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Canada Cup 25th Anniversary

1987 Canada Cup: Where are they now?

Saturday, 09.15.2012 / 9:00 AM / Canada Cup 25th Anniversary

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Dale Hawerchuk has served as coach and director of hockey operations for the OHL's Barrie Colts since 2010. (Photo: Getty Images)

The 1987 Canada Cup featured some of the most formidable national squads in international hockey history. The Canadian team alone featured 12 eventual Hall-of-Famers and even cut three others in Patrick Roy, Steve Yzerman, and Cam Neely.

Twenty-five years later, a number of the players who participated in the tournament remain involved in the game, meaning that tournament reunions are inevitable. Here is what some of these players are up to today.

Canada

Dale Hawerchuk: The longtime Jets and Sabres star was named player of the game in the tournament's deciding contest. The Hall-of-Famer has served as coach and director of hockey operations for the OHL's Barrie Colts since 2010.

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Lemieux's Canada Cup winner remains historic

Saturday, 09.15.2012 / 9:00 AM / Canada Cup 25th Anniversary

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

The list of Canada's most historic goals starts with Paul Henderson's winner in the 1972 Summit Series, and for the moment ends with Sidney Crosby's overtime tally that won the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Squarely between them is Mario Lemieux's winning goal at the 1987 Canada Cup: a perfect give-and-go with Wayne Gretzky that remains one of hockey's most-replayed highlights.

With Canada and the Soviet Union tied 5-5 late in the deciding third game of the tournament final and less than two minutes remaining, Canada coach Mike Keenan placed Dale Hawerchuk between Gretzky and Lemieux, then sent the threesome out for a defensive-zone faceoff.

The rest is history.

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Canada Cup team set stage for future U.S. success

Saturday, 09.15.2012 / 9:00 AM / Canada Cup 25th Anniversary

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Team USA may not have won the 1987 Canada Cup, but their play set the stage for a game-changing victory nine years later. (Photo: Getty Images)

In the 1987 Canada Cup, a tournament full of hockey stars, not much was expected of the Americans -- a young, rough-and-tumble crew determined to earn respect on the international stage. That team may not have won the memorable tournament, but their play set the stage for a game-changing victory nine years later.

The coaching staff, made up of the late Bob Johnson and his assistant Ted Sator, had previously coached the 1981 Canada Cup team that was crushed 9-2 by Sweden in the semifinal. In the six years since that tournament, the pair saw American talent developing, particularly on the back end.

"In 1987, there was a plethora of outstanding defensemen. We got [Gary] Suter and [Phil] Housley and [Rod] Langway. Then we had goaltending with [Bob] Mason, [Tom] Barrasso and [John] Vanbiesbrouck. Arguably, we had the best coach in Bob Johnson. I idolized the man and loved working with him," Sator told NHL.com. "We knew we didn't have the firepower to compete with these teams. We had a defensive scheme in place. We only allowed 14 goals in 5 games. The down side was we only scored 13."

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Lemieux goal capped one of hockey's great tourneys

Saturday, 09.15.2012 / 9:00 AM / Canada Cup 25th Anniversary

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

"That was the highest level that I have ever played. I remember coming back to play in the National Hockey League after the tournament and I couldn't believe how slow the NHL was, which is ridiculous." -- Canada goalie Kelly Hrudey

For years, international hockey in North America was defined by two pivotal moments: Canada's win in the 1972 Summit Series and the United States' miraculous gold-medal performance at the 1980 Winter Olympics.

The 1987 Canada Cup added a new chapter to that history, thanks to an epic three-game final between Canada and the Soviet Union that ended with one of hockey's most memorable goals.

"The three games against the Russians were probably three of the greatest games ever played," Canada defenseman Craig Hartsburg said. "Such skills, such emotion and intensity -- the greatest players in the world playing their best hockey."

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Eastern Europe saw major change in years after Cup

Saturday, 09.15.2012 / 9:00 AM / Canada Cup 25th Anniversary

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

Hockey fans around the world hotly anticipated the 1987 Canada Cup because it featured the best teams from six of the planet's foremost hockey nations. Five and a half years later, two of those countries -- Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union -- would no longer exist. For some players, certain hints of that eventual change first appeared at that historic tournament.

With some of their best players having defected west, a depleted Czechoslovakia lost to Canada in the semifinal. And for the runner-up Soviet team, there were signs that change could be coming. It started with widespread speculation that Russian stars like Slava Fetisov and Igor Larionov could be coming to the National Hockey League after being denied that opportunity for years.

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