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Gretzky won't support Hamilton because it would mean taking a stand

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

So far, it appears Wayne Gretzky is not one of Balsillie's followers. ...Read the full article

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  1. Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes: I know this is unfair, but a comparison betwenn Belliveau (worked for the team owner Molson for years - but that was a different time) ,Gretzky (the Messiah of Hockey in Desert climates) and Yzerman (the Last of the Loyalists to one team) would be an interesting discussion to have.

    I don't think Wayne will come out on top on this one. As far as my opinion carries on these hockey threads ( I suspect I'm at the level of fish head soup), Gretzky has spent a lot of personal capital attempting to make Phoenix work and has done so as a fine foot soldier of Bettman's league. It is not surprising that he does not come out in public support of Balsillie'sagressive attack.

    Wayne may have finally reached the maturity of action in this case. It's time to retire from the Circus.
  2. Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: Why this preoccupation with Gretzky, and what he would do, et al?
    The guy has financially raped the Coyotes with his exorbitant salary.

    'The Weiner' as myself and my friends always called him, will look after himself.

    I sincerely would like to see The Weiner come out on the low end of the totem pole, for a change.

    Enough worship and catering to this guy.

    His dad is pretty cool, though.
  3. Danny Manning from Canada writes: I don't comment much but anyone who follows these boards knows that I have frequently said that Gretzky deserves to starting wearing this Coyotoes/Phoenix mess. He's an over-paid coach and an owner who isn't responsible for losses, yet can't help make the club profitable. He's done his part for Canada in the past but those days are long, long gone. He cherry-picks when it suits him the best. Oh, I want my daughter to sing the national anthem, no prob. Oh, I want to run a second-rate golf tourney in Collingwood, no prob. Oh, I want to put together the Olympics team (again) and World Cup team, no prob. Hey Wayner - if you want to be a Yank, no prob either. Just don't do it when it suits your purpose. What this whole thing has shown that when forced to make a choice, make a stand, he's left looking like a spineless jellyfish. Kudos to Blair for pointing that out. But I'll never forget that goal in Canada Cup 87> What arena was that again? Oh, yeah, Copps!!!
  4. Bob Smyth from Ladysmith B.C., Canada writes: Gretsky does not need to justify his position to anyone. If you think he does you should take a cold shower. He was the Voice of Hockey for over 15 years and handled that mantle with grace and dignity. Not once did he ever embarss the game and exploit it for his own monetery gain. The Coyetes situation was an NHL driven situation,that he became inolvoved with, much reluctance. He did not need them , they needed him .Bettmans grand plan, is based on national acceptance of the U.S market of the N.H.L as a major sport. To this he needed high profile personalties to sell the game to vigin markets. Did Wayne need this? No. Did Wayne agree to put his name to this? yes . Should he be compensated well for this? Yes. If Wayne is all you have to vent about God bless you.



  5. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: Mr Blair wrote:
    Many is the Canadian who would rather live among the palms and in the arid desert than put up with the cold and snow.
    ===
    Oh you would, would you?
    Give you a month and you would be begging for your Snow Shovel.

    Jeff you simply have to stop believing in all those Arizona Tourists Brochures.--For your info and anybody else uninformed too; IT DOES SNOW AND FREEZE IN ARIZONA. In fact probably snows more at Xmas in Flagstaff, than it does in Hamilton.--And that "arid desert" can get HOT (115-125F) enough to blow-out your car tires in summer. Ever seen a tire blow because of pavement heat?--Splits in a zillion pieces!

    And does it ever freeze there?
    You are damned right it does, nearly every night in Phoenix in Jan & early Feb.--Then come those marvelous 'Desert Rains' only it doesn't sink in the earth like it does it S.Ont.--One minute the rivers are completely dry and in only 25 mins raging torrents washing out anything and everything that is stupid enough to not run for high ground. Mostly dumb a$$ed Canadian Snow Birds with campers on their very first trip to an 'Arid Desert' Paradise.

    Utopia was an invented word.
    And certainly AZ wouldn't fit that description other than for a short temporary Ontario dream of sun and cactus.

    Believe me the Gretzky's have a FURNACE in their home and a hell'va lot of expensive Air Conditioners too, in their Phoenix Paradise.

