Oldrich Machac

At the conclusion of the1976 Canada Cup, members of Team Canada and Team Czechoslovakia engaged in an impromptu jersey exchange.

Sometime ago someone asked me who did Bobby Orr exchange jerseys with. At the time I do not know, but I have the answer now. The problem is I can not for the life of me remember who asked in the first place. So for whoever asked, here is your answer.

This issue of Weekend Magazine clearly shows that Orr swapped jerseys with his fellow number four, Oldrich Machac.

So who is this Machac fellow? Quite the hockey player himself, it turns out.

"Olin" Machac is a IIHF Hall of Fame defenseman from the late 1960s and 1970s. He was blue line mainstay on a very strong Czechoslovakian team that seriously challenged the Soviets and Canada for hockey surpemacy in the 1970s. He played somewhat in the shadows of his regular national team defense partner, Frantisek Popisil. This despite the fact that Machac, noted for his wicked slap shot, was considered to be the more offensive of the two.

Machac was a member of three World Championship teams (he also won 4 silver and 3 bronze medals there). In addition, he was a tournament all start in 1972.

Machac also won three Olympic medals - 2 silver and a bronze. He was also a smart and steady player at the 1976 Canada Cup, helping Team CSSR, not the Soviets, get to the finals against Canada.

Machac played a total of 293 international games for Team CSSR. Only Jiri Holik played in more contests. 

He was a star in the Czechoslovakian leagues, most notably with Brno. Six times Machac helped Brno celebrate league championships. The defenseman scored 108 goals in 490 career league games.

In 1978 an aging Machac was allowed to go to the west to finish his hockey career. He played 4 seasons with Rosenheim in Germany. Later in life he worked in the grocery industry.

Here's a great tribute video to the 1976 Canada Cup:

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