Audio: Gretzky on Olympics, Habs and more

Wayne Gretzky makes an animated point to the officials during tonight’s game against the Canadiens.
The Gazette

Any time The Great One comes to Montreal – and it doesn’t happen often enough  – you’ve got yourself a story.

The legendary Wayne Gretzky, managing partner and head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, dropped in for a pregame media visit late this afternoon, in the hours following Hockey Canada’s hardly-news announcement that Detroit Red Wings vice-president Steve Yzerman would head the team to assemble Canada’s squad for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. It’s a job Gretzky had held in 2002 in Salt Lake City (gold) and 2006 in Turin (seventh).

Gretzky spoke about the Hockey Canada announcement and the scope of the Olympics, as well as his memories of playing in Montreal, against Hall of Fame Habs goaltender Patrick Roy, his own young, promising team, the fragile state of the world economy, and more.

Have you got 15 minutes? Give Wayne a listen here.


  1. Ian Cobb says:

    You know nothing of the game or fair play, glad your not a team mate of mine.

  2. madhabsfan says:

    PLEASE tell me we haven’t started blaming the victim now. A Kost was skating too fast? A Kost failed to defend himself? A Kist failed to look at Sauer? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

    I’ll tell you what. Let’s organize an imaginary game of shinny guys. The second one of you is skating quickly, not looking, or running out of room, I’ll absolutely clock you one, forearms, elbows, you name it. When you come to, will you blame yourselves for being in that set of circumstances?

    What’s next? Are we going to blame Steve Moore for having his back to Bertuzzi? The main issue here is the league. They said they were cracking down on head shots, and their officials failed miserably to do so last night. Most of us agreed with my statement that they could have made one of several possible calls, and nobody would have disputed it. Bottom line: The NHL needs to do what they say they will. They need to set rules and procedures and enforce them consistently, not selectively. The play should be reviewed, and the league needs to decide whether or not there was a clear attempt to injure. Intent is the only relevant issue here, and a thorough review of the play is the only appropriate course of action

  3. filincal says:

    I remember some years back when low-bridging a player was a “legal hit”, until some “stars” started to get significant injuries(Cam Neely) that it was then considered “dirty”.
    Now I wonder how long after NHL poster boys start getting knocked out of line-ups for the league to take another REAL look at head shots.


  4. HabsFan2 says:

    “Look the only people that think it wasnt a clean hit are Montreal fans.”


    My buddy and my cousin are both die-hard Bruins fans, they both agree it was a dirty hit and it was intentional.

    They also hate A.Kost with a passion.

    Sauer is a pussy, just like his coach is!


    When you talk about the Canadiens, you have to put the word ‘family’ in front of it.” – Patrick Roy

  5. habsgod says:

    well you could look at it either way,it could be deemed a dirty hit and it could also be deemed a clean hit but but delivered high! by no question a penalty should’ve been called and there wasn’t 1 then kovalev gets highsticked in the face a still no call! i was wondering when i was watching the game last night and seen this stuff taking place how long or how serious would a guy be injured before those incompotent idiots in the stripped shirts were going to call a penalty! because right after andre kostitsyn was hurt if i was a referee i would’ve been calling the slightest infraction on both teams! it is it me or does the officiating just seem to get worse every season especially when our habs are playing! i.e. koivu’s eye injury, last nights hit on kostitsyn etc,etc….!

  6. Hockey11 says:

    No way it was a late hit, how did the defender know AK was going to dish it off at the last minute? It was only a head hit because AK did not protect himself. If is simply bad luck and magnifies the violent and dangerous nature of the this game the fastest of all the pro sports.

  7. Hockey11 says:

    The hit was not dirty, sure the defending player stepped up to close the gap and the attacking player was moving quickly, the hit was violent and the attacking player made no attempt to defend himself so the result was not easy to watch. It appeared to me that AK’s head/face struck the glass perhaps causing a lack of consciousness and a second blow to the head took place when the players head hit the ice. This is a violent game and we all forget how fast and string these players are.

    You could call it a high hit or boarding but it was not dirty, a minor penalty at the worst. I suspect the defender was surprised that AK never looked his way. AK had run out of room so he should have protected himself better. He over carried the puck and found himself with no room so he dished it off.

    I would not be surprised if the player misses 1-3 weeks.

  8. georgesd says:

    When my son played soccer for the McGill Redmen, around 2003, he got a concussion. The NHL has it rules but medically the question is very simple: 10 days sympton free before you can return / begin to train. Dr. Delany is Redmen and Impact doctor and an expert on concussions.


