SUN Hockey Pool

'Enough is enough'

BRETT CLARKSON AND BRIAN GRAY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

NHL fans in Toronto say they are sick of jumping to their feet, only to have their hopes shattered as they watch players and the league shoot wide of the goal again. "I thought this was going to be an open-net breakaway," Lawrence Bingham said after a game of shinny at Moss Park Arena yesterday.

Talks between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association broke off -- again -- yesterday, despite superstar involvement of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, who were urging a last-ditch try for a deal.

"Stop playing around. Enough is enough," said Bingham, 33.

Other fans said they don't care and aren't interested in seeing the NHL return until next fall at the earliest.

"Get the game fixed and then move on with things," James Claxon said. "I've been sick of all the talk. I hope they come back, but not until the fall."

'HUGELY EMBARRASSING'

Meanwhile, legendary Montreal Canadiens goalie turned politician, Ken Dryden, said it is "hugely embarrassing" for the NHL to shut down its season. Dryden, who won six Stanley Cups with the Canadiens in the 1970s, saw some cause for hope yesterday in the current round of talks -- which ended with no deal yesterday afternoon.

"Since the alternative is just 'off again,' I think something that's 'on again, off again' is an improvement," Dryden said during a 3-on-3 ball hockey tournament at Downsview Park yesterday.

He said it's not too late to start the hockey season.

"I would like to see them play as much a season as can be," said Dryden, now the federal minister of social development.

Other hockey fans at the tournament yesterday were hoping the season could be salvaged.

John Cooper, 30, was hoping earlier yesterday Lemieux and Gretzky could end the impasse.

"I think it's a terrible thing for the game but it's good to see Gretzky and Lemieux stepping in -- it can only help," he said.


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