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Gretzky still thinks we’ll have a 12-13 NHL season

Oct 12, 2012, 8:13 PM EDT

gretzkygetty Getty Images

Wayne Gretzky started this month by saying that, in his heart, he believed that the NHL would be playing by Jan. 1.

Since then we’ve seen what would have been the start of the regular season come and go while the union and league made little outward progress towards a resolution. The two sides met recently, but the core economic issues weren’t even discussed.

So after all that, does Gretzky still think there will be a new CBA before the Winter Classic — and the season for that matter?

“Yeah, in my heart, I do,” Gretzky told 98.7 ESPN New York according to Sports Radio Interviews.com. “I think first of all you have two smart people in the commissioner and the commissioner’s office leading the ownership group and of course Donald Fehr leading the NHLPA. I really believe in my heart that in ’04, changing the landscape, going to a salary cap was a real big issue and a real big fight.

“I think this one is more of a numbers issue. I see them getting something resolved here.”

Gretzky also expressed a hope “that people understand that unfortunately sometimes business is part of our sport” and watch the NHL again when the lockout is over.

  1. fiddytucker - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Mork calling Orsin come in Orsin,

    Dude looks like Mork from Ork

    • paledevil - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:31 PM

      True but he would vanquish you with a single blow

    • manchestermiracle - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Nano nano!

  2. cloudniner9 - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    I can’t wait intil he is the commish

  3. ducksk - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    The great one speaks….all should listen.

  4. themajorleagueblog - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    If the PA makes a proposal by Monday, then the NHL counters by Thursday, then I’d agree with Gretzky.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:06 AM

      They won’t. The Fehr bro’s have painted the PA in a corner they can’t leave without loosing face.

      • Doesnotmatter - Oct 13, 2012 at 6:42 AM

        The Fehr bro’s? The NHLPA isn’t a Fehr Brothers family business. They don’t have the power to paint anything without the players approval. Again, the players made some concessions regarding the revenue sharing but the NHL and the owners aren’t budging from their position.

  5. id4joey - Oct 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    The owners are waiting for a counter offer. When the PA countered in 04 05 lockout they set themselves up for failure. 24% salary role back was just the beginning….

  6. blomfeld - Oct 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    WAYNE KNOWS THE DEAL !

    I’ve been watching NHL hockey since 1967 and during that entire time, only one other person ever played with the same genius, creativity and “masterful” skill as Gretzky … and that was none other than Bobby Orr. So if Wayne say’s we’re going to have a season, then by George we’re going to have a season !

    It’s absolutely bewildering how we can be here today, only two days past the “official” designated start of the season, yet so many of you have already thrown in the towel and given in to despair ? Regardless of whether or not this is a “contrived plan” as I’ve maintained, the fact is that with the simple stroke of a pen, things can start rolling again almost overnight ! Even Fehr said just the other day that an agreement could be reached “within “6 hours” if need be. Remember that there won’t be a requirement for training camp or a meaningless exhibition schedule. So once the word is given, our season could easily be “up and running” within a matter of days. It’s ironic really, as all spring people we’re bashing us King’s fans for being nothing but a bunch of “uninformed” band-wagoners, etc. Yet here with this “apparent” labor impasse, these same people have jumped on the “doom & gloom” train themselves, with such a speed and in such great numbers, that it completely defies logic ?

    The bottom line is that “to date” here at PHT, only three people have shown themselves to be “resolute” in their conviction that there “will” be a season this year …

    - Wayne Gretzky
    - Bobby Orr
    - Blomfeld :)

  7. id4joey - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    blomfeld, the fact that we are “only two days past the “official” designated start of the season” doesn’t change the ugliness of the current status. No hockey! It is a shame that once again we are this stage, when the season should have already started. Be it 1 day or 3 months past the start of the season. It is NOT possible for the league to start regular season games be in a matter of days. Players will need days to report back to their home cities, then go through some sort of medical tests, and on ice practices. Figure at least 2 weeks.

    • blomfeld - Oct 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      “Figure at least 2 weeks” …

      id4joey – Please note friend that in the context of a season which will now likely extend to the end of next June, two weeks is indeed just a “matter of days”. For cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, it’s make absolutely no difference when the season starts … they’d be seeing sell-outs and merchandise “flying off the racks” even if the season started in March ! But those cities are not what this stoppage is all about. Rather, this stoppage is about the ailing “sunbelt” teams, where the “diminishing” disposable income right now has it’s eyes set on the exciting MLB playoffs, the new NFL season, the much anticipated clash of Kobe vs Lebron, etc. How many people do you think would be paying to see a Panthers/Coyotes game this weekend, had this stoppage not happened ? Perhaps a few, but not that many. Certainly not as many required for October to be a “viable” working month for the ailing franchises in question. Also note that many people have suggested that the “momentum” or “good will” of the NHL is being damaged by this stoppage ? Again I would contend that had the season started as per usual, far “greater” damage would have been inflicted on the NHL’s good-will, with near-empty arenas throughout the “sunbelt” such as Florida, Dallas, San Jose, Phoenix, Carolina, Nashville, Columbus, etc.

      Now if this stoppage goes beyond November, “then and only then” would I be prepared to agree with all of the naysayers who believe that the “end of days” for the NHL are upon us. But that’s not what I think is going to happen ! Rather, I see a resolution coming shortly, probably no later than Halloween … and given the “14 x days” required rolling-out period, that would allow for a start by approximately mid November. By that time baseball is over and the die for the NFL’s playoff picture will have already been cast. We’ll see soon enough though, one way or the other … in fact, I’m willing to bet 1000 x Dadouns that we have an agreement by Halloween ! :)

  8. jhuck92 - Oct 13, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Couldn’t Gretzky just make up a proposal and submit it for approval? If not, can we just make him commissioner now? All this hope doesn’t give us results.

  9. manchestermiracle - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Maybe Gretz is half right: Maybe a ’13 season. Wayne was always pretty optimistic and upbeat about the Kings’ chances when he played there, but optimism didn’t bring a Cup.

    • blomfeld - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      “but optimism didn’t bring a Cup” …

      yeah, but sure came pretty darn close eh ? :)

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