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It was 40 years ago today that Paul Henderson scored the Goal Of The Century.
I remember it like it was yesterday as Henderson’s goal with 34 seconds remaining in game eight of the Summit Series against the Soviet Union, gave Canada a 6-5 win and the series based on four wins and a tie.
The Russians earned a 2-1-1 record after the first four games in Canada and won game five at home. Canada, who was supposed to take the series with little difficulty, was reeling going into the final three games.
The victory in game eight salvaged Canadian hockey pride as Canada had been booed in game four in Vancouver. The Russians’ performance in the series proved they could play with Canada and they have been considered a world hockey power ever since.
The goal changed Henderson’s life as rarely a day goes by that he isn’t asked to talk about it. But the amiable Henderson is always happy to share the memory.
While the goal remains a forever part of hockey history - it forever begs the question as to why Paul Henderson isn’t in the Hockey Hall Of Fame.
While his 236 goals in 13 professional NHL seasons aren’t what most HOF members’ careers are made of - it’s not the number of goals scored per say but the significance of the goals. Henderson also scored the game winner in games six and seven to set the stage for his series clincher and led Team Canada with seven markers in the series.
While many believe Henderson doesn’t deserve recognition in the hall because he is something of a one-hit wonder on the international stage - he was good enough in 1972 to be a regular member of Team Canada. Future Hall Of Famer Marcel Dionne - whose numbers soar in comparison to Henderson’s - watched the entire series as a back-up in the stands.
With goaltender Vladislav Tretiak - the victim of all three of Henderson’s game winners boasting HOF honours - Paul Henderson deserves his rightful place in hockey’s hallowed shrine.



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