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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

NHL Day 18

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THE GREAT ONE SAYS

Hockey fans have heard from Bobby Orr, Mike Modano, Guy Lafleur, Brad Park and a host of other NHL legends about the lockout. And now Wayne Gretzky has weighed in with his take.

Speaking at a financial-planning workshop on Monday in Toronto, Gretzky said:

"I believe in my heart, maybe because I'm such a big hockey fan, that they will be playing by Jan. 1. I think the hard part... was the last negotiations (in 2005) when players agreed to a salary cap. Now that there is a salary cap in place and revenue sharing, I ultimately think a deal will get done here and (they will be) playing hockey this year."

ON THE MOVE

NHL player movement, some rumoured, some confirmed:

-- Anthony Stewart, Carolina, Nottingham (EIHL, United Kingdom)

-- Cody Franson, Toronto (unsigned), Brynas IF (Swedish Elite League)

-- Thomas Vanek, Buffalo, Graz (Austria)

THEY WROTE IT

From Adrian Dater of The Denver Post:

"It all comes down to this simple truth, to the players: no way in hell is the short, old guy with the New York accent who never played the game going to push them around this time. They have their rallying cry this time, and his name is Gary Bettman, and anything short of total victory over this man won't be acceptable to the rank-and-file of the NHL players union this time around.

"Total victory may not mean actually driving him out of the game. But it will mean, at the least, not getting some capricious new offer shoved down their throats. It will mean coming back to the game with their heads held high, their resolve as a body never to be questioned again."

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

The New York Post is reporting that European investors interested in buying the struggling New York Islanders and keeping them on Long Island have approached Isles' great Pat LaFontaine about involvement in their bid. LaFontaine has had a strained relationship with the franchise since current owner Charles Wang fired then-GM Neil Smith after just six weeks on the job. LaFontaine had joined the Isles then to work with Smith as an unpaid adviser.

--compiled by Ed Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 2, 2012 D1

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