  9. madhabsfan says:

    The hit on Kostitsyn had all the characteristics of an illegal hit. This is not a situation where Sauer could quote other goons in the league by saying that he was just finishing a check. A legal check is done with the body. Most of the impact on this hit came from Sauer’s forearms, and there was a direct momentum of the arms towards the head. It was not defensive, it was down right vicious. The hit was also late and completely unnecessary, and the officials could have chosen one of several different calls on this one, but they chose to sit on their hands. The league has clearly stated that it was going to cut back on “head shots” (their terminology), whether the hit was deemed legal by officials or not. Sauer and the league must be held accountable and kept honest on this one, and I seriously hope that Gainey asks for a review.

    As far a Cherry is concerned, unless this man is blind, senile, or stupid, he clearly lacks fundamental knowledge of the game if he feels the hit was clean. If the hit were from a European player on Darcy Tucker, he’d be singing a different tune entirely. Of the CBC doesn’t want to fire that twit on the grounds of his bigotry and stupidity, they could at least sack him on his rapidly deteriorating knowledge of the game.

  10. habs R my team says:

    What I want to know, is when Andrei will return to the lineup. I ndestand that the league mandate a 1 week absence, following a concussion. I read in the Gazette about possible cracked ribs. Does anyone have any info regarding that? I hope he’s back in the lineup in the minimum amount of time. And did you guys see Sergei on the bench talking with Koivu. The kid was crying, poor kid was so distraught. I hope both Kostistyns get refocused, otherwise our team could be in trouble.

  11. Ian G Cobb says:

    ______Final Summit Agenda______

    Bell Center Tour, 10:30am pick up a $5.50 HIO price ticket there. Look for Stephen Herron (aka Connecticut man) for direction.

    Pre Game Dinner and Bob Gainey Foundation Raffle at The Baton Rouge Restaurant 1050 Montagne St. 60 seconds from the Bell Center.

    After Game get together is at The Sports Station & Bar, 2051 St. Catherine St. W. across the street from the Hotel De Fort.

    I am looking forward to meeting all of this years HIO Summit Community.

    And a special thank you for all the help that I have received from many.

  12. Ton says:

    It takes more than one guy and he can’t be on the ice at all times nor do you want him to be. Habs need to model their team after the 76 to 79 editions. Greatest team of all time! They had speed (present team has it), goatending with Dryden(were on our way with Price), management (we on our way with Gainey and Carb) but were missing the overall toughness that the old team had.

    Remember the scare Robinson would put into opponents. I’m hoping O Byrne could do this. I saw it live in Florida last year. If not Bouchard, than it was Chawtraw, or Lupien, or even smaller player like Risebrough and Tremblay broke opponents noses. I am not advicating violence but your right either they see Big George as the aging lion or he has not supporting cast that is really really tough. How can you percieve Max L, Lattendresse has tough their baby’s. Let’s not get rid of them but somehow it would be nice if one of those players had a stellar fight that would send shockwaves across the league “look out” lets not bully their players.

  13. Ton says:

    The BS that is coming out of this hit is unbelievable. In one way Avery calls it like it really is with Don Cherry. His knowledge of hockey is terrible. Is it because a North American player hit a European that makes it a good hit. Clearly watch his feet when he makes the motion to hit Ak. Furthermore he aims with his arms and elbows and targets the head. The NHL has stated on many occasions that they want to protect the head. On another note Don Cherry showed clips of an NHL player hitting from behind in most cases the victim were North American hockey players. His recommended solution is showing a clip of Chris Simon taking care of the problem as he thinks (Don C) it should be taken care of this. My kids need to watch him. CBC do the right thing and fire the b d.

  14. bidds55 says:

    An illegal hit doesn’t neccesarily mean a late hit, and I think that’s where a lot of the confusion is coming from. Most of the time with a hit that is questionable, or “dirty”, the issue is that the hit comes well later than is allowable under the notion of finishing the check. In this case, the hit wasn’t late, but there was without question a blow to the head with the left forearm/elbow, and that is what makes that particular hit illegal.
    For anyone interested, there is an awesome hockey card show at Centre Pierre Charbonneau in Montreal Oct 24, 25, 26 (the weekend of the HIO summit). I have no affiliation with it, but I’ll be there, as will Carey Price, Andrei & Sergei Kostitsyn and more!

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    I going to phone the league office Monday, and can you imagine when pussy Wayne was playing if anyone hit him like that! They would have got 15 games.

  16. filincal says:

    from every angle shown, I saw Sauer’s forearm/elbow impact A.Kost in the head. He was out before he even hit the glass, nevermind hitting his face on the ice while already KO’d. If getting a forearm to the head is legal (no matter where you’re on the ice),then it was a clean hit, as some of you think.


  17. habsguy says:

    The hit on AK leads me back to why we need a guy like big George sitting on the bench. The argument here was that having a guy like him would stop the other teams goons from taking liberties with our skilled guys.
    Well, we have the toughest S.O.B in hockey on our team and it didn’t…

  18. habsfan reduxit says:

    … sorry, but I’ll pass on giving fifteen minutes to Gretzky. I’ve heard way more than enough from “The Great One” over the past couple of decades.

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