Ellis Tried To Shut Down Kharlamov

Right winger Ron Ellis was a fine forward with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 15 years. His trademarks were his consistency and work ethic more so than his flash. His all-around game made him an obvious inclusion on Team Canada 1972.

It has been well document how cocky and confident Canada was during the times before game one, and Ellis was one of the few who cautioned the nation. He too felt they would be very successful and win the series handily, but he was especially concerned about game one. Ellis was one of the few players on the team who had experience playing against the Soviets.  Back in his days in junior hockey Ellis was included in an all star team that took on the Soviets. The Soviets embarrassed that team much like they would embarrass Team Canada in game of the Summit Series.

Ellis ended up on the right side of what was arguably Canada's top line - Ellis with Bobby Clarke and Paul Henderson. Ellis had the unenviable task of shadowing the Soviets' flashiest star - Valeri Kharlamov. Ellis - who often faced the top wingers in the NHL during his long tenure - would later admit that Kharlamov was as great a player as any NHLer he had to defend against, including the legendary Bobby Hull.

Ron Ellis has an odd memory from the tournament which haunts him to this day. He took a minor penalty late in game 6 with Canada clinging to a slim 1 goal lead. Ellis - the consummate professional - prides himself in the fact that he was dependable and would never harm his team by taking a penalty late in a game. He called that penalty "the longest two minutes of my life," and that memory comes to him as much as the dramatics of Paul Henderson late in game 8.

Ellis regained his pride when he was one of the players chosen to hold on to the lead Henderson gave them with 34 seconds left in the series. Coach Harry Sinden put out a mixed line of Ellis, Phil Esposito and Pete Mahovlich to stave off any Russian comeback attempts.


1972 Summit Series.com Player Profile
 Team Canada
 #6 - Ron Ellis - Right Wing

Position: RW
Shoots: Right
Height: 5-9
Weight: 195
Born: 1/8/1945 Lindsay, Ontario
1972 NHL Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

Summit Series Statistics

8 0 3 3 8 23 35 6

Other Team Canada Appearances
Ellis ended a near-two year retirement to participate for Canada in the 1977 World Championships. Ellis had a strong tournament with 5 goals and 9 points in 10 games, and it helped inspire him to return to the NHL for 4 more years.

NHL Career Notes - A 15 year veteran of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ellis was heralded as a selfless team player and outstanding defensive forward who could also score. A member of the famed 1967 Toronto Maple Leaf Stanley Cup team, Ellis remains a fan favorite in Toronto to this day.

Career NHL Statistics
Regular Season 1034 332 308 640 207
NHL Playoffs  70 18 8 26 20


Book Feature
Read Ron Ellis' memories of the Summit Series in Team Canada 1972: Where Are They Now?  By Brian McFarlane $21.26 Cdn


Special Offers

1972 Summit Series Games

Game One
Game Two
Game Three
Game Four
Game Five
Game Six
Game Seven
Game Eight

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Canada's Team of the Century