Gretzky chimes in on playoff violence

Wayne Gretzky. (ROBERT GALBRAITH/Reuters file photo)

Wayne Gretzky. (ROBERT GALBRAITH/Reuters file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:18 AM ET

Wayne Gretzky says he has been surprised at the number of illegal hits during the first playoff round, noting that in his day star players were not targeted with violence.

"Emotions are high in every aspect. And if you look at every series right now each and every team is playing with a little bit of a bite, and yeah it's a little bit surprising," the retired star told 97.5 radio in Philadelphia.

"They talk about the Flyers back in the '70s -- guys like Bobby Kelly, Moose Dupont and Dave Schultz -- but you never really saw those guys go after guys like Bobby Orr or Mario Lemieux or Phil Esposito. It was just sort of honest, hard, rough-nosed hockey, and it has changed -- there's no question."

Gretzky said the league is doing its best to curtail the nonsense and unnecessary shots.

But, he said, the best way to hurt an opponent is to score more goals.

The bottom line is you've got to win the hockey game," Gretzky said. "That's where it hurts the most, not cross-checking the guy in the face. It's winning the hockey game that hurts (the other team) the most."

 


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