Queen's University

40th anniversary of Paul Henderson's winning goal: Queen's University expert

2012-10-01

Queen’s University professor Sam McKegney is available to talk about the 40th anniversary of Paul Henderson’s series-winning goal (Sept. 28) that gave Canada the 1972 Summit Series victory over the U.S.S.R.

Dr. McKegney studies hockey culture and comes from an NHL family – his uncle Tony McKegney had a 13-year NHL career. He feels great hockey moments, such as Henderson’s goal, help unite Canadians and gives us a sense of national identity.

“Whether it’s Crosby’s Olympic winner in Vancouver, Lemieux’s top shelf rocket to secure the ’87 Canada Cup, or Henderson’s historic goal to clinch the ’72 Summit Series, there’s something profoundly visceral about sharing an idea of national victory through sport. Watching in basements, in bars or in town halls, diverse people from all across this immense geographical space have felt, if only for a brief moment, the emotional pull of an imagined national ‘we’. ‘We scored!’ echoes throughout the room and we say it without a trace of irony,” says Dr. McKegney, who teaches in the English department. “Today, half the Canadian population was not alive when Henderson scored his iconic goal and the experience of that moment still lives on. Yet, the reduction of this complicated international event to an audio loop on Hockey Night in Canada—Foster Hewitt exclaiming, ‘Henderson scores for Canada!’—runs the risk of watering down the contextual ambivalences that make the event so valuable as a tool for examining Canadian nationhood. When the image of the goal itself eclipses our understandings of the crisis of national identity engendered by the superior puck-handling skill of the Russians when the series got underway, or the national soul-searching attendant to Bobby Clarke’s intentional injuring of Russian star Valeri Kharlamov, we run the risk of losing the potential for hockey to teach us about ourselves.”

Please note Dr. McKegney is available on Wednesday (2-4:20 pm) and Thursday (9:45 am-12:45 pm) and has limited availability outside these times.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or Anne.Craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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