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Canada Cup (ice hockey)

Canada Cup (ice hockey)

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The Canada Cup was an invitational international ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 tournament held on five occasions between 1976 and 1991. The tournament was created to meet demand for a true world championship that allowed the best players from participating nations to compete regardless of their status as professional or amateur and was sanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation
International Ice Hockey Federation
The International Ice Hockey Federation is the worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 70 members...

, Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada, formally known as the Canadian Hockey Association, is the national governing body of ice hockey in Canada and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Hockey Canada controls a vast majority of ice hockey in Canada, with a few exceptions...

 and the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

. Canada won the tournament four times, while the Soviet Union
Soviet national ice hockey team
The Soviet national ice hockey team , was the national hockey team of the Soviet Union. The Soviets were the most dominant team of all time in international play. The team won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament between 1954 and 1991 held by the International Ice Hockey Federation...

 captured the championship once. It was succeeded by the World Cup of Hockey
World Cup of Hockey
The World Cup of Hockey is an international ice hockey tournament. Inaugurated in 1996, it is the successor to the previous Canada Cup, which ran from 1976 to 1991...

 in 1996.

History


Due to National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 (NHL) players' ineligibility in the Winter Olympics and the annual World Championships, both amateur competitions, Canada was not able to field their best players in top international tournaments. While the top players in Europe qualified as amateurs, all the best Canadian players competed in the professional NHL.

Following the 1972
Summit Series
The Summit Series was the first competition between the Soviet and an NHL-inclusive Canadian national ice hockey teams, an eight-game series held in September 1972...

 and 1974 Summit Series
1974 Summit Series
The 1974 Summit Series was the second of two competitions between Soviet and Canadian professional ice hockey players. Canada was represented by World Hockey Association players instead of National Hockey League players, as it had been in the 1972 Summit Series. The Soviet team won the series 4-1-3...

, in which Canadian players from the NHL and World Hockey Association
World Hockey Association
The World Hockey Association was a professional ice hockey league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. It was the first major competition for the National Hockey League since the collapse of the Western Hockey League in 1926...

 (WHA) competed against the top players from the Soviet Union, there was interest in a world hockey championship where each country could send its best players. In a combined effort from Douglas Fisher
Douglas Fisher
Douglas Fisher or Doug Fisher may refer to:* Douglas Fisher , British sailor & Fourth Sea Lord* Doug Fisher , British actor* Doug Fisher , Canadian politician and columnist...

 of Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada, formally known as the Canadian Hockey Association, is the national governing body of ice hockey in Canada and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Hockey Canada controls a vast majority of ice hockey in Canada, with a few exceptions...

 and Alan Eagleson
Alan Eagleson
Robert Alan Eagleson is a disbarred Canadian lawyer, convicted felon in two countries, former politician, hockey agent and promoter...

 of the NHL Players' Association, plans for such a tournament soon began.

After successful negotiations with hockey officials from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in September 1974, Eagleson began arranging the Canada Cup tournament, which debuted in 1976
1976 Canada Cup
The 1976 Canada Cup was an international ice hockey tournament held September 2–15, 1976, in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Quebec, Canada as well as in Philadelphia, United States. It was the first of five Canada Cup tournaments held between 1976 and 1991...

. Eagleson would later plead guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars of Canada Cup proceeds.

Taking place in the NHL off-season, it was the first international hockey tournament in which the best players from all nations, professional and amateur alike, could compete against one another. In addition to Canada and the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United States were regular competitors (with the exception of West Germany replacing Finland in 1984
1984 Canada Cup
The 1984 Canada Cup was a professional international ice hockey tournament played during the first three weeks of September 1984. The best-of-three final took place between Canada and Sweden, with Canada winning two games to nil...

). The tournaments, held every three or four years, took place in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n venues. Of the five Canada Cup tournaments, four were won by Canada, while the Soviet Union won once, in 1981
1981 Canada Cup
The 1981 Canada Cup was the second best-on-best ice hockey world championship and involved the world's top six hockey nations. Tournament games were held in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Ottawa. The Soviet Union defeated Canada in a single game final to win its first title, while Soviet...

.

Canada won the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976, defeating recent 1976 World Championship gold medalists Czechoslovakia in the final. The championship game was won by a 5–4 score with Darryl Sittler
Darryl Sittler
Darryl Glen Sittler is a retired professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League from 1970 until 1985 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989.On February 7, 1976, Sittler set an NHL...

 scoring the game-winner in overtime. Five years later, the Soviets won their first and only Canada Cup with an 8-1 win over Canada in the final. The Canadians then re-captured the championship in the third edition of the tournament in 1984
1984 Canada Cup
The 1984 Canada Cup was a professional international ice hockey tournament played during the first three weeks of September 1984. The best-of-three final took place between Canada and Sweden, with Canada winning two games to nil...

. After Canadian Mike Bossy
Mike Bossy
Michael Dean Bossy is a former Canadian ice hockey player who played for the New York Islanders for his entire career and was part of their four-year reign as Stanley Cup champions in the early 1980s...

 scored an overtime game-winner to defeat the Soviets in the semi-finals, Canada won their second Canada Cup in a victory over Sweden in the final.

The 1987 Canada Cup
1987 Canada Cup
The 1987 Canada Cup was a professional international ice hockey tournament held from August 28 to September 15, 1987. The finals took place in Montreal on September 11 and Hamilton, Ontario, on September 13 and September 15, and were won by Team Canada....

 was particularly noteworthy as Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Douglas Gretzky, CC is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. Nicknamed "The Great One", he is generally regarded as the best player in the history of the National Hockey League , and has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters,...

 and Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux, OC, CQ is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He is acknowledged to be one of the best players of all time. He played 17 seasons as a forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League between 1984 and 2006...

, widely considered two of the greatest hockey players of all-time, joined together as linemates on Team Canada to capture the country's third championship. All three games in the final between Canada and the Soviets ended in 6-to-5 scores, with two games going to overtime. Lemieux dramatically scored the championship-winning goal on a 2-on-1 pass from Gretzky in the final minutes of the deciding game at Copps Coliseum
Copps Coliseum
Copps Coliseum is a sports and entertainment arena, on the corner of Bay Street North and York Boulevard, in Hamilton, Ontario. Depending on event, the Copps Coliseum has a capacity of up to 19,000.It is named after the former Hamilton mayor, Victor K...

 in Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

. name=memproj2>

The final Canada Cup was held in 1991
1991 Canada Cup
The 1991 Canada Cup was a professional international ice hockey tournament played in September 1991. The finals took place in Montreal on September 14 and Hamilton, Ontario on September 16, and were won by Canada. The Canadians defeated the USA in a two game sweep, to win the fifth and final Canada...

 with Canada defeating the United States in the tournament's first all-North American final, for their third straight championship and fourth overall. Five years later, the Canada Cup was replaced by the World Cup of Hockey
World Cup of Hockey
The World Cup of Hockey is an international ice hockey tournament. Inaugurated in 1996, it is the successor to the previous Canada Cup, which ran from 1976 to 1991...

 in 1996
1996 World Cup of Hockey
The first World Cup of Hockey , or 1996 World Cup of Hockey, replaced the Canada Cup as one of the premier championships for professional ice hockey ....

.

Trophy


The Canada Cup trophy is shaped like half of a maple leaf
Maple leaf
The maple leaf is the characteristic leaf of the maple tree, and is the most widely recognized national symbol of Canada.-Use in Canada:At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the settlements of New France had attained a population of about 18,000...

 and is made of solid nickel (120 pounds worth). It was refined at the INCO nickel smelter in Sudbury, Ontario in 1976. The cup weighs nearly 140 pounds.

It is on display at Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General in Ottawa.

Controversy


The 1981 win by the Soviet Union caused controversy when Canadian officials found the trophy in the Soviets' luggage and announced that the trophy would not actually go home with the winning team. Feeling this was unsportsmanlike, Canadian fans led by George Smith of Winnipeg, Manitoba raised money to produce a duplicate trophy to give to the Soviet team. $32,000 was raised. Three weeks later the trophy was presented to the Soviet Union's ambassador Vladimir Mechulayev in Winnipeg. Most of the companies that made the trophy did the work for free and almost all of the money raised went to minor hockey in Winnipeg and Winkler, Manitoba
Winkler, Manitoba
Winkler is a small city with a population of about 9,900 located in southern Manitoba, Canada in the Rural Municipality of Stanley...

.

Competitions

Year Champion Runner-up MVP
1976
1976 Canada Cup
The 1976 Canada Cup was an international ice hockey tournament held September 2–15, 1976, in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Quebec, Canada as well as in Philadelphia, United States. It was the first of five Canada Cup tournaments held between 1976 and 1991...

Bobby Orr
Bobby Orr
Robert Gordon "Bobby" Orr, OC is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. Orr played in the National Hockey League for his entire career, the first ten seasons with the Boston Bruins, joining the Chicago Black Hawks for two more. Orr is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest...

1981
1981 Canada Cup
The 1981 Canada Cup was the second best-on-best ice hockey world championship and involved the world's top six hockey nations. Tournament games were held in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Ottawa. The Soviet Union defeated Canada in a single game final to win its first title, while Soviet...

Vladislav Tretiak
Vladislav Tretiak
Vladislav Aleksandrovich Tretiak, MSM is a former goaltender for the Soviet Union's national ice hockey team. Considered to be one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the sport, he was voted one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's Centennial All-Star Team in a...

1984
1984 Canada Cup
The 1984 Canada Cup was a professional international ice hockey tournament played during the first three weeks of September 1984. The best-of-three final took place between Canada and Sweden, with Canada winning two games to nil...

John Tonelli
John Tonelli
John A. Tonelli is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey forward. He was a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the New York Islanders, and also played with the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Quebec Nordiques of the National Hockey League.-Bio:In 1982 and 1985,...

1987
1987 Canada Cup
The 1987 Canada Cup was a professional international ice hockey tournament held from August 28 to September 15, 1987. The finals took place in Montreal on September 11 and Hamilton, Ontario, on September 13 and September 15, and were won by Team Canada....

Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Douglas Gretzky, CC is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. Nicknamed "The Great One", he is generally regarded as the best player in the history of the National Hockey League , and has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters,...

1991
1991 Canada Cup
The 1991 Canada Cup was a professional international ice hockey tournament played in September 1991. The finals took place in Montreal on September 14 and Hamilton, Ontario on September 16, and were won by Canada. The Canadians defeated the USA in a two game sweep, to win the fifth and final Canada...

Bill Ranford
Bill Ranford
William Edward Ranford is a former professional ice hockey goaltender and current goaltending coach for the Los Angeles Kings. He graduated from New Westminster Secondary School in 1985. He was selected in the third round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, 52nd overall, by the Boston Bruins...


See also

  • Ice hockey at the Winter Olympics
  • Ice Hockey World Championships
    Ice Hockey World Championships
    The Ice Hockey World Championships are an annual ice hockey tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation . First officially held at the 1920 Summer Olympics, it is the sport's highest profile annual international tournament. The IIHF was created in 1908 while the European...

  • International Ice Hockey Federation
    International Ice Hockey Federation
    The International Ice Hockey Federation is the worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 70 members...

  • National Hockey League
    National Hockey League
    The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

  • World Cup of Hockey
    World Cup of Hockey
    The World Cup of Hockey is an international ice hockey tournament. Inaugurated in 1996, it is the successor to the previous Canada Cup, which ran from 1976 to 1991...

  • World Professional Hockey Championships

External links