The jersey worn by game-winning goal scorer Paul Henderson in Canada’s 1972 Summit Series win over the Soviet Union in 1972 will now be the measuring stick by which all other pieces of hockey memorabilia are measured.
Montreal-based Classic Auctions brought the auction hammer down on the historic jersey at auction early Wednesday morning.
The final winning bid was $1,067,538 (US) and was submitted by Mitchell Goldhar, the owner of SmartCentres, a private real estate development company based in Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto.
Marc Juteau, president Classic Auctions, says Goldhar’s bid was the 42nd entered for the 38-year-old jersey adorned with a maple leaf.
With the buyer’s premium added, the final price was $1.275 million.
The jersey had been the topic of nationwide discussion in Canada with several large businesses making bids in hopes of keeping it out of the hands of a private collector.
The jersey has had only three owners over the years and has never been auctioned or advertised for sale in the hobby until this month.
It was originally given by Henderson to a team trainer who sold it several years ago. Later, a private American collector bought it. That owner consigned it to Classic and the auction generated a huge rush of publicity.
Canada’s win over the USSR is considered the country’s greatest sports achievement by many, for what it symbolized during the Cold War era but also the dramatic finish of the game, which was won on Henderson’s late goal.
The high bid on the jersey stood at about $400,000 midway through the evening but shot up by twice that in the span of about one hour as a bidding war broke out.
Extended bidding pushed the jersey over the $1 million mark and left the jersey’s fate in limbo until the winner could be determined when the entire auction closed early Wednesday morning. Henderson and the Hockey Hall of Fame hoped a benefactor would be the winning bidder but one of the hopefuls pulled out as the jersey passed the million dollar mark.
The buyer must still pay a 19.5% buyer’s premium.