    But it gets up to maybe 65 every late afternoon--Then it freezes.
  6. Patrick Nolan from Perth, Australia writes: It really doesn't matter what Gretzky thinks at this point. To have him on board would be a bonus, but it goes against his American commitments. When it involves money he's American. When it involves national pride in a non-NHL situation, he's Canadian. Money comes first here for Wayne.
  7. Burgermeister Meisterberger from TORONTO, Canada writes: It's symbolic - spurious symbolism. Gretzky is not a substantial component, off the ice, of any team that he's been part of. Besides, Janet wouldn't let him move to the hammer.
  8. Colin Thompson from New Hyde Park, United States writes: This article was not fair to Gretzky. He is a Canadian pursuing his dream of owning and building a hockey club in Phoenix.

    It just didn't work for business reasons. He won the Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and other international tournaments for Canada. Actions speak louder than all the criticism from people here who have not achieved what he has achieved. I am sure his decisions will be based on what is best for himself.

    I hope more teams like Nashville, Los Angeles and NY Islanders move to Canadian markets like Hamilton, Regina and Calgary. These markets deserve a professional hockey team because they have the fans and they have never had a professional hockey team before.
  9. best west from Canada writes: Wayne is probably not excited that there is a chance that the Coyotes might be moved to Canada because it is not the right thing to do. I wonder what the reaction would be if the situation was reversed ie the team being moved from Hamilton to Phoenix?
    Pulling a team out of a city before all avenues have been explored to keep it in the city is wrong. The league was wrong when they removed the teams from Winnipeg and Quebec City the way they did, so I give them full marks for learning from thise mistakes.
    Balissee will have to learn to play by league rules.
  10. D W from Switzerland writes: Based on his position set out above re Gretzky,
    I assume that, if Jeff Blair does not like the next takeover bid /merger /acquisition involving Bell/CTV/Globeand mail.com, he will publicly throw his support behind one of the bidders -- no matter what effect that has on his work relationship with his fellow journalists/bosses/sources/union colleagues .... NOT!

    why expect anything different from a guy in another conflicted situation, esp. when nothing whatsoever is decided??
  11. Martin's E-ratt from Nashville, United States writes: Wayne had no problem saying Hamilton was a good city to put an NHL team when Nashville was being sold a couple of years ago......funny how things changed.
  12. Mike M from Canada writes: There are in fact 2 reason Gretzky won't support the move to Hamilton. The fist is correctly identified - he doesn't take a stand on anything. But the second reason is that he has no desire whatsoever to go to Hamilton.
  13. JEFF S from Hamilton, Canada writes: This article, along with some of the comments, is a complete CROCK! Why on earth do we always look to Gretzky for direction when it comes to hockey is this country? WWGD.....What Would Gretzky Do? I mean, this guy should be left alone, he does not need to be involved in every hockey decision north of the border, but yet the media always wants to put a microphone in his face. And then blast him when he doesn't give the answer they want to hear.

    What do you people expect him to say? The Pheonix Coyotes are his CURRENT employer. And as an owner, he has a vested interest in keeping the fan base happy. He knows that there is a very small chance that this move goes through, so why alienate your fans by saying that you think this move would be good? Not a smart move when you are trying to sell season's tix for 2010, is it?
  14. Celine Brown from Canada writes: Wayne Gretzky does not care about hockey in Canada. He's one of the main reasons hockey is now located in southern climes.

    Once the media realizes this, we'll all be better served.
  15. D W from Ottawa, Canada writes: From a PR point of view Gretzky is between a rock and a hard place on this one. If I were him I would try to fade into the background and wait until it is all sorted out.

    Look at his options:

    1) If the supports the Balsillie bid it looks like he just wants to get paid(22M for him in the deal) and if Balsillie's bid fails he poisons his relations with Phoenix.

    2) If he supports Bettman he is an enemy of Canada.

    His best bet for now is to try to come down on both sides of the fence "Southern Ontario is a great hockey market and would be a great home for a team, but we've been working really hard to develop the game in Phoenix and it would be a shame to give up now, yadda, yadda, yadda."
  16. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Bit of a cheap shot headline and story on Gretzky.

