. Nothing prevented the Danish football federation (DBU) to use these players for the national team at the World Cup qualification and Nations Cup (European Championship). In the media, there was a lot of pressure to do this, but the DBU stubbornly refused. In their eyes, the Danish professional players were parias who had compromised the most noble aspect of being a sportsman: amateurism. It was only in the early 70s that this principle was reversed. Professionalism in Danish soccer was introduced in 1978.

    Returning to hockey, the Swedish hockey federation was completely in line with the Danish soccer federation on the question of professionalism. In fact, the Swedish hockey federation held out a little longer. it was only in the mid-70s when the first Swedish players crossed the pond to become professionals in the NHL that the pressure from the clubs and the public mounted. Professionalism in Swedish hockey was established in 1975 with the launch of Elitserien. This in turn made it easier to forge the IIHF compromise that NHL players should be allowed in the IHWC.
    Last edited by Karsten; 13-05-2009 at 00:50.

  12. #12
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz
    Also, in the late 1980s, there was still significant ill-feeling to the Seniors event due to the perceived anti-North American slant of the IIHF in previous decades (especially with the differing definitions of what constituted as an "amateur" player). Thus the U20s was seen as more of a pure best-on-best competition.
    Well, there's two sides to this story, and different cultures play a huge part. Right from the very start, the Canadian hockey style (playing a little rough, intimidating your opponents etc.) was not accepted in Europe. In Europe hockey was as all other sports perceived to be a gentleman sport. In my historical archives I have hundreds of articles where the writers lament over the Canadian teams' way of playing hockey. It was only after the Summit series that Canadian hockey ethics started to become appreciated in Europe.

    As for professionalism vs amateurism in the IHWC, in Europe there was really very little talk about this in the 50s and 60s. And throughout most of the time, there was no conflict between the IIHF and Canada on this issue. When Canada finally realized that their Allan Cup winners were no longer good enough the win the IHWC, they invented team Canada (1964). Considering Team Canada's extensive travel schedule around in the 60s (and later), do you really believe that the players were pure amateurs? They were not. But OK, when Canada next realized that Team Canada couldn't beat the Europeans either, then the conflict broke out. That was in the run up to the 1970 IHWC.

    To me, it appears that there is a lot of misperception in Canada about the socalled anti-American slant in the IIHF. There is a side to the story that is completely lost, and this story centers around the fact that Canada in the 60s struggled to accept the fact that Canadian hockey was no longer so superior as it used to be. In my archive, I have an interesting article from the end of the 1961 IHWC -- the last IHWC that a Canadian amateur won. The captain of the team is asked how the best Canadian team with NHL stars would fare against the Russians, and the captain answers that he was pretty sure that Canada would beat USSR 20-0 or 25-0 if they played at full steam. No wonder that many Canadians were completely shocked when they watched the first games of the Summit series.

    The controversy about professionalism vs amaterism only lasted for a few years (1970-75) in the long history of the IIHF. It's really only a historical parenthesis in IIHF politics. In the cultural history of the two continents, it is however a very long story.

    As for the U20s, Canada and Europe have been completely out of sync (and probably still are). In Europe, the U20s have never been seen as a best-on-best. In Europe, there is very little interest in junior hockey. The reason is very simple: In Europe, the best juniors -- whether they are 16, 17 or 18 years-- play for the A senior team of their clubs. As a fan its therefore essentially sufficient to follow the A senior team. I know this argument is a little overstretched but sometimes simplifaction help.

    Besides, the IHWC could easily have become a best-on-best tournament. Since 1976, there has only been one obstacle, and this obstacle is located in North America itself (NHL).

    Sorry for being harsh, but I'm getting a little tired of reading that old and outdated argument about IIHF's anti-Canadian bias. I thought that this was a thing of the past. The current IIHF president has been around for 15 years and he is anything but anti-American.
    Last edited by Karsten; 13-05-2009 at 02:26.

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    In my archive, I have an interesting article from the end of the 1961 IHWC -- the last IHWC that a Canadian amateur won. The captain of the team is asked how the best Canadian team with NHL stars would fare against the Russians, and the captain answers that he was pretty sure that Canada would beat USSR 20-0 or 25-0 if they played at full steam. No wonder that many Canadians were completely shocked when they watched the first games of the Summit series.

    Karsten
    My response might be better suited for another topic, but anyway, I found your info above quite interesting. As a young boy of 9 years of age, I recall attending a game in 1969 in Toronto where the Soviet Nationals played the amateur Canadian National team (surprisingly, Canada won 4-3) at Maple Leaf Gardens. I recall being extremely impressed with the Soviet style of play - pinpoint passing, circular "east-west" player movement -in shark contrast to the traditional Canadian style of physical play and "north-south" movement. Than, as most Canadians, we got fed a big meal of reality in 1972 during the summitt series. Since that time, I have always believed that the USSR was probably equal to the best the NHL could offer by the early to mid 1960's, around the time the USSR was winning 9 consecutive IHWC. I know I cannot prove my theory, and that the first games against our pros were not played till 1972, but I still believe this today.

  14. #14
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Ref, it's an interesting hypothesis that cannot be tested.

    Still being very hypothetical, I would say around the mid-60s (or perhaps a couple of years later), and for the following reasons:

    1. Anatoli Tarasov and Anatoly Chernyshev formed the perfect coaching pair after the 1962 IHWC in Colorado Springs. It took a couple of years before the chemistry between the two coaches started to shine.

    2. The early 60s were transition years for Soviet hockey. Don't think USSR was ready to compete with the best Canadians at this time.

    3. Around the mid-60s, the heralded Soviet starlines with Yakushev-Firsov-Starshinov and Mayorov-Almetov-Loktev as well as Aleksandrov-Polypanov-Vikulov were fully developed under the auspecies of Tarasov and Chernyshev. They dominated the Soviet league, the Olympics and IHWC. With three very good lines, it's likely that USSR could compete with the NHL Canadians. Defense was also pretty good with players such as Ragulin and Dadydov. Biggest problem was goaltending. Zinger, Konovalenko etc. never had a class compared with Tretiak.

    My argument for adding a couple of years (1967-68) is that Czechoslovakia emerged as a strong contender and fierce archrival in those years (partly due to political reasons). The 1969 IHWC encounters between USSR and Czechoslovakia on 21 and 28 March were the most tense ever played in the IHWC. The two teams were outright at war with eachother. Exactly one week earlier on 21 March, Czechoslovakia had beaten USSR 2-0 in the first round of the IHWC. The victory led hundred of thousands of Czechoslovakins to celebrate in the streets. In the end, the demonstrations was suppressed by the military. But the uprising that followed Czechoslovakia's victories over USSR in hockey at the IHWC in March 1969 was used by the Kremlin leaders as pretext to ousts Aleksander Dubcek and re-introduce hardline Communism in the Czechoslovakia. The hockey games in 69 did in fact lead to the end of the Prague Spring.

    The issue about Canada and IIHF in those years should also be seen in this context.

    In the following years, many Czechoslovakians used the hockey games vs USSR as a quiet protest against the Moscow-controlled regime. In fact, I myself started to get interested in hockey when I on TV watched the incredibly intense game between Czechoslovakia and USSR at the 1972 IHWC in Prague.

    The game you watched was played on 18 December 1969. Two weeks earlier, the same Canadian team made an even bigger result by tying the mighty USSR team at the Izvestia tournament in Moscow. The players at team Canada were of course not full time professionals, but as I said, I wouldn't call them full-time amateurs either. Most of their time was devoted to hockey and they travelled extensively in Europe from September to March each year.
    Last edited by Karsten; 13-05-2009 at 03:33.

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Sorry, for being a bit off-topic, but I read that Jaroslav Pinter, the coach that led the Czechoslovakians to the two victories over USSR in 1969 died at 83 two month ago. I will write an orbitary for our news site as well as adding more details to the games in 69.

    Here's IIHF's review of the games in 69:

    There is absolutely no doubt that the most emotionally charged games in the history of international hockey were the two between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union in the 1969 IIHF World Championship in Stockholm. These were two games which the Czechoslovaks simply could not lose.

    “We said to ourselves, even if we have to die on the ice, we have to beat them,” said team captain Jozef Golonka in an interview many years later. “We received hundreds of telegrams from fans back home when we arrived in Stockholm. Almost all of them said: ‘Beat the Soviets. You don’t have to beat anyone else. Just beat the Soviets.’”

    Canadian goaltender and future Hall of Famer Ken Dryden made his first international appearance in that championship: “Even though this was my first and only World Championships, the only thing I or anyone else remembers about them were the Soviet-Czechoslovakian games. They were fantastic.”

    The 1969 tournament was originally allocated to Czechoslovakia, but the country declined to organize the event following the Soviet led Warsaw-Pact invasion of the country in August 1968. It was of course the occupation that put its mark on and totally overshadowed the two Czechoslovakia vs Soviet Union clashes at the Johanneshov ice stadium in Stockholm on March 21 and 28.



