Members of Team Canada ’72 Visit Russia, Watch Hockey with Putin

Looking back at the Summit Series, there was no love loss between Team Canada ’72 and the Soviet Union squad. During the eight-game tournament that ultimately ended in Canada’s favour, there was an evident ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality held by both squads. Thus, the competition became heated both on the ice and off.

Since that time, however, the relationship between those who participated in the tournament has warmed in a real positive way. So much so, members of Team Canada ’72 recently made a trip to Moscow to celebrate the opening of the Canada-USSR Exhibit at the Hockey Museum in Legends Park.

In addition to that ceremony, Team Canada ’72 members attended a junior hockey game with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Also on hand was Vladislav Tretiak, the goalie from the ’72 Soviet Union team, and is now President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia.

Afterwards, Putin – flanked by players of both Summit Series teams – went on to the ice to issue the following message to the group of young hockey players: “We have brought here today the most legendary players in the entire history of hockey. The people who have done an awful lot for the development of hockey,” said Putin. “Both the Soviet and Canadian hockey players, who took part in the outstanding series in 1972 and pushed the development of hockey forward. Thanks to this series, the interest in hockey grew worldwide.”

Team Canada '72 - Putin

You can watch a video of this experience below.

Join us Monday, September 25 at 10pm ET/7pm PT for the world premiere of the 1972 Summit Series Anniversary episode of “theZoomer,” brought to you by CARP, Canada’s largest Advocacy Association for Canadians as we age. 

Hosted by Marissa Semkiw and filmed at the ZoomerPlex in Toronto’s Liberty Village, Team Canada ’72 members Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich, Yvan Cournoyer, Brad Park, Jean Ratelle, Peter Mahovlich, Wayne Cashman, Ed Johnston, Pat Stapleton and John Ferguson Jr. (representing his late father John Ferguson), gather to reflect on the highs and lows of the Summit Series, as well as the memories that still stand out the most.

Want to see more of these extraordinary gentlemen? Visit 

Stay tuned for our encore presentation of this special on Friday, September 29 at 2pm ET & 11pm ET.

-Adam Grant