Clarence Campbell in a World Hockey Association arena? I never thought that day would come, but the NHL president visited Quebec's Le Colisee Saturday to watch the Nordinques thrash the Soviet national team, 6-1.
Campbell's vist was prompted by a desire to negotiate a superseries in September between the Stanley Cup champion and the top Soviet team, as well as some exhibitions between NHL and Soviet clubs next Christmas time.
It seems hardly a month ago that Campbell had attacked the September Canada Cup series for filling the Soviet's pockets at the expense of interest in the current NHL season. Yet, here we go again.
Fans have found regular-season games a bore ever since the Team Canada-U.S.S.R. series in September, 1972. Such confrontations are certainly the height of excitement, but they turn everything that follows into anticlimax.
The time for a superseries is in May, after the Stanley Cup final and world championships. Critics of such a setup argue that the players are worn out by the long season.
That is a patent absurdity. Players who participate in a September series are weary by May because they began training in mid-August. Moving the showdown to May would add two weeks at the end, trim a month at the beginning. Two more weeks ought to be hacked off, anyway, by a reduction of the schedule from 80 to 74 games.