Hayley Wickenheiser should enjoy last Olympic ride

Canadian women's hockey team alternate captain and flag bearer Hayley Wickenheiser laughs during...

Canadian women's hockey team alternate captain and flag bearer Hayley Wickenheiser laughs during their practice ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 4, 2014. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:45 PM ET

SOCHI - At the beginning of the end, Hayley Wickenheiser will walk into Fisht Olympic Stadium, her remarkable sixth time in an opening ceremony, her first time carrying the Canadian flag, and maybe then, after all that’s happened in this year of difficulty, she will take a personal moment to enjoy and exhale.

She deserves that much — and maybe more — after a hockey season that has been about drama and tumult, suspicion and rumour for Canada’s Olympic women’s hockey team, a team that seemed to be in free fall just a few months ago.

Wickenheiser, the aging face of women’s hockey in Canada, had her captaincy taken from her. Dan Church, the head coach who was supposed to lead this team into Sochi, resigned unexpectedly, according to a press release “for personal reasons.”

But Church didn’t really resign. He was fired for reasons quite personal, two Hockey Canada executives confirmed today. He was fired because the team had apparently lost its way and its confidence.


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