Gretzky trade rumor quashed

February 06, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

MONTREAL -- The rumor was every where at the NHL meetings. In the hallways, in the restaurants, on the afternoon news:

Los Angeles King Wayne Gretzky was about to be traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Was he?

Forget it.

Kings owner Bruce McNall was quick to squelch the trade talk last night at a specially called news conference.

"I will never trade Wayne Gretzky," said McNall, who was bombarded with calls throughout the day. "I will never trade him. If he decided for some unknown reason that he didn't want to live in Los Angeles any more, I'd release him. I wouldn't look for compensation.

"I'd release him because of what he has done for the Los Angles Kings. Wayne Gretzky has been sold enough in his career. I wouldn't put him through that again, and he knows that."

The trade rumor arose because neither Gretzky nor the Kings have been playing well since his return from back trouble and because he was said to be unhappy with the Kings' recent trade of defenseman Paul Coffey to Detroit.

"Wayne is frustrated because the team isn't doing well, and he feels he isn't playing well," said McNall. "That's true. He doesn't cut himself any slack. He doesn't make excuses for himself. He refuses to remember it takes time to come back.

"As far as the trade, Wayne has nothing to do with trades. He has never commented on it. He and Paul are good friends, and I'm sure on a personal level he's sad that Paul is moving.

"But I called him today to find out if there was anything I didn't know and we laughed about it. It's the most absurd, ridiculous thing I've ever heard."

End of trade.

Skills and more skills

Gordie Howe got to the Forum early last night. He wanted to make sure his stick was right for last night's Heroes of Hockey game.

His stick was too long.

"Can you believe how long they make these sticks now?" he said, to no one in particular.

He found an equipment man, borrowed a saw, put his foot up on a bench and began sawing on the handle. Then he looked up.

"I guess this is my skills competition," he said, smiling.

Heroes of yesteryear

The Canadiens Heroes of Hockey team beat a team of former NHL stars, 4-2, last night. John Ferguson's first-half goal gave the Canadiens old-timers a 3-1 lead.

The best can be the worst

A number of Montreal Canadiens' fans sitting in the packed Forum before last night's All-Star skills competition were wondering out loud why the really talented players seem to abuse their bodies.

They mentioned Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle and then one recalled how Guy Lafleur would smoke between periods -- much the way Washington Capitals defenseman Al Iafrate does now.

"Smoking," said another. "That was Lafleur's best fault. Don't you remember how he'd come to the arena for a game at 3 p.m. with his skates already laced, drink beer all afternoon and still play brilliantly?"

Lafleur was still playing brilliantly last night, scoring the Canadiens all-stars first goal for a 1-0 lead.

Ottawa players ticked

The Ottawa Senators are the hottest team in hockey this week, having gone 2-0-1. The reason? It could be that the players are upset at man agement and determined to mess up the organization's plans to have the worst record and the No. 1 draft choice that goes with it.

"Everyone in Ottawa is watching, waiting for management to trade their best guys at this weekend's meetings," said an insider. Ottawa's best? Norm Maciver and Mark Lamb.

All-Star rosters

CAMPBELL CONFERENCE

Coach: Mike Keenan

Goaltenders

No. Player, Team ..... GA ... SO ... Avg.

00 Belfour, Chi. ..... 107 .... 5 ... 2.53

30 Vernon, Cal. ...... 134 .... 2 ... 3.26

35 Casey, Min. ....... 114 .... 2 ... 3.11

Defensemen

No. Player, Team ... G ... A ... Pts

3 Chiasson, Det. .. 10 .. 33 .... 43

5 Butcher, St.L. ... 4 ... 7 .... 11

6 Housley, Win. ... 13 .. 48 .... 61

7 Chelios, Chi. ... 13 .. 40 .... 53

8 Carlyle, Win. .... 0 ... 1 ..... 1

24 Manson, Edm. .... 9 .. 23 .... 32

77 Coffey, L.A. .... 9 .. 53 .... 62

Forwards

No. Player, Team ...... G ... A ... Pts

9 Modano, Min. ....... 23 ... 41 ... 64

10 Roberts, Cal. .... 31 ... 38 ... 69

11 Kisio, S.J. ....... 14 ... 36 ... 50

12 Bure, Van. ........ 44 ... 33 ... 77

13 Selanne, Win. ..... 42 ... 37 ... 79

14 Bradley, T.B. ..... 33 ... 30 ... 63

16 Hull, St.L. ....... 37 ... 37 ... 74

17 Kurri, L.A. ....... 21 ... 44 ... 65

19 Yzerman, Det. ..... 38 ... 38 ... 76

20 Robitaille, L.A. .. 36 ... 34 ... 70

27 Roenick, Chi. ..... 30 ... 43 ... 73

93 Gilmour, Tor. ..... 19 ... 56 ... 75

99 Gretzky, L.A. ...... 2 ... 12 ... 14

WALES CONFERENCE

Coach: Scotty Bowman

Goaltenders

No. Player, Team ..... GA ... SO ... Avg.

1 Billington, N.J. ... 82 .... 2 ... 3.25

31 S'drkwcz, Ott. ... 171 .... 0 ... 4.40

33 Roy, Mon. ........ 125 .... 2 ... 3.12

Defensemen

No. Player, Team ..... G ... A ... Pts

3 Zalapski, Har. .... 12 .. 33 .... 45

4 Lowe, NYR .......... 2 ... 6 ..... 8

5 S.Stevens, N.J. .... 9 .. 24 .... 33

14 Marsh, Ott. ....... 0 ... 2 ..... 2

28 Duchesne, Que. ... 15 .. 43 .... 58

34 Iafrate, Was. .... 18 .. 32 .... 50

77 Bourque, Bos. ..... 9 .. 35 .... 44

Forwards

No. Player, Team ...... G ... A ... Pts

7 P.Turgeon, NYI ..... 34 .. 48 .... 82

8 Recchi, Phi. ....... 32 .. 48 .... 80

9 Muller, Mon. ....... 26 .. 45 .... 71

11 Gartner, N.Y.R. ... 34 .. 18 .... 52

12 Oates, Bos. ....... 33 .. 62 .... 95

16 LaFontaine, Buf. .. 33 .. 60 .... 90

18 Bondra, Was. ...... 23 .. 33 .... 56

19 Sakic, Que. ....... 34 .. 34 .... 68

22 Tocchet, Pit. ..... 29 .. 35 .... 64

25 K.Stevens, Pit. ... 40 .. 35 .... 75

68 Jagr, Pit. ........ 21 .. 37 .... 58

89 Mogilny, Buf. ..... 50 .. 29 .... 79

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