    Look, he was one of the top 5 all time great players! That's it! That doesn't make him anything else but that, so why can't people just accept "that" instead of thinking he can be some type of god in every facet of business and life and needs to take a position on everything!

    Gretzky will do what is best for him $$$ and family. Phoenix or Hamilton? When all considered no contest, and Phoenix is only 350 miles from Los Angeles.

    Family? Expensive gig there with a wife and 5 children aged 21-19-17-9-6 as if they would want to get uprooted and follow dad to the cold north leaving their friends behind....

    Gretz's future is Phoenix or California (Kings-Ducks.....)
    .
  17. Celine Brown from Canada writes: Gretzky deserves the shots he gets because he has tried to play both sides (I am proud Canuckian and we need to ensure hockey gets stronger in the southern states) for years.

    He has done more harm to Canada than good.
  18. H. M. from Canada writes: Colin, Calgary has a team, they're called the Calgary Flames and they made it to the playoffs this year. Canada's big three provinces financially are Ontario, BC and Alberta. Alberta and Ontario both have 2 teams, it's time BC got a second team before Ontario gets a third. Or Winnipeg or Regina should get a team. Ontario doesn't support the 2 teams it has. A lot of Bay Street companies are unloading their Leafs tickets.
  19. Alexander Swann from Canada writes: This is a bit harsh. Gretzky's been trying to grow the sport in the states for years - there's nothing wrong with that - as opposed to growing it in a saturated market like Ontario where success is assured but is not a "new" market. I get Gretzky is no Muhammad Ali (and he cut Gilmour's eye in 93) but you dance with the one you came with - he's a phoenix employee - whatever his ownership stake - and he is the emblem of that team or one of them in that community. You dont then turn around and say let's get out of here. There's a good chance the deal doesnt go through and team stays, then he's likely got to get out of dodge. The expos players and manager rarely if ever said the expos should leave montreal even though it was as plain as day. It's about being diplomatic to the city you live in that pays your wage and being respectful to the few fans who are there. Again to use the Expos analogy a lot of Canadian writers should recall what it's like to be on the wrong end of a failing franchise. It's difficult for all and it's not right to just abandon markets without any class or respect for the interests of fans everywhere no matter how few in numbers. It diminishes hte game to create bad blood when you bail on markets and it should involve at least some good faith efforts, tact and diplomacy.
  20. Steve Howe from North of Wawa, writes: Blair is right. When Gretzky does take a stand, it is usually safe and dull. Even when he does really try, it still seems calculated and rather tame. His willingness to sit on the fence is who he is. We like our hockey royalty to be soooo stereotypically niceguy. He was the greatest(?) Canadian hockey player who married a princess and made millions of dollars. Why would he rock the boat?
  21. belsize park from United States writes: we all think it is wonderful that Mssrs Bettman, Gretzky et al want hockey to flourish in the sunbelt... but to do it at the expense of the Canadian communities that give their life blood to this game is a shame... and a real indication as to how these guys really think.
  22. Boom Boom from Canada writes: Don't blame Gretzky, thats for sure. He's put everything into getting Phoenix sustainable as a hockey market. But they need to win, and haven't.

    What I don't understand is why Wayne has always deferred to Bettman and shown such respect for the weasel. Bettmann deserves none.
  23. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from Vancouver, Canada writes: Just remember that Gretzky stills supports his lardo buddy Bruce McNall and feels that McNall did nothing wrong.
  24. Cant we all just get along from Canada writes: Personally I couldnt give a rats a$$ what or how gretzky feels about anything,,he was a protected player at best,,every owner agreed,dont hurt Gretzky because he fills our arenas and fills are pockets at the same time,,,mmmm just curious,,,how ould the great one haved faired against the flyers of old,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,THE GREATEST HOCKEY PLAYER THAT EVER LACED UP A PAIR OF SKATES WAS NUMBER 4 BOBBY ORR,,,,he played against the best and the toughest,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,PERIOD
  25. D Russ from Toronto, Canada writes: Why does Gretzky want to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix? Is he scared that Southern Ontario will find out he has a lousy team and is a lousy coach? Much better to risk being fired in a tiny who-gives-a-darn market like Phoenix than Hoceky's epicenter.

