Seiling And Awrey Had Trouble With Soviets

Rod Seiling was a wonderful defenseman who never got the recognition he deserved because of his classic stay at home style of hockey. Yet he was recognized in 1972 when he was included on Team Canada.

Seiling and a similar defenseman in Don Awrey formed a formidable defensive pairing throughout Canada's training camp. Coach Harry Sinden in fact called them the best pairing he had during that time, and he rewarded them with a start in game one in Montreal.

Unfortunately, the dynamic duo was anything but on that night.

The Soviet's explosive speed proved to be too much for much of Team Canada on that night, especially the pairing of Awrey and Seiling. Valeri Kharlamov in particular made the NHL veterans look like practice pylons on more than one occasion.

The pairing was broken up after that game, neither got back into the lineup on a regular basis (Seiling played 3 games, Awrey 2) and they didn't play together again. It was decided that these old-school defensemen would be better paired with more mobile rearguards given the immense skill and speed of the opponents.

Although he didn't get the opportunity to play regularly, Seiling counts the 1972 Showdown as his career highlight. The camaraderie the team established has lasted a lifetime.

Seiling was also very appreciative of the 3000-plus Canadian fans who made the trip to Moscow to cheer Canada on to victory.

"It gave us an indication that Canadians were supporting us after, and that was very gratifying," he wrote in Brian McFarlane's book Team Canada 1972 - Where Are They Now? 

Those fans undoubtedly played a role in the Canadian comeback. The team headed to Russia calling themselves Team 50 - just the 35 players and the coaches and trainers taking on the world. By the time they got their they were willing to do whatever it took, but the 3000 reinforcements chanting "Da Da Canada, Nyet Nyet Soviet" fuelled Team Canada on to victory.

"Obviously, my strongest memory is winning the series, especially after leaving this country in virtual disgrace," Seiling said. "To be able to turn that around, and make Canadians' dreams a reality, was special." 

Also See: - Jay Moran interviews Rod Seiling


1972 Summit Player Profile
 Team Canada
 #16 - Rod Seiling - Defense

Position: D
Shoots: Left
Height: 6-0
Weight: 195
Born: 11/14/1944 Kitchener, Ontario
1972 NHL Team: New York Rangers

Summit Series Statistics

3 0 0 0 0 2 4 -6

Other Team Canada Appearances

A little known fact is that Rod Seiling was a member of the Canadian Olympic team in 1964. Seiling had a strong tournament, scoring 4 goals and 6 points in 7 games.

NHL Career Notes - A steady, classic-style defender, Seiling was a standout NHL player in parts of 17 NHL seasons. Best known with the New York Rangers, Seiling also played with Toronto, Washington, St. Louis and Atlanta.

Career NHL Statistics
Regular Season 979 62 269 331 601
NHL Playoffs  77 4 8 12 55


Book Feature
Read Rod Seiling's 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