    Jiri Holik (centre) grabs his head in disbelief after Czechoslovakia defeated the Soviet Union also in the second game of the 1969 World Championship. Photo: Rolle Rygin

    The Soviets came in having won the last six World Championships and three out of the last four Olympics and they were the better team. But there was no way the Czechoslovaks could lose to the Soviet team, who by opponents were viewed upon as representing an occupying power. The Soviet players just wanted to play hockey, but they were reminded in every shift by the vocal Czechoslovaks that this wasn’t to be about sports.

    Playing with unprecedented national fervour, Team CSSR outhustled the Soviets 2-0 on March 21 and 4-3 one week later in the return game. In the footage from game one, after defenceman Jan Suchy had given CSSR a 1-0-lead, one can see how Jaroslav Holik taunts Soviet goaltender Viktor Zinger after the goal, poking his stick repeatedly at Zinger’s face, calling him a “bloody communist”. Holik even put hockey tape over the Czechoslovak crest on his jersey, covering the star that symbolized the country’s allegiance to the Warsaw Pact.

    It was the first time since 1961 that the Soviet Union lost two games in one championship and it was the first time ever that the USSR lost two games against the same opponent in one IIHF event.
    Last edited by Karsten; 13-05-2009 at 03:33.

  16. #16
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    And here's an excerpt from Joe Pelletier's article on the first game in 69. Pelletier rightly notes that the games in 69 were far more tense and politically charged than the games in the Summit series 72:

    The meeting on the ice in the 1969 World Championships was much more than just a hockey game. It was politically charged. The Czechoslovakian players were determined to regain Czechoslovakian pride in their own little way.
    The Czechoslovakians, who were famous for playing very conservative hockey, came out with an effort that stretched the meaning of the word intensity. The atmosphere was so tense that it was revealed later that Soviet Coach Anatoli Tarasov suffered a mild heart attack during the game.
    The game started with a shocking act of defiance by the Czechoslovakian players. The Czechoslovakians’ jersey always displayed the Czechoslovakian emblem of a crest with a lion. A red star above the lion pledged allegiance to the USSR. The players covered up the red star with hockey tape despite great fears of repercussions.
    The players played with an unmatchable level of desire. There was no denying their victory. Their hatred was real, very real. Their composure was commendable, but the emotion was incredible. The Soviet players were bewildered. They didn't understand why these players hated them so. One Czechoslovakian player, Josef Golonka, displayed his emotion by converting his hockey stick into a pretend rifle.
    The game itself was a scoreless affair for the longest time. The great Czechoslovakian defenseman Jan Suchy scored on a two-man powerplay to open the scoring. From that point on goalie Vladimir Dzurilla was the star of the show. He would keep all the Soviet shooters at bay as he recorded the first shutout in World Championship play by any nation against the Russians since 1955. Josef Cerny scored a spectacular goal to put an exclamation point on the 2-0 victory.
    But the victory on the ice wasn't important as the victory in the hearts of Czechoslovakians. The Czechoslovakian players cried uncontrollably. The Swedish crowd knew of the political ramifications, and joined in the celebrations by chanting "Dubcek! Dubcek!" Once the news of the game reached Prague, thousands of proud Czechoslovakians spilled out into the streets. They weren't concerned about possible repercussions either.
    Russian winger Yevgeny Zimin remembered the game in Lawrence Martin's book The Red Machine:
    "We saw this joy. It was so overwhelming. The whole stadium stood up. The applause was incredible. We realized what was going on. But we didn't view the Czechoslovakian players as our enemies. We didn't have any influence on the decisions of the Kremlin. But, in our hearts and our minds, we did not agree with the policy of the occupation of Czechoslovakian and the use of tanks against the people of that country. We didn't have anything against the Czechoslovakian players."

  17. #17
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Absolutely fascinating stuff, Karsten. Many thanks for sharing it.

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    IHF Member jaaa's Avatar
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    Karsten, thanks for telling this story. But just a few details, I wouldn´t really say that this was what brought Dubcek down, because his fate and the fate of the Prague Spring had been long sealed already since August 68´, and the opression in Czechoslovakia had already begun prior to the WC and people were also upset because the WC was orginally to be played in Czechoslovakia, but it was moved because of the political situation. What happened after Czechoslovakia defeated USSR was just a sign that people there were still alive. But about the protests, in Prague and I think Bratislava as well there actually were Stb agents at the protests and there are rumours that it was them who provoked the demonstrants to throw stones and such into the windows of headquarters of the Communist party.

    But one interesting fact is that this hate for the Russians in hockey did not disappear after the fall of communism. I still remember when Slovakia got into the finals in 2002, most of the Czechs were saying things like you just have to win that game and beat those f***ed Russians. And our players still had it in them back there. There was a video from the Slovak locker room and one of the Slovaks said something like: "They f***ed us for 40 years, now we´ll break them...."

    Though I guess it changed and with the generation of Kovalchuk, Malkin and Ovechkin most people would now much rather see the Russians winning than the Canadians.
    Last edited by jaaa; 13-05-2009 at 10:19.

  19. #19
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz View Post
    ....Also, in the late 1980s, there was still significant ill-feeling to the Seniors event due to the perceived anti-North American slant of the IIHF in previous decades (especially with the differing definitions of what constituted as an "amateur" player). Thus the U20s was seen as more of a pure best-on-best competition
    .....Sorry for being harsh, but I'm getting a little tired of reading that old and outdated argument about IIHF's anti-Canadian bias. I thought that this was a thing of the past. The current IIHF president has been around for 15 years and he is anything but anti-American.
    It appears you took my post out of context.

    My post was about was about why the U20's are more popular, and noted a sentiment of the 1980s in the Canadian public eyes (both fans and media), not so much today. Yet you responded as if I was writing about today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    .....First of all, its necessary to remember that Canada was supposed to host the 1970 IHWC. Everything was set for the first World Championship to be held in Canada. But what happened: Canada showed absolutely no respect for the IIHF World Championship as an institution as they pulled out, and quick hosting replacements had to be made. I don't blame Canada for pulling out of the IHWC, but they should have announced this in a timely fashion; Likewise, they should have handed over the torch to a European member in a timely fashion. But they didn't.
    In fairness, instead of making it sound like Hockey Canada pulled out arbitrarily, you should also note why Canada pulled out, irrespective of your personal views on it's justification.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Instead they chickened out because they suddenly realized that Team Canada would very likely not become world champion in the first IHWC held on Canadian ground. This created a lot of anger among the European IIHF members.....
    This is the first I have ever heard of this theory. There is more to it that this, and I am surprised you are spinning it this way when you normally have more detailed information on other matters regarding IIHF history, just as your other rich content posts in this thread. When I researched this for another thread on this topic 5 years ago, this is what I came up with: http://www.internationalhockey.net/f...=5405#post5405
    Canada was to host their first World Championship in 1970, with games set for Montreal and Winnipeg. Canadian officials however were convinced that their top amateurs could not compete with the other National teams, whose players for for some reason not considered professionals. Canadian hockey officials lobbied the International Ice Hockey Federation to make the 1970 tournament an open one, allowing professional players to play for the first time.

    The IIHF agreed to allow nine non-NHL pros to take part in each sanctioned tournament, which included the World Championships in 1970. This agreement was to be reciprocal, where for the development of hockey around the world, the NHL, at their own cost, would bring over the top 9 players from each of the 6 or so hockey nations ranked below the USSR, Sweden, Finland and Czechoslovakia, to North America, have free tickets to NHL games and take part in coaching seminars done by NHL coaches. It seemed that here was a chance for both hockey spheres to come closer together.

    This all unravelled, however, after the Canadians, with five non-NHL pros on their roster, finished a close second at the 1969 Izvestia Tournament in Russia, the IIHF suddenly changed the plan and forbade professional players from participating without forfeiting the Amateur status of the rest of Team Canada. Angered by this decision, Hockey Canada, the nation's newly formed hockey federation withdrew Canada from all international competition. This meant the IIHF had to scramble to find a new host for the 1970 tournament and found itself operating international tournaments that no longer included the world's premier hockey nation. The whole episode upset the Canadians, who felt that they should be allowed to send their best players as well. Seven years would pass and a new IIHF president would take power before the rift could be resolved. Canada had boycotted the World Championships for 7 years, during which the IIHF moved the championships out of the Olympics in 1972 and 1976 in an attempt to bring back the Canadians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Don't think so. Throuighout most of the period amateurism was ingrained in European sport. I'll give you an apt example: In the 1950s and early 60's, the very best Danish soccer players were signed by Italian clubs where they earned millions of dollars in today's money. Nothing prevented the Danish football federation (DBU) to use these players for the national team at the World Cup qualification and Nations Cup (European Championship). In the media, there was a lot of pressure to do this, but the DBU stubbornly refused. In their eyes, the Danish professional players were parias who had compromised the most noble aspect of being a sportsman: amateurism. It was only in the early 70s that this principle was reversed. Professionalism in Danish soccer was introduced in 1978.

