Rendez-vous '87 was an international ice hockey series of games between the Soviet men's national ice hockey team and a team of All-Stars from the National Hockey League which was held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. It replaced the NHL's All-Star festivities for the 1986-87 NHL season.
The Soviet team was paid $80,000 for their appearance in Rendez-vous '87 while the NHLers raised $350,000 for the players' pension fund.
Rendez-vous '87 was designed as a follow-up to the Challenge Cup series in 1979, hoping that the team of NHL All-Stars could beat the Soviet team, unlike before.
To this end, the series was a two-game affair instead of a three-game affair in 1979. The two-game series took place during five days of festivities starting on February 9, 1987 and finishing on February 13, 1987.
The series was very successful with some players (including Wayne Gretzky) calling for more international hockey, especially between Canada and the Soviet Union, the two top powers of hockey at the time.
The teams split the games with the NHLers winning the first game, 4-3, followed by a Soviet 5-3 victory two nights later.
Though they outscored the NHL 8-7 over the two games, Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov made no claim to victory, saying: "The NHL didn't win and neither did we, the person that won was hockey itself. Both games were like holidays, like festivals, two of the greatest hockey games you'll ever see."
While the telecasts in Canada were on CBC as usual, they were not Hockey Night in Canada productions.
The games were done as a CBC Sports production because Molson (who owned the rights to "Hockey Night in Canada" at the time) were not allowed access to Le Colisée in Quebec City.
Carling O'Keefe Breweries assumed the advertising rights for the telecasts and the normal host(s) for "Hockey Night in Canada" in 1987, rookie Ron MacLean & Dave Hodge (before his late season firing) were replaced by Brian Williams.
Even the ice blue blazers normally worn by "Hockey Night in Canada" commentators were replaced by the orange CBC sportcoats. Don Wittman and John Davidson called the action for CBC.
The games were shown in the United States on ESPN with Ken Wilson & Bill Clement in the booth.
Game One: February 11, 1987Edit
Dave Poulin scored the winning goal on a deflection from Mario Lemieux, but Lemieux was initially credited with the goal. On the bench, he could be seen pointing toward Poulin as the goal was announced.
|Shots on Goal||11–9–7–27||5–9–10–24|
|Win/Loss||W – Grant Fuhr||L – Evgeny Belosheikin|
Game Two: February 13, 1987Edit
The Soviets won the contest 5–3. This game featured the emergence of the young Soviet forward line consisting of Valeri Kamensky, Viacheslav Bykov and Andrei Khomutov.
After the game, the players on each team exchanged hockey sweaters as part of the hockey tradition.
|Shots on Goal||6–13–12–31||7–9–13–29|
|Win/Loss||L – Grant Fuhr||W – Evgeny Belosheikin|