Canada's men's hockey team went through an on-ice practice today in Mississauga as a final preparation before heading to Torino, Italy, for the Olympic Games.
Afterwards, Gretzky met with the media and despite saying he would not comment on the matter, still had to fend off more questions regarding the gambling charges against Rick Tocchet, his assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes.
"There's nothing for me to talk about. I'm not involved and it's been a hard week for my family and the only focus I have right now is this hockey team and getting ready for the Olympic Games," said Gretzky. "The focus should be on these athletes who've worked their lives to be in the Olympic Games. And so if you have hockey questions, I'd be happy to stand here ... all day."
When it finally did get to hockey, Gretzky said Team Canada was ready for the Olympics.
On the ice, Canada showed some interesting line combinations. For the most part, the lines were as follows: Joe Thornton with Simon Gagne and Rick Nash; Joe Sakic with Kris Draper and Jarome Iginla; Vincent Lecavalier with Dany Heatley and Martin St. Louis; Brad Richards with Ryan Smyth and Todd Bertuzzi. Shane Doan was the extra forward.
The defence pairings were: Chris Pronger with Rob Blake; Wade Redden with Adam Foote; Jay Bouwmeester with Robyn Regehr; and Bryan McCabe skated as an extra defender.
Pronger's agent, Pat Morris, told TSN it was encouraging to see his client on the ice. The original plan was for Pronger, who has a cracked bone is his right foot, to skip the today's skate. However, he felt so good this morning that Pronger decided to give it a go and did not exhibit any problems.
Where will the Wild land? Will Gretzky be a distraction in Torino? Will Peter Forsberg even play in the Olympics? Scott Burnside answers this questions and more. Around The Rink
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Good for Gretzky
It may not be fashionable or even prudent right now to say that, but after watching Wayne Gretzky's post-game news conference on Thursday night, when he stated in no uncertain terms that he would be going to Torino with the Canadian Olympic hockey team, I said it out loud: Way to go, Wayne.
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