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A Look Back: Rendez-vous ’87

The All-Star Weekend is upon us and it seems most appropriate to take a moment and remember a great tradition once held by the name of Rendez-vous ’87. Back in 1987, the NHL gathered up their elite players to form a single NHL All-Star Team to take on the Soviet Union Hockey Team in a 2-game All-Star like series in Quebec, Canada. Rendez-vous ’87, replaced the NHL’s All-Star festivities for that 1986-1987 hockey season. One key note is that The Soviet team was paid roughly $80,000 for their appearance in Rendez-vous ’87, while the NHLers raised nearly $350,000 for the NHL players’ pension fund.

The series was a total hit with both the players and the fans.  Some other players, including  Wayne Gretzky, advised that there should be more international hockey played of such a structure for the following years. The two Behemoth-skilled teams split the games, with the NHLers winning the first game, 4-3 on a go-ahead goal from Gretzky with less than 2 minutes to play, followed by a good comeback Soviet 5-3 victory two nights later.

Although the Soviet Team ended up outscoring the NHLers 8-7 over the two games, the series has always been considered a tie on both ends. “The NHL didn’t win and neither did we,” said coach Viktor Tikhonov. “The person that won was hockey itself. Both games were like holidays, like festivals, two of the greatest hockey games you’ll ever see.”

 

Here’s a short clip of  A Look Back: Rendez-vous ’87

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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