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Gretzky’s heart tells him the season will be saved

Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky remains confident that the NHL won’t lose an entire season to a lockout.

Speaking at a financial-planning workshop Monday in Toronto, the Great One predicted the league’s work stoppage would be over in time for the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings at Michigan Stadium.

“I believe in my heart, maybe because I’m such a big hockey fan, that they will be playing by Jan. 1,” Gretzky said, as per the National Post. “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.”

It wasn’t the first time he’s expressed optimism that a deal will get done (see here and here).

Gretzky retired in 1999, so he didn’t have to suffer through the 2004-05 lockout. Which is good, because he says he couldn’t have done it.

“There’s no way I could have taken a year off because there is no way I would have known what to do in the middle of my career taking a year off,” he said. “That was my life.”

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