Mystery of Paul Henderson Summit Series puck finally solved?

Puck Daddy
1972 Summit Series - Paul Henderson and Bobby Clarke celebrate goal
1972 Summit Series - Paul Henderson and Bobby Clarke celebrate goal

Who owns the puck that beat Vladislav Tretiak on Sept. 28, 1972, to win the Summit Series?

Who owns the puck that turned Paul Henderson into a national legend?

For years, the location of the puck and the identity of its true owner were debated. One story had the Henderson puck in the possession of an Ontario man who found it stashed away in a freezer bag, sourced back to a Russian player who cleared it over the glass in frustration.

Most of the attention centered around defenseman Pat Stapleton, who some claimed they saw take the puck from the net. In 2008, after years of denial, Stapleton allegedly brought the puck to a Junior ‘B’ game in Sarnia for the ceremonial faceoff, in honor of a former manager that helped Stapleton get his start.

But questions remained about its validity. On Wednesday, via Sean FitzGerald of the National Post, Stapleton reiterated that he owns the Henderson puck.

“It isn’t really under wraps,” he said, via the Post. “It kind of sits around my house. When the kids were smaller, they played hockey with it. They’d bat it around. The dog bit it. So it really isn’t under wraps — it’s just that you’re not in the right location.” 

Paul Henderson's puck became ... a chew toy?

Stapleton is 74, and from the sound of it he’d like the puck to find a home in the Canadian Sports or Hockey Halls of Fame.

From the Post:

Peter Steen is director of media and communications for the business established around the 1972 team. He said there are three options: Selling the puck, keeping it or donating it. “Each have their pluses, each have their minuses,” he said. “I highly doubt we’re going to go down the ‘sell it’ route. Pat’s not that kind of guy, and if he wanted to, he’s had plenty of time to do it already.”

The timeline for a decision, Steen said, is “limited.”

“We don’t have another 40 years to start developing this thing,” he said. “Because we’re losing members, and we’re losing stories, and we’re losing relevancy in that regard.”

Stapleton said his only goal is for the puck is for it to “be for young people to dream upon.”

That’s a perfect sentiment, given how many young Canadians dreamed about becoming hockey legends after Henderson’s goal vs. the Soviets. 

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