    Returning to hockey, the Swedish hockey federation was completely in line with the Danish soccer federation on the question of professionalism. In fact, the Swedish hockey federation held out a little longer. it was only in the mid-70s when the first Swedish players crossed the pond to become professionals in the NHL that the pressure from the clubs and the public mounted. Professionalism in Swedish hockey was established in 1975 with the launch of Elitserien. This in turn made it easier to forge the IIHF compromise that NHL players should be allowed in the IHWC.
    Again, we are both speculating. Not know about European sporting culture in the first half of the 20th century, we have no idea of knowing that if the Olympics did not make a distinction between "professional sportsman" and "amateur sportsman" from their start in 1896, perhaps this may have filtered down to all aspects of European sporting culture over the proceeding decades...
    Last edited by Jazz; 13-05-2009 at 09:43.

  20. #20
    IHF Member jaaa's Avatar
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    Kartsen, I found this on youtube, it´s short clip og Joze Golonka´s memories an some footage from the game and the return of the players to Czechoslovakia. Last summer, a Slovak Tv TA3 had a 10 minute documentary about the 1969 games, I´ll tr y to digg that up somewhere.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfTL1FF0xX0

  21. #21
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    This thread turned out terrific. Thanks for all the answers, I'll read it offline.
    Karsten where the hell do you get all your info and how do you apply it into posts?

    Do you actually have this all stored in your brain, or are you completely organized and have a library access to things you documented throughout your life. I'm sure with your PHD and higher learning hockey must have had a lot of Term Papers and Thesis in your past.

    Well that's a personal question and off topic, but you don't have to answer it.

  22. #22
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaaa View Post
    Karsten, thanks for telling this story. But just a few details, I wouldn´t really say that this was what brought Dubcek down, because his fate and the fate of the Prague Spring had been long sealed already since August 68´, and the opression in Czechoslovakia had already begun prior to the WC and people were also upset because the WC was orginally to be played in Czechoslovakia, but it was moved because of the political situation. What happened after Czechoslovakia defeated USSR was just a sign that people there were still alive. But about the protests, in Prague and I think Bratislava as well there actually were Stb agents at the protests and there are rumours that it was them who provoked the demonstrants to throw stones and such into the windows of headquarters of the Communist party.
    All this is true. But as I write, the riots in the streets that followed the hockey games in late March 1969--especially the ranksacking of the Aeroflot office in Prague--was used as pretext to finally remove Dubcek from office a few weeks later in April


    Quote Originally Posted by jaaa View Post
    Kartsen, I found this on youtube, it´s short clip og Joze Golonka´s memories an some footage from the game and the return of the players to Czechoslovakia. Last summer, a Slovak Tv TA3 had a 10 minute documentary about the 1969 games, I´ll tr y to digg that up somewhere.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfTL1FF0xX0
    Yes, I have seen this clip and I urge everybody to watch it. Look at how the Czechoslovakian players wrecking the USSR cage and almost physically assaulting the goaltender after they score.

    I would very much like see the 10 min doc. There is very little footage from this game on the internet.

    We have just have the 40 year anniversary of the games in 69, and on this occassion new details have been added on various Czech and Slovak news site. But I couldn't find any video clips.

  23. #23
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    wow, did I open a can of worms, or what?! Karsten, thanks for the detailed stories, they are great. I have some knowledge as my Father was born in Bratislava although he was already living in Canada in 1954. I would agree that the 1969 games CZ-USSR were way more politically charged than what we experienced in the 1972 summitt. Canada had pride to lose, thats all. For CZ, it was much more a reality of life.

  24. #24
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz
    In fairness, instead of making it sound like Hockey Canada pulled out arbitrarily, you should also note why Canada pulled out, irrespective of your personal views on it's justification.T

    his is the first I have ever heard of this theory. There is more to it that this, and I am surprised you are spinning it this way when you normally have more detailed information on other matters regarding IIHF history, just as your other rich content posts in this thread. When I researched this for another thread on this topic 5 years ago, this is what I came up with: http://www.internationalhockey.net/f...=5405#post5405

    Jazz, the true story about what happened in 1970 has never been told on the internet. You may find links to sites that may seem authoritative, for instance this - but they are usually deadwrong about what really happened. Even the IIHF's website to which you refer doesn't get the story right.

    The IIHF is not an autoritative source. There are hockey researchers out there who have far more knowledge about hockey history than the officials in the IIHF. The IIHF's own archives are anything but complete.

    Now, I have argued at length that there are different sides to the story about what went on around 1970. There is the one-dimensional story that Canada was cheated by the IIHF for not allowing professional players to the IHWC. And then there is the richer and contextual story that has been lost.

    I have already evolved around this richer contextual story which includes the European federations' attitudes to amateurism. As I pointed out these attitudes go a long way back and they only really started to change in the 1970s. No hypotheses here. It's a fact.

    Again: The short of the long contextual story of what really happened was that that Canada in the 60s struggled to come to terms with the fact that Canadian hockey was no longer superior.

    When it became clear that the Allan Cup winner no longer could beat the European teams, Canada invented the team Canada program (1963) in the runup to the 1964 Olympics. Team Canada was a development program organized by Father Bauer, and it gave the opportunity to young talented players to concentrate fully on hockey by playing extensively against European national teams on European as well as Canadian ground. As pointed out, team Canada usally travelled extensively from September to March every season, and the notion that they were amateurs should be taken with a heavy grain of salt. Its not completely wrong to say that they were in fact state-professionals.
    The players (age: early to late 20s) were usually extremely talented and several of them made it to the NHL or WHA and became all stars. Just to mention a few players from the late 60s team Canada: Ken Dryden, Ken Broderick, Wayne Stephenson, Gary Dineen, Barry McKenzie, Marshall Johnston, Bill Harris etc.

    The Father Bauer program did a lot of good things to forge the needed transatlantic links, but unfortunately it wasn't good enough for Canada. For the simple reason that the team didn't win any gold medals. Like the Allan Cup winners, team Canada couldn't really compete with the USSR:

    At the 1967 IIHF Congress in Vienna, Canada was granted the right to host the 1970 IHWC.

    The decision was made at a time when USSR became stronger and stronger. In the 1967 IHWC, USSR skated to a perfect 7-0-0 record outscoring its opponents 58:9. In the Grenoble Olympics, USSR sealed the gold by easily beating team Canada 5-0.

    The further rise of the red machine caused a lot of concern among Canadian hockey officials. There was a strong sensation that the Father Bauer team wouldn't be able to do the job it was supposed to do in 1970: winning the IHWC on Canadian soil. USSR could only be beaten if the NHL professionals were brought on board.

    In Spring 1969, this led to a reorganization of team Canada. A new organization, Hockey Canada, was born and charged with the task of providing Canada with a more competitive team in the international arena. At the time, Hockey Canada was an association between various Canadian amateur organizations, the NHL and NHLPA. The inclusion of the NHL implied a much stronger Canadian voice to allow NHL players into the IHWC.

    The first urgent task of Hockey Canada was to forge such a deal with the IIHF so that Canada could play with NHL professionals in the 1970 IHWC.

    I have told the story about the incredible political atmosphere around the 1969 IHWC in Stockholm. This atmosphere play an important role in what happened (hence the need to adopt a contextual approach): The 1969 IIHF Congress took place in July a couple of month after Prague Spring had been put to a definitive end after the celebrations and riots in the Czechoslovakian streets had been smashed by the military.

    To be true, it wasn't the time to take on such a difficult issue as the status of professional players in the IHWC. But among many IIHF delegations there was also a wish for peace and recociliation.

    The Canadian delegation seized the moment and approached the other delegation in a friendly way, offering to various bribe (fully paid travels to the North America to watch NHL games, attending hockey seminars etc.) if the IIHF allowed the 1970 IHWC to become an open tournament with professional players. The European federations concurred, but several important issues were not discussed. Was the deal a one-off arrangement for the 1970 IHWC or was it a permanent arrangement? And would it have any bearing on the Olympics - a tournament that European federations prized much higher than the IHWC?

    In September 1969, the new season started and a reformed team Canada with five professional players landed in Europe. This team performed better than the teams in previous years. However, it didn't beat the Czechs in a series of five games played in Czechoslovakia. In Izvestia, team Canada again lost convincingly to CSSR (0-4) and barely edged DDR 5-4, but then created a huge sensation by tying USSR 2-2. Later in December, team Canada went on to beat USSR three times in a series of 5 on Canadian soil. Did this have any significance for what happened? Perhaps, perhaps not. In previous year, team Canada had also reached some good results, beating the Czechoslovakians and the Swedes. So I don't think it was as important as the IIHF story would like us to think.

    In January 1970, the IIHF held its bi-annual congress in Geneva. At the request of the major European federations (SWE, FIN, USSR and CSSR), this congress adressed the question as to what effect the open IHWC 1970 would have on the Olympic eligibility of the players involved. As we all know that Olympics were at the time only open for amateurs. How would the OIC react to this? Would the OIC sanction any player that had played in a World Championship where professionals were allowed?
    This question naturally arose the greatest concern among the European federations and time was too short to sort it out with the OIC. For this reason, the five European federations which had qualified for the 1970 IHWC (USSR, CSSR, SWE; FIN and DDR) refused to compete under the decision made at the IIHF congress in July.

