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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 5
Do you think the comments Gretzky made after Monday's hockey game will motivate Team Canada? Is he right when he says the whole world wants Canada to lose?

Here are responses to the above question:

If the Canadian media wasn't so arrogant and insulting to the other nations before the Olympics, it may not have angered Canada's hockey opposition into wanting to beat us so badly. Will Canada learn anything from this? I'm not holding my breath. It's just another sign to me that we are indeed the 51st state, acting just as our arrogant, obnoxious neighbours.
Viktor N.

Watching the games from my northern Ohio home, I get to burn up my remote control watching NBC and, luckily, CBC. On Monday, my wife and I enjoyed a long feature on NBC about how cool it was to be Canadian and how everything Up There is the hottest thing in Utah. Click. Now I get the "grate" one saying all Americans want Canada to lose and how we "love our poor start." He said it was a bunch of bull. He's right -- what he said was crap. I watch NBC, I read the papers; there isn't a crescendo of American media coverage longing for the demise of Mario Lemieux et al. It's fantasy. And I don't care if Wayne is trying to stir up his troops -- he picked the wrong target. I wonder what his wife thinks. I also now wonder why didn't he buy the Edmonton Oilers instead.
Mike Wilkinson

Gretzky is following Scotty Bowman's model: Force the spotlight on something other than your team's play, so they get a pass for a few news cycles. Team Canada should need no motivation at this point: If they do, they probably won't see a medal.
Jason O'Connell

I absolutely agree with the great one on this topic. Canada has to stand up and dish it out, and if we lose some players in suspension so be it. I remember a time if this sort of cross-checking from behind happened to a top player payback would have been immediate and that Czech player would be thinking twice the next time around. Our rule makers ought to start listening to people like Gretzky and Grapes for some sound advice on the greatest game in the world.
Lorenzo Vernaroli

No, I don't think the whole word is against the Canadian hockey team. Yes, they should stand up and be accounted for. As for motivation, How about those million dollar salaries? Wouldn't the other athletes enjoy a piece of that pie.
Richard Marr

Wayne's comments are long overdue. Canadians have been too reluctant in the past to speak out. It's time for the world to know that we are a proud country. It's like family, we can criticize our own, but others are not allowed. And he is correct in his assessment of the fact that if a Canadian player did what Hamrlik did, we would have been branded with the goon label. I was quite surprised that Shannahan did not retaliate when Nieuwendyk was hit after he scored. That shows their commitment to team discipline. The Czechs took some liberties. I don't think it will happen twice. His comments will help to inspire the team. Keep comparing Lemieux an old tractor, bring it on! Let the real games begin!
Bob McFadden

I sure hope so. I think Gretzky took a bold step as a leader for the sport of hockey in Canada. Something needed to be said, and I'm glad he said it. It is true that a lot of pressure was placed on the Canadian team months before the Olympics even began. I think other countries, including the Americans, like doing this. This places Canada in a lose-lose situation. If they win people will say "of course they won, look at all those great NHL players", but if they lose people will say "I am not surprised, they are not that good, hockey is dead in Canada". It is unfortunate that this happens in international events such as the Olympics, but it does and hockey is no exception. Canada may end up without a medal in the Olympics. So what! We shouldn't allow our 'national past time' to be tainted due to success or failure at international events. Hockey has been, and I hope continues to be, a cultural marker for Canada. I live in the United States now, and when I talk to people about hockey I don't think most of them fully understand the impact and importance that hockey has on Canadian society, and how hard it is to see Team Canada not play to their full potential at the Salt Lake City games. Go Team Canada! Vive le Great One!
Darcy Hango

First off, I'm an American. I'm glad the USA team is doing well. But I confess a secret desire to see Canada win gold (I grew up watching HNIC, the '72 series and all that followed). So, not everyone wants Canada to lose. Wayne's tirade I think was mostly a heartfelt attempt to fire up his club (and the local fans). He went a bit over the top with his "payback" comment on Hamerlik. But I will say this. Jim Lampley's (of NBC) comments on Canada's painful start were irritating; he's an idiot who knows nothing about hockey, and is just trying to perform for ratings. I also think there may be some resentment in the hockey world towards Canada from the Canada Cup days, but not so much in America as in the European/Russian camps. (actually I sense a general pro-Canadian respect among Americans, especially during this Olympics). But look, Canadians should take any hockey resentment as a source of pride because people love to dislike greatness. Why do most non-NY baseball fans hate the Yankees? Because they are consistently great

Yes, it will motivate the team; No, the whole world doesn't want Canada to lose. Canada wants Canada to win, but we've been trained to think that we're weak and will lose. As to the goon hockey...Finally, someone is speaking up for Canada. The shot was cheap! While it could be argued that Fluery should have gotten up off the goalie faster, it is rather difficult to do that when your legs are on top of his and you've got a Czech player poking you with his stick. What I am surprised by is the lack of penalty on the cross-Czech (pun intended) and the lack of pay-back from the Canadian team. Although, I like Gretzky "call to arms"; Perhaps now the Islander/Ranger game is going to get more coverage than the gold medal game.
Dan Knight

As an American, I was surprised by Gretzky's comments but they are clearly an attempt to motivate his team. I say it's clear that it was an attempt to motivate his teams because I know of no one in the New York City area who roots for Canada to lose. In fact, after Team USA there is no team for which we cheer harder than our northern neighbor and friend.
Brian Gardner

Gretzky is a fool who just made the Canadian team's task more difficult. Now the other teams will really be motivated to beat the Canadians, and they'll be laughing at them in the process. The Great One is perhaps the best that ever played the game, but he's no leader.
Ross MacKay

Motivate, don't know but I do know here it is from an American hockey Fan. Of course I want my team to win more than yours, do you want mine to win than yours. But to say I take joy in Canada's team losing is just wrong, and if you don't know it you should. I live 60 minutes north of Boston, do you not think I was pulling for Ray Bourque when he was carrying the puck up the ice four years ago for the Canadiens, of course. When the USA was playing 1-3 hockey who's bandwagon do you think I jumped on! Do you think I was hoping Canada could be 1-3 like us, do you really, come on. I'm I going to hope the Canadian's do bad after Gretzky slams the US, No I'm not, but I still didn't like it and being a hockey fan will remember long after these games are over.
Ed K.
Pembroke, NH
 Part 4 All responses Part 6 

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