On opposite sides for now

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

It's not often you have the opportunity to show up your boss.

But that's the very position Pat Quinn finds himself in tonight at the Air Canada Centre.

As the coach of the Canadian Olympic team, Quinn will be working under the supervision of Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky one month from now in Turin, Italy.

But as the coach of the Maple Leafs, Quinn tonight will attempt to navigate his team to victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, whose bench boss just happens to be none other than the Great One.

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"I can't imagine a situation like this has ever happened before,"said Quinn, wearing a coy grin on his face.

"We have some things to talk about in the near future like line combinations and defence pairings for the Olympics, things like that. But I don't think either of us is thinking of that right now. Right now the focus for both of us is trying to lead our respective teams to a win (tonight)."

Gretzky spilled the beans concerning his secret weapon that would help his team overcome Quinn's Leafs.

"I stole all his notes and files from (the summer Olympic) camp," Gretzky joked.

All kidding aside, Gretzky was appreciative of the way Quinn and the Leafs welcomed his father, Walter, on the team's recent swing through western Canada.

Gretzky had purchased the trip for his dad at a charity auction, allowing Walter to travel on the team charter.

"Dad had a wonderful time," Gretzky said. "He was treated with open arms by Pat and the players.

"Pat's like that with everyone. One of the the best parts of this sport is being around good people like Pat."

Gretzky also was gracious when speaking of all the well-wishers who have offered their condolences for the loss of his mother and grandmother, who both passed away in the past month.

"People stop you on the street and say 'Sorry about your loss.' At the same time, you have to move on with your life. Everyone goes through tough times."


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