    The Canadians were furious and walked out all together and with the IHWC only a couple of months away, the IIHF had to find a substitute host. Sweden reluctantly undertook the enterprise again, and attendance suffered since timely marketing arrangements could not be made.

    I believe this to be the most accurate account of what really took place. It has little to do with Russian fear for the NHL professionals (in fact it didn't take long before Canada and USSR started their talks on the Summit Series) and its complete false to blame the IIHF for being anti-Canadian. The true story is much more complex and subtle.

    --
    I understand the Canadians' frustration that the IIHF backtrapped on the decision from July '69. But if you ask me, Canada should also take a hard look at itself. What they did in July '69 seizing a difficult, but opportune moment to get their way (and with a lot of bribes) wasn't the smartest thing to do. No wonder it soon created problems when the European federations started to think about what they had been lurred into. On this background, I also believe that Canada overreacted at the biannual congress. Why not reach a compromise that the issue on professional players with a view to Olympic eligibility should be studied more carefully and the IHWC 70 be arranged as normal with "amateur" players? Canada naturally wanted the 1970 IHWC to become a success, but it could only become a success if the pro-players were allowed and Canada won the gold.
    Last edited by Karsten; 14-05-2009 at 18:58.

  25. #25
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Karsten, I appreciate and respect your last post with the well researched information. But I have some issues when you start calling Canada "chicken" for the 1970 scenario. Frankly, thats un-called for. Maybe what Canada reacted to was a reality. In the end, I agree that Canada was not happy to participate if it felt its best players were not allowed to compete. Thats not "chicken"; it is standing up for what you believe is right even if the methods as you suggested was not ideal.

  26. #26
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Karsten, I appreciate and respect your last post with the well researched information. But I have some issues when you start calling Canada "chicken" for the 1970 scenario. Frankly, thats un-called for. Maybe what Canada reacted to was a reality. In the end, I agree that Canada was not happy to participate if it felt its best players were not allowed to compete. Thats not "chicken"; it is standing up for what you believe is right even if the methods as you suggested was not ideal.
    And I like this attitude. But it doesn't work in the IIHF. IIHF is an international organization governed by the principles of diplomacy (with all this implies). Perhaps Canada, who had really never vested in the IIHF, didn't understand the rules of the game of the organization: that you don't dictate the rules, but that you give and take.

    The issue at stake--the eligibility of the IHWC players for the Olympics--was far too important for the European federations too accomodate the short-sigted Canadian interests concerning the 1970 IHWC.

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    Extremely interesting, thanks Karsten.
    Well, I'd say, politics & hockey - what a disgusting mixture. Soviet hockey did not have anything to do with Warsaw Pact tanks.
    One thing that shoked me on U21 2002(?) final in Pardubice (RUS-CAN-5:4) - I was alone Russian sitting among Czechs on the stands - they were rather rooting for Russia than for Canada!!
    I strongly appreciate that. Really, I do hope those days of revenge on ice are gone. Now that idea sounds at least ill-spirited.

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    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Thanks Andy, there may still be problems in certain border nations, but for a large part of Europe, I think this is history.

    I myself had a hate and love relations to CCCP hockey. I really hated them and rooted for any team that played against them, especially Czechoslovakia and Sweden. At the same time, I couldn't help appreciate how well and beautiful the red machine played and how much Soviet hockey did for the development of international hockey. It was amazing. My avatar is a tribute to one of the greatest players of CCCP of them all.

    After the Fall, I got a Russian girlfriend (from the forbidden city of Gorkij/Nizhny-Novgorod), and I learned a lot about Russia that I didn't know. Yes, I too have redeemed my hate.

  29. #29
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Just to expand a little on the topic:

    I find IIHF politics to be immensely interesting, but also immensely frustrating. In the eyes of the public, the organization present itself as a transparent and rule-governed organization. But the fact is there is very little consistency in its application of rules. Not a year goes by without the IIHF reverse previous decisions or make questionable application of its rules.

    The most controversial decision this year was the sudden reversal of the decision that the ECHL should be open for the smaller European IIHF members. Last year, the IIHF clearly erred in the Jason Holland case. Jason Holland was suspended, but the IIHF Directorate Council didn't forfeit Germany's 4-2 win over Slovakia. The IIHF rules clearly states that any wins played with eligible players should be forfeited if the wins has significance for the tournament. Clear cut case, but the IIHF Directorate ignored the legal rules, and the Norwegians were furious.

    Canada was one of the only countries that the suppored Norway. I have also noticed that Canada joined the seven European federations that complained about the IIHF's excessive spending on itself last year. In the past few years, I believe that Canada is one of the only big IIHF members that reliably defend the rules and principles. This doesn't negate my belief that Canada acted opportunistic back in 1969-70 and had a big responsibility for the problems created at that time, but I think it is important to mention this.
    Last edited by Karsten; 14-05-2009 at 01:36.

  30. #30
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Short story short for post #24 was the USSR gave Canada a good kick in the ass to be competitive again.

    I do believe what you say Karsten. If you have seen the movie Team Canada 1972 Summit Series, the researchers did a good foreshadowing of what was going on in Canada during the times. Also from documentaries I have seen that document the early 80's, Canadians was in a doldrum through not only economic times but their leisure sporting Canadian Teams weren't achieving anything in the early 80's. That all changed quickly as Team Canada's efforts for a bit over a decade to regain it's competitive nature 'overall' began coinciding with success and then came Gretzky.

    *Imagine if North America was divided in 62 countries, with say 50% being avid in Ice Hockey. That would certainly have made history more complex and interesting. Instead of two nations rooting for each other continentally or border wise, it would be more nations or something to that degree.
    Last edited by kun; 14-05-2009 at 06:25.

  31. #31
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Just to expand a little on the topic:

    I find IIHF politics to be immensely interesting, but also immensely frustrating. In the eyes of the public, the organization present itself as a transparent and rule-governed organization. But the fact is there is very little consistency in its application of rules. Not a year goes by without the IIHF reverse previous decisions or make questionable application of its rules.
    Sounds like the NHL....... :)

  32. #32
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Having investigated the issue further, I am now able to give a very detailed account of what happened in 1969/70.

    The long story I have submitted above is very solid, but there are more details, and some of the details are very important.

    I will write this post as notes to the long story above. When I have time, I will combine it all to a long article for our historical section on the news site.

    1. Canada didn't send a team to the 1969 IHWC. Here I am not able to give a detailed explanation. But there's no doubt that the establishment of Hockey Canada earlier that year provides the key. Either Hockey Canada decided not to send a team because the new organization was too busy with other issues (preparing the campaign for the open tournament) or it was a conscious decision.

    2. The Canadian delegation did however show up at the IIHF Congress during the difficult time in late March 69. It was here Canada raised the question on professionals in the IHWC. Canada didn't have any luck. The IIHF was in deep crisis with the conflict between USSR and Czechoslovakia with the war on ice and the demonstrations in Czechoslovakia.

    3. At the Summer Congress in July, Canada came back with a delegation of no less than 15 persons, headed by none other than NHL's president, Clarence Campbell. Campbell openly attempted to bribe the European federations with various offers such as inviting the nations' six best players to come to North America and watch NHL games (with everything paid for); he also invited the national coaches to come N.A. to attend seminars with the NHL coaches etc. The Canadian delegation furthermore showed a shortfilm (video didn't exists at that time) with the Canadian prime minister pledging for an open tournament with NHL players. The offers were not only given to the European A-nations but also to the nations in the B- and C-group. Their support were also needed for the proposal to go through.

    4. The IIHF nations, however, couldn't be bought. 20 delegated voted for the Canadian proposal for an open tournament, and 30 voted against. The Canadian proposal had fallen with an ordinary democratic vote!
    Canada, however, couldn't take no for an answer. A new bargaining process started, and in the end it was proposed:

    * to allow 9 professionals in each team,
    * provided that they weren't from the NHL!
    * and the players should furthermore have left professional hockey at least 6 weeks prior to the IHWC

    Nevertheless, the preference for amateurism was extremely strong in many European federations, big and small. When the new proposal was submitted for the IIHF Congress for discussion and a vote, the vote was exactly tied 25-25. Despite the fact that Canada's original proposal for an open tournament with NHL professionals had been completely washed out, the new proposal only gained 5 votes. This meant the IIHF president Bunny Ahearne's vote became decisive, and he voted "yes"

    And now comes perhaps the most significant puzzle in the story:

    4. During the Autumn of 1969, the IOC heard about the IIHF's decision. IOC's president, Avery Brundage, an American, who was strongly opposed to amateurs and professionals competing together, was very upset, and he made it clear to the IIHF that any violation of this code would jeopardize ice hockey's status as an olympic sport. In other words: Ice hockey would be taken off the Olympic program if IIHF carried out its decision in the 1970 World Championship.

