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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hockey Legends Set to Face Off In Replay of Classic '70s Battles




Several former Canadian ice hockey internationals who played in two memorable series against the Soviet Union in 1972 and 1974 are to return to Russia next month to renew their old rivalry.


Organizers of the "Legends' hockey tour of Russia" announced Tuesday that veterans of both teams will play four games in Russian cities from Dec. 4 to 11.


The tour starts in the industrial town of Elektrostal, 40 kilometers outside of Moscow, then goes to Voskresensk, also near Moscow and home to a number of Russian NHL stars such as Igor Larionov and Valery Kamensky.


It moves on to St. Petersburg and concludes at Luzhniki Ice Palace - the Soviet site of the two series in the 1970s.


Organizers said they had already booked a number of former greats from the NHL and the defunct World Hockey Association - including Frank Mahovlich, Guy Lafleur, Yvon Cournoyer and Bobby Hull.


Several of the most famous names from both sides, such as Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretyak and NHL Hall of Famers Bobby Clark and Phil Esposito, were missing.


Russian media reported that Tretyak declined the invitation over a personal row with the organizers. But officials denied such a rift had taken place.


"We invited Tretyak but his job commitments with the Chicago Blackhawks have prevented him from taking part and the same goes for Clark and Esposito," the tour spokesman said.


Former Soviet defenseman Valery Vasilyev said: "We may be a step or two slower and hitting probably won't be as ferocious as before, but you can be sure that the desire to win is still there. That's just the way it is."