Players from legendary 1972 Canada-USSR Summit Series unveil stamp of unforgettable goal, visit with RCAF’s 17 Wing
Stamp is eighth of 10 that revisit exceptional moments of the last 50 years, as country celebrates Canada 150
CFB WINNIPEG – Canada Post May 31st unveiled its latest Canada 150 stamp by uniting legendary players who wore this country’s flag as members of Team Canada 1972 with proud Canadians who take the Maple Leaf to the skies as members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The players included Pat Stapleton, who chairs the board of Team Canada 1972, and Bobby Clarke, Yvan Cournoyer, Pete Mahovlich, Frank Mahovlich, Eddie Johnston, Brad Park, Wayne Cashman and Jean Ratelle. Sean Goldsworthy (representing his father Bill Goldsworthy) and John Ferguson Jr. (representing his father John Ferguson) also participated.
Together with Colonel Andy Cook, 17 Wing Winnipeg Commander, they unveiled a stamp celebrating the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union – chosen as one of the unforgettable moments since the country’s centennial in 1967. It is the eighth of 10 such moments being celebrated in stamps to mark Canada 150. (Photo below by John Kristalovich/Canada Post)
No other hockey series – before or since – galvanized Canada like it did, or changed the game of hockey to the same extent. The eight-game series – which included a 4-4 tie played in Winnipeg – was a roller-coaster ride that the entire country took together, from cocky confidence to despair, to a hard-fought, dying-seconds victory.
The series assembled our best National Hockey League players, and for the first time, a national team was named Team Canada. They were pitted against the Soviet Union’s national team, who had been world and Olympic champions nine times in the previous 10 years. Fans and media expected a low-key, lopsided victory for Canada – eight games, eight wins. By the end of the second period in Game One, the out-of-shape and badly outplayed Canadian players realized they were in “a dogfight” for hockey supremacy. After playing four games in Canada, Team Canada had one win, one tie and two losses – and was booed by the fans during the game in Vancouver. That triggered a famous post-game speech by team captain Phil Esposito scolding the country on national television.
When they arrived in Moscow for the final four games, Team Canada and the 3,000 fans who made the trip found themselves in another kind of contest: one without referees. At the height of the Cold War, Soviet surveillance and suspicious activities, such as repeated phone calls to their hotel rooms in the middle of the night, injected a spy-novel atmosphere. The Canadians saw it all as an orchestrated attempt to throw them off their game, a reflection of off-ice politics interfering with on-ice play.
Nonetheless, the plucky Canadians rallied. They won the last three games in Moscow – each one capped by a game-winning goal from winger Paul Henderson, including the Game 8 series winner depicted on the stamp. After the series of the century, hockey would never be the same: before long, international players joined – and excelled in – professional hockey in North America.
The next and final stamps in the Canada 150 set will be revealed in Vancouver on Thursday, June 1, the same day all the stamps and related products go on sale. The unveilings began with architect Moshe Safdie unveiling an Expo 67 stamp; the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, unveiling a Constitution stamp; astronaut Jeremy Hansen unveiling a Canadarm stamp; a marriage equality stamp with members of The 519, a City of Toronto agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of LGBTQ communities; a Trans-Canada Highway stamp with country music star Dean Brody; a stamp commemorating Terry Fox’s 1980 Marathon of Hope, unveiled with his sister Judith Fox; and a stamp celebrating the creation of Nunavut, unveiled at the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut with Premier Peter Taptuna and Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak.
About the stamps
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut PermanentTM domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.
About Team Canada 1972 and 28-8
In 2014, Team Canada 1972 launched this initiative, which promotes the power of teamwork and acknowledges the team effort throughout the Summit Series – all 28,800 seconds of it.
About 17 Wing Winnipeg
17 Wing is comprised of squadrons, training schools and command elements. The six aviation schools co-located at CFB Winnipeg are second to none in the world. 17 Wing is a composite formation conducting and supporting flying operations and a variety of training and command functions. It also supports 113 units stretching from Thunder Bay, Ont., to the Saskatchewan/Alberta border and from the 49th Parallel to the high Arctic.
Canada Post’s video about the stamp subject: