Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summit Series '72, The First Reunion in 1985

Esposito and Howe, ceremonial face off conducted by Ed Kea
 January 25, 1985. Friday night at Maple Leaf Gardens. I was lucky enough to attend the first reunion of Team Canada 1972. They played a team of All-Star Oldtimers before a sold-out crowd at Maple Leaf Gardens to raise money for the Phil Esposito Foundation. $130,000 was made to help former NHL players in need of assistance. Former St.Louis Blue Ed Kea represented the players after recovering from a career-ending head injury two years before.
Tony Esposito
The game itself was won by Team All-Star by the familiar score of 6-5 on a winning goal by Gordie Howe. Phil Esposito said afterwards,"It was terrific. I'm really, really excited that it was a sellout. You can't turn back the hands of time and you can't do the things you did 12 and a half years ago, but people don't forget." He added, "Team Canada '72 was one of the best things that happened to us, as players, and to come here and have a reunion like this and have this kind of reception from the people is phenomenal."
Also scoring goals for Team All-Star were Jim McKenny, Bobby Lalonde, Walt Tkaczuk, Dick Duff and Johnny McKenzie. Canada's scorers were Dennis Hull, J.P. Parise, Ron Ellis, Stan Mikita and of course...Paul Henderson.

Perhaps the greatest part of the evening for myself was when after the game I got the autographs of Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr. Pictured are the photos I personally took at the game.

Espo addressing the crowd

Paul Henderson introduced

Stan Mikita
Post-game hand shakes

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