    5. The IIHF had therefore no other choice than proceed as usual. The 1970 IHWC had to be an ordinary amateur tournament, and this is why an aninomous IIHF minus Canada called back the decision at the meeting on 3-4 January 1970.

    You can say, as ref72, that Canada stood up to principles, but had the other IIHF nations gone along, the consequence would have been that hockey would have been taken off the Olympic program.

    You can make your own judgements, but personally I think the Canadians' behavior was--lets be diplomatic--"very questionable". Any sensible hockey federation would have concurred that hockey's status as an Olympic sport should not be jeopardized. But perhaps, Hockey Canada had invested too much of its status and prestige on the homefront to bite the bullit?

    In any case, Canada wouldn't really have won anything even if the decision had been carried out. Hockey Canada could perhaps have talked some players into abandon their professional career (how many good pros would do this?), but Canada wouldn't in any case be able to showcase any of their NHL stars.

    In order for you to see that I don't make anything up here, I will provide a link that confirms the story. Last year, in fact, the IIHF finally got the story right in a part of their top 100 stories:

    http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/the-ii.../story-17.html
    Last edited by Karsten; 15-05-2009 at 03:05.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    1. Canada didn't send a team to the 1969 IHWC. Here I am not able to give a detailed explanation. But there's no doubt that the establishment of Hockey Canada earlier that year provides the key. Either Hockey Canada decided not to send a team because the new organization was too busy with other issues (preparing the campaign for the open tournament) or it was a conscious decision.
    Canada had a team at the 1969 IHWC. They finished 4th. That is, unless the book the IIHF published in 2008 to commemorate the centennial of the federation, World of Hockey: Celebrating a Century of the IIHF, is incorrect in its list of past IHWC tournaments.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz
    This is the first I have ever heard of this theory. There is more to it that this, and I am surprised you are spinning it this way when you normally have more detailed information on other matters regarding IIHF history, just as your other rich content posts in this thread. When I researched this for another thread on this topic 5 years ago, this is what I came up with: http://www.internationalhockey.net/f...=5405#post5405
    Just to follow up on this, pulling out the most significant parts of the story from that link

    The IIHF agreed to allow nine non-NHL pros to take part in each sanctioned tournament, which included the World Championships in 1970.
    No, it was only an experiment for the 1970 IHWC. Furthermore: the pros had to give up their professional status at least 6 weeks prior to the tournament, which in effect meant they had to violate their contracts (unless coming to terms with their clubs).

    This all unravelled, however, after the Canadians, with five non-NHL pros on their roster, finished a close second at the 1969 Izvestia Tournament in Russia, the IIHF suddenly changed the plan and forbade professional players from participating without forfeiting the Amateur status of the rest of Team Canada. Angered by this decision, Hockey Canada, the nation's newly formed hockey federation withdrew Canada from all international competition.


    As, I have noted, it is very doubtful that the Izvestia tournament had any influence on the IIHF's decision.

    Furthermore, the article suggest the it was IIHF vs Canada. This is wrong. The IIHF is an international organization and its members have different interests/preferences. The decision in July was razor-thin as the voting resulted in a tuie.

    More importantly, the IIHF didn't suddenly change the plan The European federations who had voted for the decision in July had a very good reason for changing their minds. The decision was reversed because the OIC threatened to take off ice hockey of the Olympic program.

    On a sidenote, this story which is full of false info and half-truths is the story presented to the Canadian public at http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/English/About/index.html, a website that is also used by educational institutions (the story can be found here. It's seemingly authoritative sites like this that reproduce the myth of the anti-Canadian slant in the IIHF.
    Last edited by Karsten; 15-05-2009 at 03:28.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post

    1. Canada didn't send a team to the 1969 IHWC. Here I am not able to give a detailed explanation. But there's no doubt that the establishment of Hockey Canada earlier that year provides the key. Either Hockey Canada decided not to send a team because the new organization was too busy with other issues (preparing the campaign for the open tournament) or it was a conscious decision.
    Nope, they were there. They finished 4th with a 4-6 record. Ken Dryden was one of the goalies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post

    And now comes perhaps the most significant puzzle in the story:

    4. During the Autumn of 1969, the IOC heard about the IIHF's decision. IOC's president, Avery Brundage, an American, who was strongly opposed to amateurs and professionals competing together, was very upset, and he made it clear to the IIHF that any violation of this code would jeopardize ice hockey's status as an olympic sport. In other words: Ice hockey would be taken off the Olympic program if IIHF carried out its decision in the 1970 World Championship.
    The thing was, former NHL players (who had regained their "amateur" status) had been competing in the World Championships for years, but were ineligible for the Olympics. No one in the IOC claimed that the pure amateurs had been "contaminated" by playing against the likes of Tod Sloan & Carl Brewer. Regarding Avery Brundage, here's something interesting from his Wiki page:

    Brundage is also remembered for proposing the elimination of all team sports from the Summer Olympics, fearing that the games would become too expensive for all but the wealthiest nations to host, and the elimination the Winter Olympics entirely due to its pro-European ideology.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avery_Brundage

  37. #37
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekayne View Post
    The thing was, former NHL players (who had regained their "amateur" status) had been competing in the World Championships for years, but were ineligible for the Olympics. No one in the IOC claimed that the pure amateurs had been "contaminated" by playing against the likes of Tod Sloan & Carl Brewer. Regarding Avery Brundage, here's something interesting from his Wiki page:

    Brundage is also remembered for proposing the elimination of all team sports from the Summer Olympics, fearing that the games would become too expensive for all but the wealthiest nations to host, and the elimination the Winter Olympics entirely due to its pro-European ideology.
    Not correct (highlighted in blue - see blue highlight below).

    I further believe you have entirely misunderstood the issues at stake.

    Sorry for saying this, but the text from the quote you highlight in bold is plain nonsense. In what way was the Winter Olympics dominated by a pro-European ideology, and what is a pro-European ideology anyway?

    Avery Brundage was a staunch defender of de Coubertin's Olympic ideals. These ideals derived from a synthesis of ancient Greek philosophy, Christianity and democratic cosmopolitanism. Occidential ideas for certain, but by no means confined only to Europe. De Coubertin's Olympism, however, was also formed by the ethos of the aristocracy, especially in the sense these ethos played out in the English universities and schools.

    The ethos of the aristocracy as exemplified in the English public schoolsgreatly influenced Pierre de Coubertin.The public schools subscribed to the belief that sport formed an important part of education, an attitude summed up in the saying mens sans sana in corpure sano, a sound mind in a sound body. In this ethos, a gentleman was one who became an all-rounder, not the best at one specific thing. There was also a prevailing concept of fairness, in which practicing or training was considered tantamount to cheating.Those who practiced a sport professionally were considered to have an unfair advantage over those who practiced it merely as a hobby
    There is a large body of scientific literature on Brundage's crucade for Coubertin's olympic ideals. If you want to study the issue further, I can make a list for you, but for starters you should read Guttmann (1984), The Games must go on. Average Brundage and the Olympic Movement. N.Y.: Columbia University Press.

    Avery Brundage, the president of the IOC, was a very dangerous man for the IIHF.

    It is true that he wanted to do away with the Winter Olympics entirely. In Brundage's mind, the Winter Olympics were not compatible with the fundamental olympic values of universalism and amateurism. Winter sports typically require snow, ice and mountains, and this makes them less than universal (in the 50's as little as 16 nations competed in the Winter OGs). He further argued that the Winter Olympics had "completely outgrown little mountain villages" and since nearly all the events cannot be held in any city they have to be scattered in the neighborhood and the intemate charm of a small winter resort is lost" (cf. Brundage, 1971/72, The Olympic Story, ch. 6).

    Most importantly, Brundage rejected any contamination of the amateur ideals of olympism. In a letter to the members of OIC as late as 1971, Brundage wrote that if the values and objectives of amateurism were removed, the "Olympic ideals would collapse like a card of house". "Amateur sport is the only kind of sport there is, because if it isn't sport - it is business".

    After WWII, alpine skiing became a mass sport that promised enormous profits for the ski industry. In Brundage's mind, skiing was becoming a business. That's one of the reasons why he wanted to do away with the winter olympics, but he also referred to the case of "ice hockey and its pseudo-amateurs".

    Brundage lost his battle against the Winter Olympics at the IOC congress in Rome in 1960, but he was supported by a majority in the IOC in his defence for amateurism. Brundage was a purist, but he was just following IOC's line from the pre-WWII years. In 1935, the IOC decided to disqualify skiiers who worked parttime as skiing instructors from the Garmisch-Partenkirschen Olympics even though their international federation, FIS, regarded them as amateurs. At the 1936 Winter Olympics, FIS announced that the federation would not participate in the 1940 Winter Olympics unless the IOC changed its amateur definition. At the 1937 IOC Congress in Warsaw, this led to a vote on whether the winter olympics should be abolished all together. The only member that voted for an abolishment was Brundage's predecessor and mentor, the IOC president Sigfred Edström. But the IOC agreed not to change its definition on amateurism, and this led the FIS to decide not to participate in the 1940 Olympics. This, of course, came to nothing since the Winter Olympics in 1940 never took place.

