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George Zoran
Top Prospect

55 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2006 :  09:44:16  Show Profile
This is a request to all of the sports writers, every newspaper editor, and everyone in the sports media business. Enough with Operation Slapshot – at least until the Olympics are over.

The gambling ring that Rick Tocchet allegedly financed is as an enormous black eye for not only the National Hockey League, but for hockey in general. It is a stain that will not go away for a very long time – regardless of who financed it, who was involved, what sports were bet on, and who placed those bets.

An extreme amount of focus is required to be successful in the condensed tournament format of the Olympics. Many people are of the opinion that Wayne Gretzky should not have accompanied the team to Turino because his alleged involvement in the gambling ring would cause a distraction to team Canada. This may be a valid argument but not something Wayne was prepared to do.

I applaud Wayne for his handling of this situation. He answered the questions that were thrown his way and has declared he was not involved. His job is to be in Turino for team Canada and he is not letting this scandal get in the way.

Let us all follow Wayne’s lead and focus our attention to the Olympic tournament. We only get to showcase our game to the world every four years and cannot afford to have it overshadowed by the gambling debacle that has unfolded over the past week. Over the next few weeks, Stars like Dany Heatley, Rick Nash, Alexander Ovechkin and Jaromir Jagr will be lighting it up in Italy, and I would hope that they get more media coverage than Janet Gretzky.

The Olympics is the NHL’s time to shine. If you are Canadian, you remember where you were at the exact moment when Canada won the gold at Salt Lake City; Canadians across the country were dancing in the streets. Let us embrace this wonderful tournament and enjoy watching the best in the world compete on the world’s stage. I am behind Wayne and the entire Canadian team. I could not care less about Tocchet-Gate. All I want is another gold medal.

Go Canada!

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