Gretzky's golden message

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Wayne Gretzky passed a message to Steve Downie before the gold medal game.

"I didn't talk to him. But he sent me a message that if I'm going hard I'm going to get the winner. I guess I did," said the player who started the season mired in double controversy due to being involved in the Windsor Spitfires hazing affair and ended up being traded to the Peterborough Petes.

Downie was the player from the Whistler junior Team Canada camp who was drawn to play with Gretzky, the head of the Olympic version of Team Canada, at the golf tournament involving the two teams here last summer.

"I didn't ever envision this happening to me. I didn't even know if I'd be on the team when I came here to camp," said Downie.

The Philadelphia Flyers draft pick was a whirling dervish from his first shift when he pasted Denis Bodrov into the end boards, led the way for Canada in both drill and will.

"He was never a question for me from Day 1 when he stepped on the ice in August," said coach Brent Sutter.

"I never had a question of trusting Steve Downie. He played outstanding the whole tournament for us."


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