    Remember when he took the safe approach and selected a bunch of veterans for the 2006 olympics & left off Crosby? This article is spot on. Gretzky should go back to enjoying his rishes and doing lame commercials.
  26. Ed Long from Canada writes: Gretzky is an opportunist who marches to Bettman's drum.

    His allegiance to Canadian hockey is for appearance and profitability only.

    Bettman will not allow another team in Canada because it will affect his American revenue base. His league is an American marketing franchise with Canadian participation limited by franchises and the salary cap.

    Gretzky is just miming the company line.

    And expect many sportswriters and players to chime in ..... .

    Think of the NHL as the auto assembly business. Use Canadian labour and gullability to build products for profit in the U.S.A.
  27. Blake Johnston from Vancouver, Canada writes: I'm sick of Wayne...you're useless now.
  28. max from edmonton from Canada writes: Celine Brown from Canada writes: Gretzky deserves the shots he gets because he has tried to play both sides (I am proud Canuckian and we need to ensure hockey gets stronger in the southern states) for years.

    He has done more harm to Canada than good
    *******************************************************
    Please. Gretzky has not harmed Canada in any way. If nothing else he has kept his chin up and carried himself with dignity always.

    there is no conflict at all between being a proud Canadian, and wanting to grow the game in the states.
  29. Blake Johnston from Vancouver, Canada writes: I would never bring Gretz on to my team. He's shown over these recent not to know squat about the game...he's too busy doing Ford commercials. ANd frankly, PHX can't fire the man because he's got too much power. He's a terrible coach and just a yes man.
  30. Joe Puckster from United States writes: Gretzky is a sell-out!! they might have had a decent team in Phoenix if he wasn't the coach. Stick to what you knew best Wayne... Canada and playing hockey!!

    Bettman is a crook who needs booted out of office... he's driving this league right into the ground.

    http://www.FireBettman.com

    Fire Bettman!!!!
  31. Tim R from Phoenix, United States writes: Coach Gretzky is a smart man and is doing what is best for his employer and his family. Mr. Bettman is an honorable man doing what is right for the fans and the league. All I can say is thank goodness we have both of them. Phoenix fans love their Coyotes and hockey is actually quite popular in this climate. Since ice-rinks are not super plentiful and we have no winter to speak of, we have adopted in-line hockey as a means of quenching our thirst for hockey. Between ice and in-line, a lot of hockey is played here...and those players and families are big-time Coyote fans. To cap it off, we are lucky enough to have Mr. Gretzky as our head coach - what could be better? I don't care what anyone says about him - he is a gentleman and a true sportsman. From the General Manager on down, the Coyote staff is top notch. And just wait, we will surprise a lot of people next year with our play. The March draft was very good for us and we are hungry and determined to win - and this attitude and spirit is already attracting more fans to our state of the art stadium. Most importantly, we are creating new hockey fans every with every season that goes by. Hockey can be played anywhere and loved anywhere - and with all due respect not just in Canada.
  32. t w from Canada writes: Gretzky does not need to comment on anything here. He was a great hockey player but just an average coach and general manager.
    Balsillie is doomed to never being an NHL owner unless he starts his own league and merges with the NHL later like the World Hockey Association did in the 70's.
  33. Celine Brown from Canada writes: Judging by the posts (including my own), that Gretzky has failed to fool many of us with his so-called loyalty to Canadian hockey.
  34. john wardle from Canada writes:
    somebody do something about bettman AND wayne gretzky!
  35. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from Vancouver, Canada writes: Tim R from Phoenix, United States writes: The March draft was very good for us and we are hungry and determined to win...

