American fans wrap their arms around the 1980 upset of the Soviet Union as a unifying sports moment from the Cold War era. Huge as it was in the 50 states, it still doesn’t compare to the depth of feeling Canadians have for a series of games their national team played against the USSR eight years earlier. The 1972 Summit Series, won in dramatic fashion, is still larger than life.
If you’ve somehow gotten ahold of memorabilia from that remarkable series–half played in Canada and the other half on Soviet ice, you’ve got something someone will want.
Hockey fans in Canada and Russia collect programs, ticket stubs, autographs, game-worn gear and anything else they can get their hands on. The surviving players have a marketing arrangement through which they gather for clinics, signing sessions and speeches.
The jersey worn by Paul Henderson, who scored the winning goal, sold in June of 2010 for more than $1 million.
With the time frame and two very different worlds in context, there are some funny stories about the players and what they brought back from Moscow. Brad Park’s ill-fated honorary vase, an autographed stick that turned into a prank and plenty more.
Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun says Canadian hockey dealers believe that 1972 Summit Series memorabilia will never go down in value.