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Hockey docuseries on 1972’s legendary Canada-USSR faceoff heads to CBC

4 hour-long episodes will examine the legacy of the Cold War-era faceoff this fall
Team Canada goaltender Tony Esposito covers the net behind Team USSR’s Eugeny Zimin as Pat Stapleton looks on during the 1972 Summit Series in Toronto on Sept. 4, 1972. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Bregg

A four-part documentary series about 1972’s legendary Canada-USSR hockey battle is bound for CBC.

Producers say “Summit 72” — the series’ working title — presents “the definitive story” of the legendary eight-game Summit Series, which marks its 50th anniversary this September.

Each hour-long episode will examine the legacy of the Cold War-era faceoff, a nail-biter between cocky Canadian stars caught by surprise by their well-conditioned Soviet Union rivals.

The docuseries is set to premiere this fall on CBC and the CBC Gem streaming service. A French-language version is also planned.

Nicholas de Pencier will serve as producer and showrunner alongside a team of writers and directors that includes musician and writer Dave Bidini, director and producer Robert MacAskill and journalist Ravi Baichwal.

Producers say the project will feature interviews with Team Canada players including Phil Esposito, Ken Dryden, and Serge Savard, in addition to voices from Team USSR, and never-before-seen archival footage

“The 72 Summit Series is in our DNA as a nation,” de Pencier said Monday in a statement.

“It was a life-altering experience for the players and their fans from both sides of the Iron Curtain, that changed the cultural, political, and sports landscapes in ways that no one could have foreseen at the time.

“It is a story that endures and needs to be told through the prism of the present day to understand what it meant, how it changed hockey, and how it changed Canada.”

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