    Tim, with this comment, you just proved just how little knowledge AZ has about hockey and the NHL. The NHL draft takes place in June; not March.
  36. max from edmonton from Canada writes: Celine Brown from Canada writes: Judging by the posts (including my own), that Gretzky has failed to fool many of us with his so-called loyalty to Canadian hockey.
    ******************************************************
    Somebody better tell Wayne. Can you remind me what he did that made you think he was trying to fool anyone?
  37. Happy Camper from Canada writes: Where is the quote that Gretsky is thinking any of this garbage? Hamilton is simply making smoke. Gretsky won't say anything because it is meaningless and a no win for him to say anything. It will play out in court and he will go where ever it plays out if it is in his interest. Garbage so called article.
  38. Celine Brown from Canada writes: Max,
    Gretzky is one of the main reasons we lost Quebec and Winnipeg. He was the one beating the NHL has grow in the southern US drum the loudest.

    I think you'd also do well to read Ed Long's post where he states: "{Gretzky is an opportunist who marches to Bettman's drum.

    His allegiance to Canadian hockey is for appearance and profitability only."

    Well said Ed
  39. Andre Poirier from Canada writes: Gretzky was a talented hockey player. He is still a product of the NHL, one that does not breed any sense of respect for anything other than glorifying its own. They do not respect rules of the game, and this teaches people not to respect laws. Look at the tolerance for violence after the whistle blows. The league's soft stance hides the fact that they like the sales that they get from the rule breaking. However it teaches our kids a whole lot of bad and not much good. Getting back to Gretzky... The problem with Gretzky is that we called him "The Great One", he was a great hockey player and had an amazing record as such. However he is not really superlatively great in any other sense, in fact he is probably average, he has not been a stellar owner or coach, or organizer of the Canadian Olympic Hockey teams. That's not really meant as a shot, it's just, why do we give him credit in all aspects of life, when he was amazing in only one. I think the whole "Great One" idea has gone to Gretzky's head as it has to many of these sheep fans who live for such concepts, as they do for the entertainment value of fighting after the whistle. I am not against boxing, boxing has a set of rules that are generally respected, I am against athlete systems that do not promote respect of any rules, and in fact reward the breaking of rules.
  40. Captain Feathersword from Canada writes: Tim R from Phoenix....good post. It is good for the game to take hold in non-traditional markets, as everyone benefits.....I do feel for the season ticket holders and core fans in phoenix, however, at the end of the day, the team needs to be financially viable. There is incredible demand for additional teams in southern ontario, which has a population of ~8 million being served by 1 team (although there are some sabres fans in Niagara and Red Wings fans in Windsor areas).....I don't like the position Gretzky is placed in here....yes, he was raised in Brantford, but his home for the past 20 years has been in LA....he raised his kids there, and that is his home now. To ask him to even contemplate which side to support is completely inappropriate
  41. Jeffrey 93 from Canada writes: Who cares what Wayne thinks?

    What I want to know is....what sort of odds is Janet giving Balsillie to win?!?
  42. Tim R from Phoenix, United States writes: Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from Vancouver, Canada writes: Tim, with this comment, you just proved just how little knowledge AZ has about hockey and the NHL. The NHL draft takes place in June; not March.

    I beg your pardon, Apu. I'm one of those new fans that Mr. Bettman has cultivated by bringing the NHL to Phoenix.

    What I as referring to when I said 'March trades' were the trades we made in early March of 2009 prior to the 2009 NHL trade deadline of March 4, 2009. Thanks to our GM Don Maloney, we acquired Matthew Lombardi, Brandon Prust, Scottie Upshall, Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes, Dmitri Kalinin, and more.

    I can't wait to play Vancouver again.
  43. Celine Brown from Canada writes: Andre, excellent commentary. Kudos my friend
  44. The Fish from CommonSense, Canada writes: I think Gretz is, and always has been, a very classy guy who has no desire to get into a mud slinging contest with lawyers and media types.

    I'm fairly certain he is not about to turn his back on all the Phoenix fans that have supported the team. The fact that there aren't enough of them doesn't mean that you slight the ones that show up and pay your salary. And speaking out now would be a real kick in the teeth to the faithful.

    I'd like to see them move too but Hamilton should not be feeling put out simply because a guy who has been above the rumour and inuendo game his whole career, is not rushing headlong to bite the hand that's been feeding him. Doesn't work that way.
  45. Cassandra from Ottawa from Canada writes: This article is a cheap shot against Gretzky.

    Just beacuse he didnt fall in line behind the over heated and over excited Balsille cheerleaders at the Globe.

