Vic Hadfield of the New York Rangers, who scored 50 goals last year and then signed a $200,000-a-year contract, quit Team Canada last week and returned home when he could not beat out J. P. Parise, a relatively unknown left wing for the Minnesota North Stars, for a place in the lineup. "Parise came here and worked," Sinden said, " Hadfield didn't. You look at what the two of them did for five or six weeks, and it makes you wonder about all this star business." Hadfield wasn't the only Team Canada player to bug out. So did Rick Martin, Jocelyn Guevremont and Finest Individual Gil Perreault.
"I don't understand it," Sinden said. "Twelve and 15 years ago Canada beat the Russians with guys who hauled lunch buckets all week. Guys who delivered milk. Guys who tended bar. Why can't these guys we have here—the highest-paid players in the world—beat them?"
Maybe Boris Kulagin had the best answer. "The Canadians," he said simply, "are not as serious about hockey as we are. Everything in hockey is in the seriousness of the approach." Concluded Sinden: "Maybe hockey has to become a year-long job in Canada, too."
Meanwhile, Team Canada fans were losing their aplomb. One day an irate Canadian man spotted NHL President Clarence Campbell at the dollar bar in the Hotel Intourist and started to insult Campbell's hockey intelligence.
"I know more about hockey than anyone in it," Campbell told the man.
"Ah, you mean you know more than Tarasov and Bobrov?" the fan asked.
Campbell thought for a moment. "I was speaking about North America," he said.