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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 6
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:

I'm not sure whether or not this will motivate the Canadian team, but he is right in saying that the whole world including Americans want Canada to lose.
Ivan Gospic

Wayne is not the kind of guy to get upset like this - he is usually very cool. For this, and his distinguished career he has a lot of credibility when he speaks. I think that if Wayne is this upset, there is really something credible to be upset about. Go get 'em Wayne, we're behind you!
Sean Young

If Michael Jordan was giving the same speech to his Basketball team in the Olympics, fire would shoot from their eyes, thunder would ring out from their feet, and lightening would strike the very heart of the competition! They would win not only gold medals in style, but they would win back "Respect" for the game. The media would honor their efforts and praise their convictions. The sports world would know that there are only a few true icons of sports - Jordan is one and Gretzky is another - and when they speak their words magically turn into sticks and stones that deliver the message. Gretzky will get the job done because there is something about being a Canadian that Americans will never understand - Tolerance, Acceptance and the fact that Canada is Hockey.
Jay Pelley

I think he's right; Canada is the team to beat and everyone will play better to beat them. It should help take them to the next level of intensity...and they have to get to that level to win. Taking on this leadership role is the greatest risk Gretzky has taken in his career. Kevin

I think Wayne was right it getting these things off his chest. Our guys would have been crucified if they had given the cross-check that Fleury got! Also, in today's world with so many foreign players in the NHL and living in Canada, the beer commercials are like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Team Canada doesn't need the aggravation of giving these other players added incentive.
R. Norris

Wayne, Pat...Release the dogs!!
James Bateman

C'mon Wayne! It's ridiculous to portray the world as out to get Canada. I think you were just trying to motivate your team, but that was pretty weak. Not only may you have angered other teams, but other fans as well. I'm an American who, from the start of the Olympics, has been pulling for both Team Canada and Team USA. Because I am a huge Mario Lemieux fan, I actually wanted Canada to win the gold over the U.S. The game could do wonders for the game of hockey in terms of popularity in North America. Attention Wayne: Hopefully your whiny comments don't turn the tide of sentiments against you! Next time, leave your fighting to Marty McSorley as you always have in the past!
Scott Savington

No, Team Canada has not played with any sense of urgency. I don't think the Team wants it as bad as the rest of Canada. Give this game back to the amateurs -- those who do this for the love of the game and represent the Olympic spirit. The whole world does not want Canada to lose but Team USA does want to win more.

The great one was definitely not great. Come on Wayne, where's the Olympic spirit? Are we really surprised that Fleury got decked after mauling Hasek? Hockey goons should take the lead from sportspersons like Becky Scott and Sale and Pelletier on behavior that Canadians can be proud of. It is obvious to anyone with a brain that there are 5 excellent hockey teams in this fight and Canada has a 20 per cent chance just like the rest. What people want is the excellent hockey we saw in Russia/US and Czech/Canada and may the best team win. So far Canada is not the best team and doesn't deserve to win. The charade which passes for hockey in the average NHL game is a bore compared to the big rink, no red line version. 30 years after 1972 Canadians still won't face up to reality. Any team with Lindros on it can expect some internal bad-mouthing without any help from the American media. Jagr is worth the price of admission.
D. Stynes

Gretzky said it right! He's been there! Done that! And wants the Gold! Obstacles are meant to be frustrating! Meant to build character and mold a champion! He's used to overcoming the obstacles as a player. Now he has to it as an executive. A big change for him. Go get 'em Gretz! Wish you all the luck! Canada wins gold over Russia! Piece of Cake! Swedes won't beat us again! USA wins bronze!
Roy Lyon Anderson

It's about time someone stepped up and started defending our players. The last 3 days have sucked for Canadian fans, people losing faith in hockey, and all of a sudden, when they play well, everyone wants back on the bandwagon. Well, let me tell ya, there isn't any room left. The Czech's were lucky to get out of that game with a tie, not only did we outplay them all game, we moved the puck better, and were clearly the better team. Had it not been for Hasek, the score would have been 10-3. Wayne's rant is going to motivate our guys, watch for Lemieux to have another great game against the Fins, and then look for guys like Sakic and Kariya to step it up a notch against Sweden in the Semi's.
Graham Stuart

I as an American want to see the best team win. I really don't care who wins the medals race. It's important that the best athletic performance be awarded the medal. That may mean the favorite doesn't win. It's one race/contest/game in the life of the athlete. It's too bad that athletes are made to feel their careers are made or not on the Olympics. It takes a lot to get there. Let's celebrate being privileged in being able to watch these gifted and talented athletes compete and cheer for everyone, regardless of the outcome or nationality. Canada, you are dominant in hockey and we thank your country and athletes for elevating the sport to the level that it is but don't make your athletes feel that they are failures because they don't bring home the gold. They are all winners!
Unfortunately as Canadians we quickly loose our ability to support a team, if that team shows signs of weakness. I don't have a problem if Canada does not win the Gold so long as they played their best and this is evident on the ice. As Canadians, this is all we can ask for. Gretzky is standing up for his team as any good leader should. I commend him on his courage to standup and speak his mind. As for other nations wanting us to lose, I would agree. Many nations are aware of our fascination with "the game". It seems to mean something when you can defeat Team Canada.
John Smith

I'm an American and support Canada, however I do not like what Gretzky said, and am offended by it. It sounds like he can't stand the heat. I hope he does not speak for Canada.
Wayne T. Furstenwerth

 Part 5 All responses Part 7 

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