    In fact, when Balsille floated the idea of naming the stadium after Geretzky's father,(to try and get the son onside) Walter Gretzky said that he doubted his o son would go along because he couldn't be bought.

    I think that says more about Wayne Gretzky's opinion of Mr Balsllie than anything quoted here in this spiteful little piece.
  46. max from edmonton from Canada writes: Celine Brown from Canada writes: Max,
    Gretzky is one of the main reasons we lost Quebec and Winnipeg. He was the one beating the NHL has grow in the southern US drum the loudest.

    ******************************************************

    The ONLY reason "we" lost the Nord's and the Jets, is profit.

    If the people, and businesses of Quebec and Winnipeg stepped up to the plate and made those teams profitable, they would still be there today
  47. max from edmonton from Canada writes: Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: Why this preoccupation with Gretzky, and what he would do, et al?
    The guy has financially raped the Coyotes with his exorbitant salary.

    'The Weiner' as myself and my friends always called him, will look after himself.

    *********************************************************
    Anybody who has any kind of a brain realizes you ALWAYS take care of your family and your self first.

    What do you do? Hope the world treats you nice?

    I always laugh at people from Calgary that denounce Gretzky.

    Something about insecure people that need to tear down others to make themselves look/feel better.
  48. Celine Brown from Canada writes: Max, were you Wayne's best man at his wedding or something?

    Quebec City really didn't get much of a chance to mount a charge to save the Nords since the deal was similar to the one Basisle has with Moyes. And the league did nothing to try to block it.
  49. max from edmonton from Canada writes: Celine Brown from Canada writes: Max, were you Wayne's best man at his wedding or something?

    Quebec City really didn't get much of a chance to mount a charge to save the Nords since the deal was similar to the one Basisle has with Moyes. And the league did nothing to try to block it.
    *********************************************************
    LOL, no I wasnt at his wedding. In fact, I am not even a huge supporter of him as a hockey manager. I enjoyed watching him play hockey as a kid though.

    The people of Quebec had years to support that team. If local business had built a new rink, and the people of Quebec filled the seats, and bought merchandise, I am pretty sure the team would have been there still.

    Winnipeg made a last ditch effort, but same thing goes, they had years.

    I just like participating in threads where people are making drastic one sided comments.

    I have learned there is always another side, and I try to stay away from absolutes

    (Unless I am bashing away at flames fans)

    Peace
  50. Binon Strike from Down East, Canada writes: Max,

    Winnipeg and Quebec City did not have the benefit of a cap system, which would have made both cities profitable. Without the cap system your own Oilers would be playing out of Kansas City by now. If profit is what the NHL uses as it's criteria for locating franchises should the league not be moving at least ten teams north by now?

    As for Gretz, he's doing what anyone here would do if the company they worked for and owned was going bankrupt, minimizing his risk. What else should he do?

    BTW - love him or leave him being called "The Great One" is hilarious. Talk about a trump card on fishing trip with the boys.
  51. Dr. Xavier Octagonapus from Hamilton, Canada writes: Boys and their Toys.... It's a shame Wayne won't show any testicular fortitude on this and take a stand. Shame on him when Hamilton has done right by Wayne...remember where your parents got and still get their specialized health care Wayne! Don't get me wrong... I'm in agreement with Ron Joyce...with the economic woes that are gripping Hamilton...this city/region could never support an NHL Team. Come on people...we have an NHL Farm team = the AHL Bulldogs and can't get more than a couple thousand fans per game in to Copps. Now explain to me how we're going to increase the average ticket price (at least!!) 5 times or more, and expect to increase attendance?! Do your homework Mr. Balsillie...look at the ethnic composition of Hamilton and the surrounding region. Want to buy a Pro Sporst team that will actually have a chance of success in Hamilton... Buy a Major League Soccer Franchise and bring it to Hamilton !! You'll have an instant rivalry with Toronto FC, and fans in the stands that actually care about the sport they're watching. As for Bettman, he's an Egomaniacal Pariah that the NHL would be best without. Look around folks, people are losing their jobs, their homes, their pensions, and these guys expect us to hand over the equivalent of a mortgage payment, or months grocery $$ for a pair of hockey tickets. It's time the fans took a stand against this... next season BOYCOTT THE NHL!!!!!!!!
  52. max from edmonton from Canada writes: Binon Strike from Down East, Canada

    I agree whole heartedly with what you write.

