Tired Gretzky visits Vancouver

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Wayne Gretzky used to score goals when he visited the Pacific Coliseum.

Yesterday, the "Unrested One" was there to endorse gambling.

"He seems pretty tired from a long journey," said Murray Field of Pemberton, who won a Great Day with Gretzky via the British Columbia Lottery Corporation's SportsFunder scratch-off game.

Gretzky was weary after touching down in the wee hours on a red-eye flight from San Jose where his Phoenix Coyotes lost a Monday game with the Sharks. He joined Field, four other winners, their guests and two Vancouver Giants' goaltenders for a 10 a.m. skate.

Sexsmith was impressed by the Great One's superior puckhandling. "You definitely notice his poise and patience," Sexsmith said.

During an awkward moment one of the guests fell. Gretzky, however, skated in the opposite direction.

He didn't stick around to talk with reporters, but he joined winners and guests in a stretch limousine for a drive to a restaurant and bowling alley. Winners, who took home $2,010 each plus autographed souvenirs, later watched the Gretzky-coached Coyotes play the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.

Gretzky also dodged questions on his wife Janet's alleged involvement in a sports gambling ring when his BCLC endorsement was announced at June's NHL Draft.


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