It was the biggest goal ever scored in Canadian hockey history.

Sept. 28 1972. During the height of the Cold War, Canada faced off against the USSR in a wild eighth game of the Summit Series in Moscow.

With the game tied 5-5 late in the third period, Canada's Paul Henderson slid a rebound past goaltender Vladislav Tretiak with just 34 seconds left to give Canada the win.

"I just panicked. It was there so fast," Henderson told CBC. "Tretiak got a piece of it with his pad, but then he was down and it came right back to me."

"And so I've been celebrating for 40 years."

Henderson played for the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Atlanta flames in a storied career that also included stops in the World Hockey Association.

But Henderson also has a connection to the Hammer — from 1960 to 1963, he played for the Hamilton Red Wings of the Ontario Hockey Association. In those three seasons, Henderson had 74 goals and had 123 points in 128 games.

Though he found success with the NHL, especially with the Red Wings, Henderson will always be remembered most for that epic goal — so much so that it was immortalized a collectable Loonie back in 1997 for the 25th anniversary of the series.

"I'm the only guy that played 18 years of pro hockey and scored one goal," Henderson joked. "Because that's what everyone remembers."

There was something ethereal about the final minute of that game — so much so that Henderson called Peter Mahovlich off the ice so that he could get on.

"It was totally unpremeditated — I just found myself standing up yelling at Peter Mahovlich, because there was a sense that I needed to get on the ice," he said. "I really felt I could score a goal."

Henderson was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2009. As he felt chemotherapy would "beat him up too badly," the hockey icon has been undergoing clinical trials in Bethesda, Maryland.

"I was fortunate, I got into a clinical study down there and I see to be doing half decent," he said.

He's had to buy some new belts, and is back to a 32 inch waist for the first time since he was 15. Ever positive, Henderson hasn't let cancer get to him.

"When you have peace and you have hope, you can handle anything," he said.

"I decided cancer was not going to define me. All anybody has is today."