    Edmonton very nearly did lose our team not long ago. Fans in E-town were lucky that a group of business leaders jumped up when they did and put a ton of money into the team.

    It likely would not have happened without the team winning all those cups, I believe there was a much greater sentimental value because of that.

    So in that sense, Wayne was at least partly responsible for that.
  53. Huey Freeman from Mississauga, Canada writes: It funny but if it wern't for Gretzky success in LA the league would look vastly different. Some markets that were created for his presence worked such as San Jose and Anahiem. Others such as Nashville, Florida and the relocated Phoenix don't work and never will. I heard Bryan Conangelo on the radio say it takes 45 minutes to go from Scottdale to Glendale on a Saturday. Most of all the people who are season ticket owners live in Scottsdale and that the ownership really messed up building a hockey only rink in an area where no one really wants to see a hockey game. Gretzky was the best of all time on the rink but between the bench he is medicore at best. There is no way he giving up his easy life in Phoenix for the pressure of a hockey crazed market in Hamilton. Gretzky would be fired within the frst 3 months for his lacklustre team and terrible coaching.
  54. bob jones from Vancouver, Canada writes: Is Gretzky running the US Olympic team next year?
  55. Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: I agree with those who say that this transaction has nothing to do with Wayne Gretzky.

    To get in this battle in any way is a fools move for any coach or GM.

    Besides.........Mr Gretzky would have very little impact whatsoever in any decision about to be made.
  56. Jim Goodwin from Canada writes: Time to pick on Neil Young too, like Gretzky he enjoys life in the USA. Both men are married to Americans and their children are Americans. Rather easy to understand why they may want to stay there. Wayne has always carried himself with dignity, even when the Tocchet gambling scandal went down and his wife was implicated, he did not lash out, he stayed above the fray. He must have clothing made of teflon, because between Pocklington, McNall, and the many jailbirds that have owned NHL teams, he has remained unscathed, and if the authorities had anything on him I am sure they would go after hiim with a vengeance given his fame. Having living in the tropics in the past, I cannot wait to return to them at least as an escape of the Canadian winter. I did not miss the winter at all, I just was not here for it. Too many men my age have the last vision they see being the tire pressure instructions on their tire as they succumb to a heart attack shovelling snow. I did not miss a snow shovel at all.
  57. Colin Thompson from New Hyde Park, United States writes: Response to H.M.

    So you want a team in Victoria? Coquitlam? Kelowna? Not enough people. Saskatchewan has 1 million people and they are die hard fans. Winnipeg can sell out an arena. Same for Hamilton and Quebec city. This is a hockey franchise being discussed - not a government program.

    I still say Calgary has never had a professional hockey team. The Flames yes. Professional...no.

    From a fan of all Canadian teams and whoever is playing Calgary.
  58. Stephen P from Cambridge, Canada writes: Frankly it would be better for the team to go to Hamilton without Gretsky. His lack of success behind the bench speaks for itself. Great players in any sport rarely become good coaches. Gretsky is merely the latest example.
  59. martha stewart from Canada writes: "Gretzky won't support Hamilton because it would mean taking a stand"

    Wow. Gretzky appears to have the qualifications for LPC "leadership."
  60. Bill Woodcock from Canada writes: You'd think Wanyne Grezky was the messiah of Canada the way many people talk. When any knowledgeable hockey person analyzes the era of the (laughable) Great One, they must realize he was only the best of the weakest era the NHL has had. He was the king wuss of the wusie era. Defence was literally non existant, goaltending with few exceptions were at all time lows. Goal scoring was at an all time high. For awhile, the junior leagues were far more interesting to watch. Add to that the fact that Gretzky was protected by the league brass and those who actually dared check him were banished to the minors pot haste.If, as legend has it, Gretzky was so great, why do guys like Coffey and Messier as well as many other Gretzky teamates from Edmonton have more Cup rings than he does?
  61. max from edmonton from Canada writes: Bill Woodcock from Canada

    Nice revisionism. The leauge was different in the 80's no question. No matter how dominant Gretzky was, and he was plenty dominant he was only one guy.

