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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Gretzky is still a God

Not matter what Gretzky is still a God. Ask anyone in Canada. There isn’t a person in Canada who wouldn’t follow Gretzky’s lead. When he says suck we all say how hard. I have numerous buddies that would wipe Gretzky’s ass after a night of beer and Chili at Taco Bell (Campbell).

The US team didn't seem to be entangled in as much drama as the Canadians going into the games with Team Canada Executive Director and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky being tied up in the Rick Tocchet gambling sting as well as questions as to his choices for the team but the US did seem to have some outspoken critics after the games. What was surprising to most, was that disparaging comments were coming from within the organization - on ice level to be specific.
Three time US Olympian Mike Modano ripped into his country's executive group following the US 4-3 loss to Finland that bounced them from the tournament.

"You'd think USA Hockey would be a well-oiled machine, but it's not," he said. "Basically we were on our own for hotels, tickets, flights, stuff like that. Normally we wouldn't have to worry about stuff like that."

Gretzky stocked this year's Canadian roster with a group who's majority couldn't exactly be referred to as 'spring chickens' either with 18 of the starting 25 in the lineup being born prior to 1980. Yes - the core of this year's team was there to bring home gold during Salt Lake 2002 as well as the 2004 World Cup, but 4 years is a long time in sport-years and takes its toll on an a battered old hockey body (even with a year off for the lockout).

Pittsburgh Penguins rookie standout Sidney Crosby was left off the roster completely, despite sitting 12th in NHL scoring with 65 points in 58 games as were Jonathan Cheechoo and Patrick Marleau, both standouts with the San Jose Sharks this season.

"People are going to question who was on the ice and who was on the team and that's OK," Gretzky told CBC Sports.
"I'm a pretty big boy. I can stand up [to any criticism].
"[But] obviously we have to do something different for 2010."

It is indeed, Wayne, a time for the 'changing of the guard'.

My congratulations to Sweden who did end up winning gold but even they had a short lived celebration as NHL players from that winning team were right back on planes heading to their respective North American club cities after a few minutes of Stockholm-style celebration.
Maybe there is a lot to be taken from the fallout following this year's Olympics.

Maybe the US program needs a revamping and should seriously consider Modano's comments as worthy. Maybe Gretzky's history should be discounted and he shouldn't have the right to decide who suits up for Canada in Vancouver 2010. Maybe all of this hullabaloo is really justified afterall.

... or maybe... it just sucks to lose.

I say 1 or 2 ply Mr. Gretzky?

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