NHL prefers some changes
Vancouver Province, May 26, 1972

New York - The Governors of the National Hockey League agreed Thursday to cooperate with Hockey Canada in forming an all star team of Canadian born professionals to face Russia's national team this fall - provided a host of details can be ironed out satisfactorily.

The foremost request of the NHL is that the proposed tournament dates be switched so that the four games scheduled in Russia September 22-28 be played first, and the four games in Canada later in October or November instead of Sept. 1-8.

NHL president Clarence Campbell announced Thursday evening that the governors had designated William Wirtz, president of Chicago Black Hawks and chairman of the NHL board, as its representative to help Hockey Canada arrange for the exhibition series with the Russians.

"This is not an unequivocal approval to go ahead," Campbell told reporters after a lengthy closed session. "There are no ground rules yet for this operation. A lot of things have to be sorted out."

Campbell indicated the NHL is willing to juggle dates in its schedule in October or November so that an entire team chosen from NHL ranks could meet the Russians in four different Canadian cities over an 8 day period without missing a game with their own clubs.

A key factor would be whether the Russians will agree to send their team to Canada in either of those months.

The switch in dates proposed by the NHL owners would resolve a big objection to the plan initially proposed. Players would not have to shorten their summer free time to go into training about August 15th for a Sept. 1 series. They would go into training as a national team about the usual time for NHL camps, play in Russia and report to their own clubs for further training before the start of the NHL season, usually in the Oct. 8-10 period.

The Canadian team could be reassembled for an eight day period to play games in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver at whatever time in October or November the Russians would agree to come.

"This has been a contentious matter with the league owners," said Campbell. "Nobody wants the Sept. 1-8 dates which have been proposed.

"But if it proves impossible to change those dates, we may have to accept them."

Russians Nix Change In Hockey
Vancouver Province, June 22, 1972

Toronto - Hockey Canada received a blow at the negotiation level from the Soviet Union Wednesday.

The Russians refused to alter the schedule for its proposed eight game hockey series with the Canadians this fall.

Canada wanted to open the series in Russia in late September, but the original dates, the first four games being played in Canada Sept. 1-8, still holds.

The only alteration will be a shift in the site of the first game from Montreal to Toronto because of a problem with hotel accommodations.