    Brundage's predecessors, Henry Baillet-Latour and Sigfred Edström also frequently criticized the winter sports for not meeting the olympic values of amateurism, and as we have seen, Brundage certainly wasn't the first OIC president who favoured doing away with the Winter Olympics.

    The IOC thus had a particular watchful eye with the winter olympic sports. At the 1972 Sapporo Olympics, the IOC banned the famous Austrian alpine skier, Karl Schrantz because he had been photographed during a football game wearing a T-shirt with a coffee advertisement printed on. IOC's banning of Karl Schrantz was meant to set an example.

    Brundage, himself, had a particular watchful eye with the contamination of hockey as an olympic sport. And the IIHF was aware of this. More than aware. I will not go into great lengths about what happened in the 1948 Olympics where Brundage showed up with his own U.S. team as part of his crucade against the AHA. I believe its sufficent to quote from Alfred Senns' Power, Poltics and the Olympic Games, p. 78:

    At the height of the controversy, Edstrøm wanted to compromise, but Brundage vigorously backed the AAU ]his own team, named by the U.S. Olympic committee]. As far as Brundage was concerned, the issue concerned the "purity of the Games". He considered his opponents to be engaging in politics and legalistic quibbling, and he even threatened to pull the American athletes out of the Games. The dispute struck in Brundage's craw for years; in his official report on the Games, he argued that hockey should be dropped from the Olympic program "until there is an international housecleaning in this sport"
    The Swiss organizers recognized the AHA team and only allowed AAU team to take part in the opening parade. But they were overruled by the IOC which cancel the hockey tournament alltogether until the AAU team was disallowed from participate officially. In 1949, the OIC decided to break all contact with the IIHF until it firmly recognized OIC's eligibility rules. This only happened in 1951 after a long series of events.

    Thus, when the IOC exerted pressure on the IIHF in late 1969, it was not the first time it had been threatened that hockey would be removed from the Olympic program unless the IHWC remained an impeccable amateur tournament. The danger was clear and present during the long period leading up to the mid-1970s.

    Brundage was initially also outright against Soviet Union's participation in the Olympics, and for two reasons: The USSR politicized the Olympics--Brundage was as much against politicization as commercialism--and the Soviet athletics were not real amateurs.

    In a letter to Edstrøm in 1950, Brundage wrote: "From all reports the best Russian athletes are state proteges with all sorts of special concessions and rewards. They certainly are not amateurs." Brundage thus feared that the USSR would show up at the 1952 Olympics in Oslo and Helsinki. In his letter to Edstrøm, he wrote that "it is possible that we will have the most serious problem confronting us in 1952 (Senn, pp. 91-92).

    A year later, Brundage's greatest fear became a reality when USSR formally requested admission to the Olympic family. This was at the height of the cold war with the war going on in Korea. Nobody in the Olympic committee voted against USSR's entry, but Brundage abstained from voting.

    For some time, Brundage continued to disapprove the Soviet "state amateurs", and as result the USSR and their allies opposed Brundage's candidacy for the OIC presidency in 1952. Brundage barely won the election after no less than 24 rounds of voting. During the time, Edstrøm wrote to a letter to Brundage: "My dear Avery, the Russians and Hungarians are after your scalp!". And Brundage responded: "If these people do not know Olympic rules and regulations, it is time they learned, and if they are not going to respect them, it is time we learned" (Senn, p. 93).

    In the years after Stalin's death, Brundage's view on the state athletics mellowed. He came to see them as a necesssary evil who were no worse than the North American system of financial support for collegiate athletics, of which he equally strongly disapproved. (Sen, p. 94).

    In effect, in the Winter Olympics of 1964 and 1968, Brundage saw no difference between the USSR "state amateurs" and team Canada who trained and played hockey full-time during most of the year. This is a side that seems to be totally forgotten in the Canadian media.

    The Canadian media and Canadian writers also stubbornly stick to a doubtful thesis as the reason for why he IIHF decided to backtrack on its decision from July 69 to allow professionals in the 1970 IHWC. According to this thesis, it was Canada's surprising 2nd place in the Izvestia tournament in December that caused alarm in the IIHF.

    This thesis is anything but watertight. First, The Izvestia tournament in 69 was not the first time team Canada made an impressive result. In 1967, team Canada won the Centennial tournament in Winnipeg beating USSR twice (5-2 and 5-4 in the final) as well as Czechoslovakia (5-3 in round robin). Second, during the Izvestia tournament as well as the series vs USSR and CSSR in Canada in late december, Canada was enforced by several NHL'ers and AHL'ers, incl. Billy Harris (Toronto Maple Leafs), Barry McKenzie (Minnesota North Stars), Bobby Lepage (Montreal, AHL) and Michel Poirier (Montreal, AHL) -- several of which were former team Canada members with "amateur" status; third, no NHL'ers were allowed in the 1970 IHWC so the results of the games couldn't be taken that serious.

    Canada was also enforced by Brian Conachar, another former team Canada player who had retired from NHL (Toronto Maple Leafs) and hockey in late 1968 (age only 27). As Conacher writes in his book, As the Puck Turns, he became interested in resuming his hockey career and playing for team Canada when he heard that "Canada was finally going to be permitted to use reinstated professionals in international hockey" (Conacher, p. 7). Since his retirement, he had been in touch with father Bauer, and he had no troubles being let into the team (Conacher, p. 7).

    Conacher is for several reasons an interesting person in this story. He became a member of the first team Canada in 1963-64, while officially being enrolled at the University of Western Ontario (a prime example of the western state professionals to which Brundage referred). After Canada's disappointing 4th place at the 1964 Olympics, Conacher and others sounded the first warnings about how good the Soviet players were.

    from Legends of Hockey:
    Despite Conacher's contention that they were on a par with NHL players, his words fell on deaf ears. Those who chose to listen, simply laughed at the notion. Ironically, eight years later Conacher was the television colour commentator for the famous 1972 Canada-Soviet Union Summit Series as all of Canada got to see first-hand just how strong the Russians were. Nobody was laughing during or after the conclusion of the hard-fought eight game series, narrowly won by Team Canada.
    http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/...p?player=12303
    It was exactly this (Conacher and the other former team Canadian players, now playing in the NHL and AHL, and the fact that Canada played with many NHL prospects*) that caught Avery Brundage's attention.

    Just for a moment, let's recapitulate the July decision: a) the teams were allowed up to 9 professional players provided a) that they weren't NHL'ers and b) they have regained amateur status at least 6 weeks before the 1970 IHWC.

    Avery and IOC rightly feared that players could move in and out of professional leagues, regained their amateur status before the olympics, and resuming their professional careers after the olympics. And the after-events did indeed prove them right: Brian Conacher, a former NHL'er who had amateur status during his renewed tenure for team Canada in 1969 did resume his NHL-career in 1971.

    After having checked up further on it, the story I have given has been verified by several sources, incl. IIHF and even Conacher himself (p. 9):

    Then on January 5, 1970, after our game with the Czechoslovakian national team in Ottawa Civic Centre, John Munro, the federal minister responsible for sports, walked into our dressing room, accompanied by Gordon Juckes, the chairman of CAHA; and Father Bauer. Munro explained the position of the IIHF and IOC: Canada's current Nats, a mixed amateur-professional team, would contaminate and jeopardize the eligibility of amateur players for the Olympics if play continued against eachother.
    As Marc Branchu, a wellknown international hockey researcher, who is also a member of this site has confirmed:

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc
    It was IOC's interpretation of what was professional/amateur. IIHF only followed the steps for a few years, not to begin a fight with IOC and risk suspensions.

    Press readings from 1970 are interesting : Swedish press crirticzed both IOC attitude and IIHF cowardice, while Canadian press put all the blame on IIHF, totally forgetting IOC role.

    http://forums.internationalhockey.ne...07&postcount=7


    ------------

    *) On the Canadian team in December 69, Conacher, himself a member of the team notes:
    "The team was made up of players who were part of the Nats program, such as Ken Dryden, Fran Huck, Terry O'Malley and Chick Lefley. Most players on the team were highly regarded NHL prospects; there were also some top-senior players" (Conachar, As the Puck Turns, p. 8)
    Last edited by Karsten; 16-05-2009 at 19:26.

  38. #38
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Sorry for saying this, but the text from the quote you highlight in bold is plain nonsense. In what way was the Winter Olympics dominated by a pro-European ideology, and what is a pro-European ideology anyway?

    Avery Brundage
    I agree the quoted text which is written in wikipedia (public edits) sounds uninformative.
    Wikipedia should only be considered as a second source material for educated guesses and not concrete beliefs. It should be your only source if you can't find any material on the internet or as a means to direct your to other sources if required.

    Avery Brundage sounds like a man from his times. Completely unaware of what the future held and frankly close minded. Thankfully, the IOC does vote on a political system. Avery Brundage being a 'purist' or feeling like his ideals represent a purist format, is exactly what is wrong with officials. Each organization or person with their own ideals, and in Karstens case, he presents a strong history how Hockey Canada's purist ideals were suddenly jolted.

