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Glenn Anderson “sees red” in To Russia With Love on CTV’s W5

- September 27th, 2012

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Glenn Anderson “sees red.”

Anderson was only 12 years old when Canada played Russia in the 1972 Summit Series. But Anderson’s parents were among the famed 3,000 Canadian fans who travelled to Moscow for the final four games of that heated affair, helping to spur the Canadian hockey players to victory in extremely hostile territory.

I’ve often said that if you didn’t grow up during the Cold War era, you can’t quite fathom what it was like. Today, if Canada loses to Russia in hockey, we know the sun still will come up the next day. Back then, we weren’t sure that it would. It was that serious and that tense.

There has been a lot of coverage lately of the 40th anniversary of the Summit Series. But Anderson (pictured above right) adds an interesting personal touch with his film To Russia With Love, a version of which airs Saturday, Sept. 29, on CTV’s W5.

Anderson, of course, won six Stanley Cups as an NHL player, is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and played against the Soviets many times in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s interesting to hear that as a youngster, Anderson’s hockey hero was none other than Alexander Yakushev, one of the biggest Soviet stars of the 1970s.

Anderson’s boyhood fascination with the 1972 Summit Series clearly fueled a curiosity about Russia that continues to this day. To Russia With Love delves into the history of this classic hockey rivalry, and the tale is illuminated by the people Anderson tracks down in Russia, including some former players and coaches who have not been seen by Canadian eyes in many years.

Anderson even gets to meet his hero.

Unlike To Sir With Love, To Russia With Love doesn’t end with Anderson singing to Yakushev or anything like that. But Anderson does conclude the film with a heartfelt acknowledgment of how glad he was to grow up in an era where he could play the Russians regularly, and be inspired and pushed by them.

“My journey revisited the rivalry over the past 65 years, a competitive relationship that has defined us as nations,” Anderson says. “And it is this bond that is at the core of who we are – who I am, as a hockey player.”

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

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1 comment

  1. Lew Barker | September 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Look forward to the film.

    I also have been a great admirer of Yakushev’s skills over the years of watching International Hockey.

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