Portrait of Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky during a photo shoot on the ice. Edmonton, Canada 1984
Wayne Gretzky doesn’t think he would have been as great of a hockey player in the 1950s.
He’s not being humble. More like fearful.
Yes, the greatest goal scorer who ever played the game would no doubt have had an easier time putting the puck past goalies who didn’t wear masks and rarely left their feet to make a save. But that’s assuming he could make it up the ice in one piece.
“The (Gordie) Howes and (Maurice) Richards typically had to fight for themselves,” Gretzky said in a phone interview. “That was the game back then. When you’re 150 pounds, that would have been more difficult for me. I’m always the first guy to sit here and say I came around at the right time. It was a different game.”
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The International Olympic Committee and hockey’s governing body will have to make concessions before the NHL sends the world’s best players to the Winter Games in South Korea next year, commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday.
Big Question: Want to play in the Olympics?
We asked the players if they wanted to take part in the Winter Games, and nothing rings hollow about their answers.
Fehr: NHL players won’t concede on Olympics
Locked in a stalemate over NHL participation in the next Winter Olympics, NHLPA chief Donald Fehr told ESPN that the league’s players won’t concede.
“As things stand today, you should assume we’re not going,” he said.
Bettman made it clear at a breakfast with Chicago business leaders that league owners don’t want to stop their season for three weeks again and put their stars at risk of injury without what they consider a tangible return.
The reluctance is not new, but the NHL has participated in every Winter Olympics since 1998….