Great One's attitude Wayne-ing?

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET

You couldn't argue with Wayne Gretzky's logic four years ago.

Will he go against his own words this time around?

The debate over which players should be included on Team Canada's roster is a great one.

It got even more interesting with Mario Lemieux pulling his name out of the mix yesterday and giving an endorsement to youngsters Sidney Crosby, Jason Spezza and Eric Staal.

Most of the talk in these parts is whether Senators centre Jason Spezza's name will be announced when Team Canada's roster is revealed in less than two weeks' time.

Spezza has been leading or been close to the NHL scoring lead for most of the regular season.

He went into last night's games as the top point-earning Canadian player in the league.

That lofty position certainly warrants giving Spezza consideration for the Olympic team, right?

To add to the debate, we resurrect Gretzky's thinking regarding another young player who was making a splash as the NHL's leading scorer.

Back in December 2001, Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla came on strong and was included on the team.

"He's been exceptional," said Gretzky in an interview with Sportsnet almost exactly four years ago when asked about Iginla's candidacy for the Olympic team heading off to Salt Lake City.

"I always said to people when I played, 'I'm going to make them have to keep me.'

"How do you not have the No. 1 scorer in the National Hockey League on your team? It'd be ridiculous."

Yes, it would be.

But, even with Lemieux and Steve Yzerman pulling out of consideration, the numbers just might not work on Spezza's behalf.

Joe Sakic, Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Joe Thornton and Kris Draper are all centres who have earned Gretzky's trust and loyalty.

Has Spezza played better than them so far this season?

Yes.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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