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Gretzky supports NHL players in the Olympics

Feb 21, 2014, 7:58 PM EDT

Wayne Gretzky AP

One of the hottest debates we’ll have for the next four years will be whether or not NHL players should return to the Olympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

One guy who supports keeping NHL players in the Olympics, however, is none other than Wayne Gretzky.

Gretzky spoke with Rob Pizzo on Hockey Night in Canada radio Friday afternoon and was asked his thoughts about whether or not NHL players should go back to the Olympics. The Great One is all in favor of it.

“When we grew up as kids we dreamed of winning the Stanley Cup. That was a goal that if you made the NHL you couldn’t play in the Olympic Games,” Gretzky said.

“So if I had a vote, I would vote to go because I love the Olympic Games and I think there’s no bigger honor, there’s no bigger thrill than representing your country and being part of Team Canada. It’s something you can’t even describe how special of a feeling it is to know that you get to put that red and white jersey on.”

Gretzky was a member of Team Canada’s 2002 gold medal-winning team in Salt Lake City and was also part of the 1998 team in Nagano. While he’s one major figure putting his support behind keeping NHL players in the Olympics, logistics of sending everyone to Korea could throw a wrench in things.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman refused to address whether or not they’ll participate in the 2018 Games and it’s not likely to be decided right up until the Games themselves. One thing that will the possibility alive, however, would be the players speaking up and saying they want to do it.

  1. killerpgh - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    I wonder what mario Lemieux’s feelings are on the Olympics? He’s and NHL owner who could potential loses the face off his organization and he also won a gold metal in the Olympics as a player in 2002.

  2. press270 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    No comment from the Great One about Taveres and MCL injury? As always change (and opinions that spawn change) depend on perception of risk vs reward from all parties involved, players, NHLPA and owners/managers.

    Owners: does risk of injury to NHL’s best players justify the reward of league exposure? Dream of one day, “world cup” of hockey, N. America vs EU?
    Players: does risk of screwing up knees, concussions, your career justify personal acclaim and glory of a gold metal?

    I remember Mike Milbury TV comment on this: “players like the money” meaning if owners push, they’ll back away. Even elite players never earn enough money.

  3. hardkor07mn - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    It’s a medal not metal

    • Dimitrios - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:05 AM

      Yes, but it’s a metal medal.

  4. capsrockva - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Not sure where I sit on this one. John Taveres is now out for the season and they’ll probably not make the playoffs now. One thing is for sure, we’ve got 4 years to decide. If the Caps lose Backy and Marcus go down in the Gold medal game tomorrow I do think the Caps are done and won’t make the playoffs, and just being a selfish Caps fan that would crush me, but I do love hocke

  5. capsrockva - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Must’ve hit enter by mistake. I love Hockey and Olympic hockey, but I think they’re should be non-rotating sites. My idea would would be 2 in N America 2 in Europe (never again in Suchi) none in Asia, because of the time difference. Every Hockey game was on either but a** early or during the afternoon(when everyone is working) and NBC refuses to televise those at night.

  6. greatmiamisportsmind - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    It’s 2014, your telling me you don’t have a DVR? I work at 8:00 am everyday, it’s not hard to DVR a game (or 4 in my case) and watch them when you get home.

  7. hardkor07mn - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Not hard to DVR the game, but it is damn hard not to hear the results before you watch it. I had a buddy text me today and spoil the USA Canada game. Sucks

  8. muckleflugga - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    hardkor07mn

    your argument regarding medal versus medal is not as definitive as we might believe …

    First attested in English in 1578, the word medal is derived from the Middle French médaille, itself from Italian medaglia, and ultimately from the post-classical Latin medalia, meaning a coin worth half a denarius.

    The word medallion [ first attested in English in 1658 ] has the same ultimate derivation, but this time through the Italian medaglione, meaning “large medal”.

    There are two theories as for the etymology of the word medalia: the first being that the Latin medalia itself is derived from the adjective medialis meaning “medial” or “middle”; the second being that medaglia comes from the Vulgar Latin metallea [ moneta ], meaning “metal [ coin ]” and that from Latin metallum, which is the latinisation of the Greek μέταλλον [ metallon ], “a mine”.

    credit: wiki

    • Dimitrios - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:08 AM

      Think I’ll try to skate that one off.

  9. vstar1us - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Thank you W.G., who ever u r !

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