Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/31/12 at 09:44 AM ET
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Led by team manager Alan Eagleson, head coach Harry Sinden and assistant John Ferguson, Team Canada invites 35 NHL elite players (excluding WHA superstars) to training camp in Toronto in mid-August of 1972.
PHIL ESPOSITO: We were called Team Canada, which I didn’t agree with. I said it at the very first meeting. I thought we should be called Team NHL, because they didn’t let Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe play.
RON ELLIS: It was very cumbersome there were that many players in camp, but the that was so we had competitive intra-squad games. The little carrot they dangled for players was that if you came to camp, everyone would play at least one game in the series. They assumed like everyone else in Canada we’d win the majority of the games, if not all, and it would be very easy to move people in and out of the lineup. That proved to be a mistake, because the Russians were that good.
ROD GILBERT: Everybody was promised one game, but there were too many of us. 35 guys and everyone had to get in a game. Once they found that winning recipe in Toronto in Game 2 we could have stuck with the lineup, but everyone had to get into a game.
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