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Gretzky: “Let’s all try and stay positive”

Nov 14, 2012, 11:00 AM EST

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Wayne Gretzky’s prediction for the return of NHL hockey almost sounds like an injury report. He thinks a deal will be reached in 4-6 weeks – allowing things to kick off in early 2013 – as he told Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Tuesday (transcribed by Jeff Simmons).

“We want to see hockey. It’s frustrating,” Gretzky said. “My gut still tells me that over the next six weeks I think that they will get a deal done, and I think there’s too many people that want to play, and I still see hockey being played come January for a 40- or 50-game schedule. Let’s all try and stay positive.”

Gretzky also addressed how the lockout might hurt the defending champions – and his former team – in Los Angeles.

“The excitement level here is extremely high,” Gretzky said. “The other side is this area, like San Jose, Phoenix, Dallas, are a little bit different than Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto, where every day hockey is on the front pages. So here we’re always fighting to get that equality. So they can try to be marketable as USC Trojans or UCLA Bruins or L.A. Lakers or Clippers. It’s always a concern. People are human and get disappointed and upset. You obviously come to a point where you will lose some fans.”

Let’s hope Gretzky’s overall positivity is justified.

  1. rogersjd16 - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Tried that, Wayne. May not have noticed it didn’t work.

  2. joeyashwi - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    A 40 or 50 game season? If that’s what it comes to then just cancel it. A January 1st start date? Fans are already losing interest, I’m sure another month will do wonders.

    • mgp1219 - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      I agree joeyashwi.

      if the season starts on January 1, my interest will have long passed. who wants to be a fan of a team that wins the stanley cup after only playing half a season? not me. it would be a hollow victory.

  3. antkowiak666 - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    4 to 6 weeks!?!?if they can’t start by Dec. 1st they should just cancel the season.the team who wins the Cup in a 40 to 50 game season would be a joke!

  4. csilojohnson - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    I’ll take any hockey. I don’t plan on buying any merch because of this crap. To say only having 40 games as a reason to cancel the whole season is crazy. In essence it would look like 40 playoff games. So F U NHL and NHLPA.

  5. DED - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    “Let’s all try to stay positive.”

    Really? How do you stay positive when the NHL has said that they’re not going to offer any more proposals and Fehr says that there’s still a “gulf” between the two sides? I’d love to see even a half season but I’m not expecting it to happen. Both sides seem intent to prove their point. Nothing short of arbitration is going to get this done.

  6. themajorleagueuser - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Maybe Wayne should stop talking, it is obvious we all want to see NHL hockey, but is it likely, well, t is looking pretty bleak right now. It is a little hard to stay positive, but if we stay a little pessimistic, we might get a fair deal done for both sides so we won’t have to do this again in the next few years. Maybe it is time to abandon the 2012-13 season, and try to get the perfect Collective Bargaining Agreement. Maybe a deal can get done, but it’ll take more than 4-6 weeks, especially without the Winter Classic.

  7. bhawksrule - Nov 14, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    1994-95 season didn’t start until January 20th and it was a 48-game season.

    I’ll take any hockey, why so eager to scrap the season?

    • jtrain1966 - Nov 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      I know you’re a Hawks fan but, wasn’t that the season the Rangers won the Cup ? I can’t remember that’s the only reason I ask . A preemptive thanks to anyone that answers !

  8. fortwaynekomets - Nov 14, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Gretzky is just trying to ne optimistic. I wonder what really thinks about what Bettman and his lockout. oh well I moved on already. 7 letters my friends… ECHL & AHL.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 15, 2012 at 2:58 AM

      Some more letters I’ve been enjoying: CHL & NCAA.

  9. puckish27 - Nov 14, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    As the best player, having played in 4 markets,(2 terrific and 2 struggling) and a former owner and coach, who would be more qualified as a mediator?

    Get Gretzky, Ken Dryden, and Mario Lemeiux as binding arbitrators and settle this already…

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:02 AM

      I love Mario, but um, major conflict of interest there, as he’s got something of an interest in the Penguins. But Dryden would be great: HHoF goalie, lawyer, government program administrator, legislator.

      • jtrain1966 - Nov 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        Damn ! I’m not trying to be a smartass but, Dryden is a lawyer, & a government official ? I would’ve never pegged him being a lawyer, maybe a real estate agent, sports agent, or even a insurance agent but not a lawyer !

  10. arbruins - Nov 14, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Stick a fork in it, it’s done!

  11. russiangretzky - Nov 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    I think you need to have a deal within 2 weeks and start within 3 weeks to get in a 55-60 game season to make any sense of a season.

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