New two dollar coin honours 50th anniversary of Summit Series

By CityNews Ottawa

The Royal Canadian Mint is releasing a new, special two dollar coin in honour of the 50th anniversary of Canada's victory at the 1972 Summit Series. 

“Hockey is a defining aspect of our national Canadian identity, and in 1972 Team Canada helped inspire a generation of Canadians,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland “This new circulation coin may be a small token, but I hope fifty years later, that it might help to inspire another.”

The 1972 Summit Series was an eight-game contest between Canada and the USSR, with games scheduled across Canada and in Moscow. The finest hockey players, from the world's top hockey countries, would face off on the ice to finally determine who could claim the title of best hockey nation on earth.

Names like Esposito, Dryden, Makita, Cournoyer, Mahovlich, Clark, Henderson, Savard and Dionne filled out a star-studded line-up of National Hockey League (NHL) players. What was expected to be a rout for Canada turned into a nerve-wracking see-saw battle as the Canadian leg of the series opened with a stunning 7-3 game one loss for the home team, followed by a win, a tie, and another loss to Team USSR in game four.

“Many of Canada's commemorative circulations coins celebrate events that have united Canadians in pride and celebration,” said Marie Lemay, president and chief executive officer of the Royal Canadian Mint. “The 1972 Summit Series is just such an event, which is why we are proud to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this legendary hockey triumph on a circulation coin. The Summit Series is a compelling reminder of what Canadians can accomplish when they unite, work hard and persevere. I hope that this coin will inspire Canadians of all ages, genders and backgrounds, on the ice or in everyday life.”

The reverse of the 50th Anniversary Summit Series $2 circulation coins was designed by Westport, Ontario's Joel Kimmel. The inner core of the coin features two hockey players representing Team Canada. Set against the team's stylized maple leaf jersey emblem, two charging hockey players are framed by the words 'THE SERIES' and '50 YEARS' in English and French. The coaches' initials and the jersey numbers of every player surround the core. The obverse still features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

Three million coins have been minted, of which two million feature a fully coloured inner core. These new coins will gradually reach Canadians through their change as bank branches and businesses replenish their inventories of $2 circulation coins.

“Fifty years ago I said that every one of us, all 35 guys, came out for Team Canada because we loved our country,” said Hall of Fame member Phil Esposito. “We came because we loved Canada. Today, it holds true. Every one of us is proud of what we did as a team and what we did for our country. The team came together and, importantly to all of us, the country came together.”

The Mint is also issuing several collector coins, with proceeds going to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal.

Collectors can get a special wrap roll of the colourized coins for $79.95 each or a special wrap roll set of coloured and uncoloured coins for $159.90.

There is also a large-scale pure silver version of the coin for $189.95 and a pure gold version for $4,099.95.

The collectibles can be ordered on the Mint’s website and at their Ottawa and Winnipeg shops. 

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