    I am not sure how many Cups Coffey ended up with, but it didnt hurt playing with Mario. He wasn't half bad either.

    Messier..... well he had the advantage of playing on a team in Edmonton in 1990 that was loaded with veterans, Bill Ranford at his absolute peak, and some good young talent. Not bad when you have one of the best leaders of all time (and second leading point getter) as your captain. Ditto that for his Rangers win.

    you may not have liked Gretzky's style, but you can not revise away his accomplishments.
  62. Hal West from Kelowna, Canada writes: Gretsky didn't have the "backbone" to stand up for the Senior Veteran NHL players hadn't been receiving their proper pensions.

    I took Carl Brewer, Eddy Shack and others get their proper pensions.

    Thanks to Crosby and Ovechkin we can now forget the "Wimp Gretsky" and watch real hockey players that don't need a goon to protect them.
  63. Robert Haraldson from Canada writes: It's acceptable to relocate NHL teams from Quebec City and Winnipeg to the US, but not acceptable to move teams back to Canada. Canadian fans would probably have to boycott NHL games in order for the league to "wake up" and respect their feelings. We can guess the odds of that happening!
  64. T R from Canada writes: Gretzy was a tremeondous player and a crappy coach. It's hilarious that with his lack of coaching skills he is calling some shots.
    Everyone talks about what he did for hockey. That effect, if it did exist, has long since subsided. Kind of like watching Arnold Palmer golf..............well past his due date.
    Seems to me like old Balsille is trying to do more to actually build the game by putting a team in a sure win market.
    Gretzky was a great player (probably the greatest) however we don't ask a horse how the Kentucky Derby should operate.
    Who really cares what he thinks?
  65. old gristle from Canada writes: The Great One should never have become a coach. Should never have gone to the dessert. He might have come back to Canada, to a modest but respectable life. Now he is football.
  66. Cant we all just get along from Canada writes: Gretzky is an Ugly Coyote
  67. Johnny Choy from Canada writes: You know the old saying..those can't do...teach (or coach)...Wayne can definately do in his playing days..but can't teach now.....
  68. Peter Stern from Toronto, Canada writes: Bob Smyth from Ladysmith B.C., Canada writes: "Gretsky does not need to justify his position to anyone. If you think he does you should take a cold shower. He was the Voice of Hockey for over 15 years and handled that mantle with grace and dignity."

    He's not the Voice of Hockey... Don Cherry is!
  69. Larry Hill from Canada writes: As a coach Gretzky is a victim of his own success. Other players with lesser playing credentials had to start off as scouts and assistant coaches. For some strange reason owners thought that because Wayne was a great player, he would be a great coach. That did not work out so well for Phoenix.

    The truth however is that he is learning on the job. We see a lot of him up here in Vancouver. He is certainly far from being the best coach in the league, but he is certainly out of the basement by now.
    The Coyotes could certainly do worse as a coach. They have some very good young players that can be trouble next year, if the team can hang on.

    The main problem is that his star power has not put more butts in the seats. American sports fans are famous for "what have you done for me lately?" And that answer bluntly is not much.

    As a minority shareholder, it should be obvious to everyone he cannot speak out against the league or the current owner. If Baisille is successful, I am sure that he will want Wayne as a PR front man (occassional trips back to Ontario), but Wayne will not coach up in Hamilton.
  70. Joe Kolo from Canada writes: I don't know they just don't start a new league! f*ck the NHL and all their crap these days, the only one that pays at the end is the fans, and more and more I'm becoming less and less of a fan. Soon we'll see 100 game regular season and hockey year round, good for some (owners) but not for me.
  71. Butler Bear from Calgary, AB, Canada writes: Who cares about Gretsky anyway? The last time the guy did anything good for hockey was scoring against the Leafs in 93 or 94 and winning the series.
  72. Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: max from edmonton - Nice try Max. We are talking about Wayne Gretzky'z professional worth.
    It is preposterous that he makes 7 million dollars. Collecting his cheque from a franchise buried in red ink.

    He does not deserve his money, he does not earn it.

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