Gretsky’s master plan

By Kris Kotarski

Dr. Wayne Gretzky retired from the NHL as one of the greatest to ever lace up the skates. His moves, his vision and his pleasant demeanor endeared him to fans worldwide.

They were also a great blessing to the NHL, who were looking for new markets outside Canada. Gretzky’s move to the L.A. Kings in the late ’80s helped spread the NHL into the untested waters of the southern U.S. When he came into the league, the only team in the southern US was the Kings. When he left, California had three teams, Florida had two and there are now teams in Greensboro, Nashville, Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix. Dr. Gretzky helped the league move into the one area it could not survive in before.

Ten years later, the NHL is struggling to keep teams in Canada–its most loyal territory. Enter Gretzky to save the day. How? It’s easy when you think about it. Last week the Phoenix Coyotes (read: same Coyotes who wouldn’t be there if not for Gretzky) jubilantly announced their new part owner, The Great One himself.

Most Canadians shrugged off the news, claiming it had no effect on their lives. Others became upset that Dr. Gretzky would help out a US team instead of Calgary or Edmonton, both in financial trouble. Ultimately, though, those people are fools because they fail to recognize the master plan. The Great One must have saved the Phoenix franchise from the evil clutches of Microsoft super-geek Paul Allen not to keep them in Phoenix, but to eventually move them back to where they belong. Winnipeg will get the Jets back! Go blue and White!

It makes perfect sense. Only Wayne Gretzky could get away with such a bold move, and only the Great One has the vision to make Winnipeg the proud owners of an NHL hockey team again. The league can’t win against Gretzky; he has too much stroke with the fans. Canadians already love him, and after this stunt we will kiss the ground he walks on. He will be the greatest Canadian hero ever (at least to the uneducated majority and sports fans like me).

But don’t think this is where it ends. After taking the Jets back to Winnipeg, Gretzky isn’t going to be sitting on Hockey Night in Canada listening to Don Cherry sing his praises. Oh no, he’s going to buy into the Avalanche and bring them back to Quebec City. Wayne Gretzky will unite Canada through the one thing that truly defines the nation: hockey. The return of the Nordiques to Quebec City will bring about an end to the referendums, and tranquility will be restored to our great nation. Not even Rommel could have planed it this way.

Dr. Gretzky has a plan; wait a few years and see. I can’t possibly be wrong. He has a plan. The city of Winnipeg is counting on it and, besides, why else would the U of A give him an honourary degree if he couldn’t mastermind this kind of hockey takeover?

Leave a comment