The message reads, in part:
“Your festival, which traditionally takes place in Sochi in early May, has always featured strong teams and a high level of organisation, and is by right considered to be a major event in the country’s sports life. Each year, it brings together more teams from Russian regions and involves people from various age groups, professions and hobbies in amateur hockey.
I am sure that the upcoming tournament will allow the players to show off their skill, character, and mutual support and will have dramatic moments of fair play.”
The USSR-Canada Series was an eight-game series of ice hockey between the best professional players from the Soviet Union and Canada, held prior to the 1972–1973 season. The first four games were held in Canada and the other four in Moscow. The Canadian team won four games; the USSR won three and one of the games was a tie. The Soviet team scored 32 goals and the Canadian team scored 31. Games at this level have been held many times since then.
The Soviet ice hockey team existed from 1952 until 1991 and was the strongest in the world: it claimed 7 victories at 9 Olympic Games and held 22 world champion titles.