Is NHL kickin' Gretz, Kevin?

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

Will the NHL prevent Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Lowe from heading Team Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championships?

Will Gary Bettman & Co. prevent Pittsburgh Penguin owner Mario Lemieux from playing?

After Gretzky and Lemieux were left embarrassed after being sucked into a no-win situation in the false-alarm attempt to un-cancel the cancelled season, would the league take them away from hockey?

"Gretz mentioned something along those lines," admitted Oilers' GM Lowe, of the league not allowing them to accept Olympic or World Cup of Hockey Team Canada management duties.

"I've heard that," Lowe added of the report. "I'd love to be part of it, but I've thought about it and maybe the players might feel weird."

Hockey Canada had asked Gretzky and Lowe to head up the management of Team Canada for the Worlds in Innsbruck and Vienna, Austria, in May.

But being that they're management members of NHL franchises -- and Lemieux is a player/owner -- will the league prevent them from being involved with locked-out players?

And what might the public reaction be after everything the fans have been through in the last week?

Just when you thought hockey fans couldn't get more incensed ...

"In my case, to quote an old Dave Semenko line from when he was traded, I don't think there will be rioting in the streets," remarked Lowe. "But from Gretzky's perspective ... yeah."

Gretzky and Lowe headed Canada's effort toward our nation's first gold-medal win in 50 years at the Olympic Winter Games.

And they headed the Team Canada effort to win the gold again at the World Cup of Hockey, which ended the day before the lockout began.

"If it is accurate, and that it is what the league wishes, I will gladly not be hesitant to go along with what the league wants," said Lowe.

"Being part of Team Canada at the Olympics and World Cup was a phenomenal experience, and I've been proud to be able to work with Team Canada. But I will support whatever the league says."


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