    This is the history, and I think Karsten presented a very accurate detail of what happened during these short years and the people who were in charge. It is also good to consider that the people making these decisions were probably in their 30's to 60's born between 1905 and 1935. These were people of an era, that were colliding with a new generation of change that started taking place internationally throughout the world internationally both politically and in sports. People who find their values change will do whatever it takes to protect them.

  39. #39
    IHF Member bekayne's Avatar
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    I agree with much of what you had written. I quoted the excerpt from Wiki because I thought that Brundage's antipathy toward the Winter Olympics was relevant.

    [QUOTE=Karsten;150120]
    Avery and IOC rightly feared that players could move in and out of professional leagues, regained their amateur status before the olympics, and resuming their professional careers after the olympics. And the after-events did indeed prove them right: Brian Conacher, a former NHL'er who had amateur status during his renewed tenure for team Canada in 1969 did resume his NHL-career in 1971.

    The reason I mentioned Carl Brewer was that after a dispute with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he regained his "amateur" status & played in the 1967 World Championships, then went back to the NHL. However, most of his team mates from 1967 went on to play for Canada in the 1968 Olympics-none of them had been "contaminated" nor had any of the amatuers from other countries who played against him (or Jackie McLeod, Red Bownass, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, the Warwicks or any other re-instated "amateur" of the 1950s or 60s). The point must be made that eligibility for the Olympics & eligibility for the IIHF World Championships are two completely different things, goverened soley by their respective bodies. Players could not move in and out of professional leagues, regained their amateur status before the olympics, and resuming their professional careers after the olympics unless the IOC allowed it. Re-instated "amateurs" like the ones I mentioned earlier had been competing in the World Championships for years & it was well understood by everyone that they were ineligible for the Olympics.
    A mention also must be made of Olympic football (soccer). If playing against re-instated "amateurs" would jeopardize the Olympic status of European countries, then why did Eastern European soccer players not have their Olympic status compromised by playing in World Cups & European Championships against full professionals? Brundage may have been able to intimidate the IIHF but not FIFA. So what was the principle that he was trying to protect?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bekayne View Post
    A mention also must be made of Olympic football (soccer). If playing against re-instated "amateurs" would jeopardize the Olympic status of European countries, then why did Eastern European soccer players not have their Olympic status compromised by playing in World Cups & European Championships against full professionals? Brundage may have been able to intimidate the IIHF but not FIFA. So what was the principle that he was trying to protect?
    Avery Brundage called for a ban for football exactly like he did about ice hockey, his attitude was the same.
    The only difference if that football didn't need Olympic games ; ice hockey did.

    http://books.google.fr/books?id=g9jg...cad=0#PPA16,M1
    see Part I, chapter 3, page 16
    That's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekayne View Post
    I agree with much of what you had written. I quoted the excerpt from Wiki because I thought that Brundage's antipathy toward the Winter Olympics was relevant.

    The reason I mentioned Carl Brewer was that after a dispute with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he regained his "amateur" status & played in the 1967 World Championships, then went back to the NHL. However, most of his team mates from 1967 went on to play for Canada in the 1968 Olympics-none of them had been "contaminated" nor had any of the amatuers from other countries who played against him (or Jackie McLeod, Red Bownass, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, the Warwicks or any other re-instated "amateur" of the 1950s or 60s). The point must be made that eligibility for the Olympics & eligibility for the IIHF World Championships are two completely different things, goverened soley by their respective bodies. Players could not move in and out of professional leagues, regained their amateur status before the olympics, and resuming their professional careers after the olympics unless the IOC allowed it. Re-instated "amateurs" like the ones I mentioned earlier had been competing in the World Championships for years & it was well understood by everyone that they were ineligible for the Olympics.
    A mention also must be made of Olympic football (soccer). If playing against re-instated "amateurs" would jeopardize the Olympic status of European countries, then why did Eastern European soccer players not have their Olympic status compromised by playing in World Cups & European Championships against full professionals? Brundage may have been able to intimidate the IIHF but not FIFA. So what was the principle that he was trying to protect?
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Avery Brundage called for a ban for football exactly like he did about ice hockey, his attitude was the same.
    The only difference if that football didn't need Olympic games ; ice hockey did.

    http://books.google.fr/books?id=g9jg...cad=0#PPA16,M1
    see Part I, chapter 3, page 16

    Bekayne, Marc is right that Brundage make no difference between football and hockey. This is pointed out numerous times in the academic litterature which you should study.

    As for the key passage in your post highlighted in bold, I think you are missing the point: the fact that IIHF eligibility rules were no longer compatible with the IOC's set of rules after the decisions at the IIHF congress in July 1969.

    In 1969, the IIHF made a rule change explicitly allowing up to 9 professional players, provided they have reinstated their amateur status at least 6 week before the IHWC.

    The new set of rules implied that IIHF's eligibility rules were no longer compatible with those of the IOC. Exactly the same sort of conflict which the IOC had with FIS in thé 1930s. And Brundage made it clear to the IIHF that the IOC would enforce the IOC rules as vigoruously as ever: If the IIHF held on to their new eligibility rules, all players (professionals and amateurs) playing in the IHWC would not be eligible for the Olympics.

    It is also important to mention that Brundage didn't mind amateur teams playing against professionals in other events (for instance charity games, or encounters such as the Summit Series of 72), but the IOC would not allow this in IIHF sanctioned events such as the IIHF World Championship.

    I have found the transcript from a press conference with Brundage on 23 February 1970, a few weeks after the fateful meeting in IIHF that led Canada to pull out all together. I will quote the transcript at length:

    Question: Can you say what happened with the Canadian Ice Hockey Association delegation?

    Brundage: This is a much broader question than the Canadian problem. This is a question which concerns the entire sport of Ice Hockey. The Canadian problem is only part of it .

    Question: What is the IOC position regarding Ice Hockey matches between amateurs and professionals?

    Brundage: The IOC has no rule forbiding such matches and probably never will have, the reason being that under certain conditions there is no objection to participationof amateurs and professionals. The question was that if the sport of Ice Hockey has opened its world championship to professionals it has to be taken into serious consideration by the IOC.

    For example, at times there are competitions between amateurs and professionals for the benefit of Olympic funds or for charity and these are not objected to if the match is properly controlled. But when a world championship is opened to professionals it is a very serious change to which the IOC would have to give grave consideration.

    Question: Will the Canadians risk their Olympic status? Have they asked for a written ruling on this question?

    Brundage: This is what we told them. We told the Ice Hockey Federation that it was a new situation which will have to be studied by the IOC. In football, for example, where the world cup is open to professionals, none of the participants are eligible to the Olympic Games and I told them that the IOC would probably take the same stand in the case of hockey.

    Question: Is that what you are going to recommend to the Session?

    Brundage: Yes.

    http://www.la84foundation.org/Olympi...e29/ore29e.pdf -

    I believe this fully explains IOC's position. It was IIHF's change of eligibility rules that alarmed Brundage, and Brundage made it clear to the IIHF that the IOC would take the same position as in football: none of the participants (professionals and amateurs) would be eligible for the Olympics.
    Last edited by Karsten; 16-05-2009 at 15:26.

  42. #42
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    Karsten, your research is tremendous. I'm learning a LOT from reading this thread, and I just want to say thanks to all of you who have posted here (and please don't stop). This is one of the best reads this forum has ever had.

  43. #43
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    Thanks, steigs, yes, it turned out to be quite detailed, and far more detailed than I would have liked. You know, I have other and more important things to deal with.

    But just to round it off:

    More extract from the press conference with Brundage in February 1970:

    Question: You personally believe that professionals and amateurs should meet only in charity games?

    Brundage: I said that it was possible with indivividual matches between amateurs and professionals for laudible purposes and I did not think there could be any legitimate objection, but when you open the whole sport to professionals that is a quite different thing.

    Question: After the meeting yesterday with Mr. Dawson, he gave the impression that he was awaiting an opinion from you. Did you give him this opinion yesterday?

    Brundage: We told him we would discuss the whole question of Ice Hockey at our coming Session in Amsterdam. I told him I personally had been following the sport of ice hockey for 40 years living quite close to Canada and I see their problem and have sympathy for them

    Question: Is what you told us exactly the answer you gave them yesterday?

    Brundage: We told them just what I told you. That we were going to study the whole subject, that we had no rule prohibiting competitions between amateurs and professionals but I repeat what I said that when a sport throws open its world championships it is different. If you go back into history 20 or 30 years you will find that the recognition of the International Ice Hockey Federation was withdrawn until it promised to follow Olympic regulations


    http://www.la84foundation.org/Olympi...e29/ore29e.pdf -

    Re the text highlighted in red, Brundage indirectly refers to the crisis between the IOC and IIHF in the late 40s. As I said, I will not go into lengths about the rich and colourful events that took place at that time. I might as well then write a whole book.

