Team Canada 1972 has lost one of its fiercest competitors, with the announcement that Vladimir Petrov has died at the age of 69. (Petrov, number 16, can be seen above battling Phil Esposito in front of the Soviet net.) The team sends it condolences to his family and to the surviving members of the 1972 Soviet National squad. For some insight into Vladimir's career, check out his Wikipedia page.
Red was honoured for his 33 seasons of coaching Michigan hockey when the Red Berenson Rink was officially dedicated in his honour on Friday, January 5. Red will join a growing list of arenas named in honour of Team Canada 72 members. There are likely more but we are aware of Arena Olympia Yvan Cournoyer and Centre Marcel Dionne which are both in Yvan and Marcel’s hometown of Drummondville, Quebec. There is also the Amphitheatre Gilbert-Perreault in Victoriaville, Quebec. In Faribault, Minnesota you will find The Shattuck-St. Marys Jean-Paul Parise Arena recognizing JP’s 12 years guiding their hockey program. The city of Mississauga named an arena after Paul Henderson to thank Paul for his charity work in the Mississauga area where Paul now resides. We also have the Bobby Orr Community Centre in Bobby’s hometown of Perry Sound, Ontario. You can also find the Arena Rodrique-Gilbert in Montreal, Quebec. Our apologizes to any player that we have missed.
We all watched with great pride as teammate Vic Hadfield’s number 11 was retired by the New York Rangers and will remain for all eternity in the rafters of Madison Square Garden alongside the other legends of Rangers’ history including his great friends and New York Ranger linemates and Team Canada teammates Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert. We hope that before long Ranger teammate and Summit Series Most Valuable Defenseman Brad Park will be joining those hallowed rafters. Here are some comments from the New York Post’s Larry Brooks: Hadfield did it all through 13 years and 841 games as a Blueshirt. He did it with his fists that he threw down in a series of memorable fights in the penalty box with Henri Richard and he did it with gnarled hands that were good enough for him to become the first 50-goal-scorer in franchise history in 1971-72. He did it with leadership abilities he used as captain in the run to the 1972 final. He did it with wit, humour and personality. “Oh, he was a leader, all right,” said Emile Francis. “He was the right guy to take over as captain [after Bob Nevin was traded following the 1971 playoffs]. I didn’t even think of anyone else. He was the type of individual that his teammates would follow. He garnered respect right away in this league. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for his teammates.” The members of Team Canada 1972 pass on their congratulations to Vic and his family. Besides Rod Gilbert, Jean Ratelle and Brad Park, Team Canada 72 teammates Rod Seiling and Red Berenson also played with Vic in the Big Apple. Don Awrey was a teammate of Vic’s with the Pittsburgh Penguins as was the late Gary Bergman with the Buffalo Bisons. Vic shared his junior hockey days in St. Catharines with the Teepees with Pat Stapleton and the late Stan Mikita winning a Memorial Cup with Pat in 1959-60.