Paul Henderson scored arguably the biggest goal in Canadian hockey history. (Getty)Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston. Team USA celebrating after the ‘Miracle on Ice’. Dwight Clark’s leaping touchdown catch.
They’re some of the most iconic moments in sports history. They are moments, which have all been captured on camera and have been transformed into posters that can be found on the walls of stores, homes and man caves across North America.
But what about iconic Canadian sports moments?
Joe Carter rounding the bases, Sidney Crosby’s golden goal, and Paul Henderson’s Summit Series winner, each is memorable to different generations of Canadian sports fans for different reasons.
Sports Poster Warehouse (sportsposterwarehouse.com) decided to gather data from their poster sales since 1998 – when the company began operating online – and determine which Canadian sports moment or athlete has brought in the most revenue in poster sales.
On Monday they released a list of the top 10 highest selling posters in the companies history and Henderson’s goal came in at number one with the ‘Golden Goal and ‘Touch ‘em all Joe' placing second and third respectively.
“The Paul Henderson poster is the item that launched our business 15 years ago,” Sports Poster Warehouse president Neil Flagg said over email. “We have sold thousands over the years, and has been in our top-five hockey poster sellers every year.”
It’s no surprise that Henderson’s goal celebration ranks highest amongst Canadian sports poster sales for SPW. While Crosby’s goal was the perfect ending to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the photo itself is only two years old. As Flagg said the Henderson poster helped launch the business in 1998 and has therefore been sold for more than a decade longer than the ‘Golden Goal’ poster.
And Henderson’s goal was meaningful to Canadians for more than just the fact that it solidified Canada’s victory over the Soviet Union in the infamous eight-game hockey series. It meant something much bigger for the country at the time.
As Lance Hornby wrote in the Toronto Sun:
Henderson just didn't beat the Russians with his Game 8 goal, one of three consecutive winners he potted in Moscow, it was seen as victory for a way of life.
"You have to think of the time and place," said NHL scout John Ferguson Jr., whose father was Canada's assistant coach. "You had the culture clash, the politics, the unknown Iron Curtain and a drama that played out over 27 days, not a seven-game series. It went from the surprise and shock of us losing the first game (40 years ago today in Montreal), to the big comeback and the winning goal. I still get the chills thinking about it.
"And it was all on TV, so it's going to have longevity. In the U.S., they talk about the 1980 Miracle On Ice, where 1960 (when the U.S. beat the Soviets and Czechs for the gold) that was a bigger accomplishment. But 1960 wasn¹t on TV."
Click here to check out the full list.