Joe Kryczka

Alan Eagleson always gets all the credit for organizing the 1972 Summit Series. Maybe that's because he'll tell anyone who will listen. And for 20 years or so people would listen to him, although he's been particularly quiet since his stint in jail.

Eagleson may have brought the players to the table, but it was the work of many others behind the scenes which were responsible for the Summit Series coming together.

"Justice Joe" Kryczka was every bit as responsible for the creation of the Summit Series, and in all likelihood more so than Eagleson. At the time he was the president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, and for his instrumental efforts in 1972 he was honored as the Canadian Sports Executive of the Year.

Kryczka, who was also instrumental in bringing the 1988 Winter Olympic Games to Calgary and is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, was not the only behind the scenes star of the show who deserves recognition. Others include Charlie Hay (chairman of Hockey Canada), Doug Fisher (board member of Hockey Canada) Lou Lefaive (Hockey Canada), Allan Scott (business manager of Hockey Canada),Gordon Juckes (Canadian Amateur Hockey Association), Aggie Kukulowicz (Russian speaking Winnipeger who ran Air Canada's office in Moscow who, as a former pro hockey player, was able to make many friends in various hockey federations) and Robert Ford (Canadian Ambassador in Moscow).

On the European side much credit must be given to Bunny Ahearne (IIHF President), Andrei Starovoitov (head of Soviet Hockey) as well as some unknown political higher-ups, probably including Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

As always, there probably are some very deserving names that are not mentioned here because history has forgotten their contributions.

Further Research: Globe and Mail Article