SUN Hockey Pool

Walter Gretzky slams the NHL

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Walter Gretzky still can't believe it: An entire National Hockey League season washed away because two groups of millionaires couldn't split up the pie.

But that's not what bothers him the most. He can live without hockey ... unfortunately, a lot of others can't.

"It doesn't matter about the $5-million and $10-million players and owners,'' he said yesterday. "The people who really lost out and really got hurt are the ones making $6 and $7 an hour at the rinks - the people who needed those jobs to pay for their schooling or just needed that money to live, to pay for food. They're the ones who lose, not the greedy ones. It's sad.

"I never, ever, ever thought I'd see this. I'm stunned.''

He's tickled, however, that his son will be back at the helm if the NHL sends players to the Winter Olympics.

"My Dad was born in Belarus and my mother in Poland. If they were alive today and heard Wayne was going to be general manager of Team Canada at the Olympics, they wouldn't be able to comprehend it. Over there, the common person is a common person and that's all there is to it, you just don't get to do these things.

"For me, wow, can you imagine how exciting it is? I'm looking forward to going.''


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