    But very short: The fact that the North American teams were not true amateurs. For instance, the U.S. AHA team that the IIHF recognized at the 1948 Olympics were paid players (in 1947 IHWC, USA played with a combined team where several of the players were also semi-professionals; the split between AHA and AAU already started in 1946) led at first the IOC to exclude the hockey tournament from the official Games. This in turn forced the IIHF to exclude the AHA team from the official hockey tournament.
    In the next years, the conflict between the IIHF and IOC became wildly open. In 1949, the XXXIII IOC session in stockholm decided to break off all relations with the IIHF and in 1951, at its biannual congress (March) in Paris, the IIHF decided not to participate in the Winter Olympics anymore. Half a year later, at the XXXV IOC session in Abbazia-Opatija in Romania, the IIHF finally bowed to the IOC.

    In Canada, it is widely believed that it was the IIHF that prevented Canada from competing on equal footing with the USSR. That's a myth. Since the 1946-51 conflict, the IIHF was kept on a short leash by the IOC. Though Brundage was forced to take a more relaxed attitude towards state professionals, he never really accepted this. At late as the 1972 Sapporo Olympics, he was reported to make sanctions against the Soviet ice hockey team but was restrained by other OIC members.

    Sweden (like Canada) did not participate in the 1976 Winter Olympics for the reason that Sweden could no longer even play with their Elitserien players (Elitserien was established in 1975 as a professional league).

    The conflicts between the IOC and IIHF continued into the 1980s. The Sarajevo Olympics thus led to a new conflict over eligibility rules. The IOC ruled that any player who had signed a professional contract was ineligible while the IIHF ruled ineligible only those players who had played in a professional game. The Canadian hockey federation had its own definition, apparently cleared by the IIHF, which stated that a player was eligible if he had not played more han 10 NHL games.

    In 1985, then, the IOC finally loosened up as the IOC's executive board approved a plan to establish an age limit of 23 for participants in hockey and football (again: the two sports were treated on an equal footing). In the IOC, this led to immediate opposition, led by USSR and its allies, and the IOC backed off, instead coming up with a plan for a code whereby the competitors simply agreed to observe their respective federation's conditions. Again, the USSR led a protest, but in October 1986, the IOC approved the admission of professionals in football and ice hockey. The 1988 Olympics in Calgary was therefore opened for NHL players, but now the NHL became the stumbling block as no NHL team was allowed to led their players leave the roster for 2 weeks of the Olympic tournament in February.

    Finally, for those of you who are interested, I urge you to go through the OIC's huge archieve of documents and minutes from its meetings.

    In this archive you will find strong evidence that Bunny Ahearne and former IIHF presidents indeed fought very hard against the IOC's tight eligibility rules


    Just to give you some examples:

    • Minutes from IOC's Executive Board Meeting, 27-28 January 1968:

    p. 8: Mr. Ahearne declared that at any rate the present IOC definition of an amateur was not satisfactory.

    • Minutes of the Conference of the Execuive Board, Athens 16 June 1961

    Mr. Ahearne (Ice-Hockey) is of the opinion that each International Federation should have its own set of rules which must be observed and applied by the national federations. A world charter is in itself an utopia. International sport must remain neutral but it is essential to be most realistic when elaborating this convention. It must not be adopted if all the clauses have not been submitted to a thorough investigation.
    Mr. Brundage thinks that Mr. Ahearne takes too gloomy a view of the international sport situation


    • Minutes of the Conference of the Execuive Board, Gene 8 February 1963
    ,
    p. 2 Mr. Ahearne (Ice Hockey) is under the impression that we want to define a thing impossible to define. Amateurism is a state of mind. Any rule on amateurism is hard to enforce. Sanctions have been envisaged. In this case, they should be applied not on the athlete but on the national or international bodies concerned. The concept of amateurism is above or outside any rules
    Last edited by Karsten; 16-05-2009 at 21:26.

  44. #44
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    So to conclude:

    1. The IIHF is certainly not to be blamed for the World Championship being less popular than U20 in Canada.

    2. The history is long and rich with events. What is surprising at first is that Canada reacted so strongly to the IIHF's resolution of January 1970. Though it's hypothetically possible, I find it hard to believe that Hockey Canada wasn't aware of the IOC's strong position on the issue. Hockey Canada should have known that when they opened their campaign for an open tournament at the IIHF congress in March 1969, they engaged in an impossible combat. And this lead me to conclude that the Canadian officials were desperate because it was unlikely that a team Canada with amateurs/state professionals would be able to accomplish its mission to win the gold in the first world championship held on Canadian ground. When they finally lost the battle in January 1970, Canada had no other option than to pull out and retreat. They left the battle ground--the IIHF and IHWC--completely shattered. As I have said from the beginning, their campaign did little else than to jeopardize the IIHF World Championship and ice hockey olympics as an institution.


    Regarding the latter conclusion, allow me to quote a speech held by the renowned Canadian sports editor, Andy O'Brien, held on 14 April 1970 at the Toronto Advertising & Sales Luncheon:

    We cancelled the 1970 tournament for Canada - and I ]dont' believe it necessary to dwell
    at length on the why of it beyond this:

    We pressed for Open Hockey or, at least, the use of nine professional players on our team... When
    opposition developed, led by Russia we picked up our marbles and said we won't play with you
    Europeans anymore, so there!

    From my viewpoint, our impressive achivement can be compared only to that of a triumphant bigwig boasting about reserving the best suite on the Titanic. Either Canada achieved a resounding victory of some sort, or we've been subjected to cock-eyed thinking. I class it in the latter bracket - pure, unadulterated cock-eyed thinking.

    The key mistake was made by the CAHA one and a half years ago when the suggestion of including professionals in our lineup was first made... a thorough check of the consequences should have preceded any announcement... a phone call to Mr. Avery Brundage, President of the International Olympic Committee, would have verified a fact of life obvious to anybody who can read - that inclusion of such professionals in tournament play would have automatically barred Canadian amateurs playing with them as well as all opposing players from future participation in the Olympics.
    From Olympic Review, No 36, September 1970
    http://www.la84foundation.org/Olympi...e36/ore36j.pdf
    Last edited by Karsten; 17-05-2009 at 01:24.

  45. #45
    IHF Member bekayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Thank you for all the information. From the link above that you provided, I found the following quote form Brundage:
    In football, for example,
    where the world cup is open to professionals, none of the
    participants are eligible to the Olympic Games and I told
    them that the IOC would probably take the same stand in
    the case of hockey.
    That is not completely true. Here's an early example
    http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/bobek-intlg.html

    Another is the Bulgarian, Evgeni Yanchovski, who played in the 1968 Olympics after being a (non-playing) squad member of the 1966 World Cup team. Most relevant is the 1972 USSR Olympic squad, of which 6 members had previously played at either the 1970 or 1966 World Cups. Did the rules change between 1970 and 1972?

  46. #46
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    I have little to add on the topic of this thread. I don't think the question you ask is relevant for this thread (or board in general). Besides, the question is quite complicated and cannot be answered in a few sentences if you want a detailed explanation.

    Instead of asking questions, why don't you start studying the relationship between FIFA and OIC? There's a large body of academic litterature out there. I'm sure you will find all the answers to your questions.

  47. #47
    IHF Member Lvivske's Avatar
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    U20 = Best of that age group / many potential NHL stars and draft picks competing
    WCs = Leftovers from the playoffs, not a legitimate national tournament. Wannabe Olympics. Period.

    Why is this even being discussed?

  48. #48
    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lvivske View Post
    U20 = Best of that age group / many potential NHL stars and draft picks competing
    WCs = Leftovers from the playoffs, not a legitimate national tournament. Wannabe Olympics. Period.

    Why is this even being discussed?
    You're going to find a strong opposition against that statement.

    I'll just say that not everyone in the U20 makes it into pro leagues either. WC's has pro level athletes competing that juniors could only dream of accomplishing or becoming.

  49. #49
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser_matias
    Canada had a team at the 1969 IHWC. They finished 4th. That is, unless the book the IIHF published in 2008 to commemorate the centennial of the federation, World of Hockey: Celebrating a Century of the IIHF, is incorrect in its list of past IHWC tournaments.
    Sorry for overlooking this.

    Yes, my mistake. I was sitting with the report from the 1967 IHWC congress, and checked up on the wrong IHWC (1970 instead of 1969).

    But a related note on this: Besides deciding that Canada should host the 1970 IHWC, the 1967 congress decided to introduce an extra round of games by 1969. Until then, the IHWC had been decided in a single round robin by 8 teams.

    By 1969 IHWC was reduced to 6 teams that played a total of 10 games (2x5 games). In IIHF quarters it was hoped that this would make the tournament more competitive and difficult to win the the USSR. But Tarasov (USSR's head coach) warned that this would make the Russians even stronger since they were in better physical conditions than the other teams. How the new rule influenced the outcome of the IHWC between 1969 and 1976 is an interesting topic in itself. Maybe we can discuss this some other time.
    Last edited by Karsten; 17-05-2009 at 03:19.

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