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Posts Tagged ‘Wayne Gretzky’

Two Gretzky’s, One Jeter

MLBlogLogoAs if being the son of Wayne Gretzky wasn’t enough of a media burden, Trevor Gretzky also had to deal with some “unecessary attention” while attending high school in Los Angeles alongside the sons of Joe Montana and actor Will Smith.

That’s just one of the interesting answers the Cubs baseball prospect gives MLBlog editor Danny Wild. Gretzky says Derek Jeter was a big inspiration growing up; dad, while with the New York Rangers, took him to Yankees games. The Great One’s Son also confirms the logic of his jersey numbers progression:

MiLB.com: You’ve worn No. 9, 19 and 29 so far. I’m guessing the nine is a nod to dad, but let’s say you reach the Majors, what number are you going with on the back of your Cubs jersey?

Gretzky: It’s always been a dream to wear No. 99. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to wear it one day. That’s irrelevant right now – I’ve got to focus on getting my career where I want it to be.

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Original LA Kings Captain Basks in Media Spotlight

Wayne Gretzky isn’t the only former LA Kings captain getting a memory-lane media workout this NHL playoff season. So too is Bob Wall, the 69-year-old Ontario, Canada resident who served as the team’s original captain. Among the outlets he has spoken to are the LA Times and Sports Illustrated.

Wall will be a special guest at Staples Center next week for Game 4; current Kings players getting to meet their original captain promises to be yet another high point in this magical Kings spring. Wall tells yorkregion.com he has been greatly enjoying the team’s second romp to the Stanley Cup finals:

“Right off the bat, we knew it would be hard work to sell the product in Southern California,” said Wall, recalling opening the inaugural [1967-68] season in the Long Beach Coliseum while construction on the Fabulous Forum was completed. “It wasn’t easy, but I feel like I was one of the seeds or saplings planted, so I am kind of gratified to see what has happened.”

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The Man Who Traded Wayne Gretzky Has Had It with Media Vilification

On March 8, Edmonton Journal reporter Cam Cole took a shot at former Oilers NHL hockey team owner Peter Pocklington in an article about the current movements of NFL star quarterback Peyton Manning. The third paragraph reads:

Pocklington, basically a small-timer trying to play with the big boys of NHL ownership, couldn’t afford to do that, couldn’t possibly make an exception even for the game’s most exceptional player without having his entire financial house of cards collapse.

Today, in the same newspaper, Pocklington responds, from Palm Desert, California. In his Op Ed, the former Oilers owner says his other businesses were not failing at the time he chose to trade Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings. Rather, he insists it was only the operations of the NHL team that were challenged. Writes Pocklington:

Someone reading this might wonder why I bother to respond. Truthfully, I don’t have a problem with the fact sportswriters disapprove of me trading Wayne Gretzky 24 years ago, although I might suggest that’s a long time to hold a grudge.

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Paulina Gretzky, Part Two

A familiar pattern has been repeated this holiday season: Wayne Gretzky‘s daughter Paulina tweeted out a photo that got some attention (since deleted), and the Toronto Star reported about it. According to the paper, the picture was an outtake from a recent Christmas card photo session snapped by LA photographer Ryan Phillips:

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Paulina Gretzky Twitter Shutdown Sparks Media Speculation

The first journalist to notice that Wayne Gretzky‘s eldest daughter Paulina had closed down her titillating LA Twitter account over the weekend was Toronto Star “Living” reporter David Graham. In yesterday’s piece, he wondered whether dad might have had something to do with it, especially since the Great One’s current Canada-side aspirations don’t necessarily mesh well with a 22-year-old’s “celebutante” stream of saucy pics. There’s also the fact that she had tweeted about having a social media sit-down with pops.

It’s all pure speculation of course, albeit well diagrammed. Graham’s story has since been picked up north of the border by the Globe and Mail and CBC, here by Yahoo! Sports and others.

As most of the media reports note, Paulina’s Twitter pics have recently been memorialized at several online publications such as COEDmagazine.com. Without this compiled attention, all this might have remained suitably below radar.

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Westcoast Sports Associates to Honor Vin Scully

Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play announcer Vin Scully was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Westcoast Sports Associates Roy Firestone Award.

The award is named after the former KCBS-TV sports anchor, who will emcee the Nov. 16 event and interview Scully, according to Steve Dilbeck of the LAT.

Past honorees of the award include John Wooden, Wayne Gretzky, Jerry West and Pete Carroll.

For hardcore Dodger fans that need their offseason fix of Scully, the event is open to the public for $300 a ticket.

Latest ‘True North’ Column Could Unleash Moose in Canada

For several years now, Linda Massarella (pictured) has been keeping tabs on Canadians succeeding in LA via her weekly syndicated column, “True North.” The Sunday feature appears in several dozen major newspapers across Canada including the Toronto, Winnipeg, and Edmonton Sun‘s, and has an impressive combined readership of around three million.

After Massarella wrote this past Sunday about actress-writer Dina Morrone, whose play Moose on the Loose is currently enjoying a world premiere run at Theater West, something amazing happened. In fact, Massarella counts it as one of the best-ever responses to a “True North” column.

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West Coast Bias Stick Checks Canadian Hockey Fans

With the Vancouver Canucks poised to return the Stanley Cup to the birthplace of the sport for the first time since 1993, the ice cold presumption would be that every single Canadian hockey fan is thrilled to bacon bits. But that presumption would be wrong.

LA Times hockey beat writer Helene Elliott runs down the reasons why not all Canadians are on the Canucks vs. Bruins bandwagon ahead of tonight’s Game 1. For anyone in LA who has had to suffer through a conversation with east coasters denigrating our fair city, many of the reasons quoted in the article seem strangely familiar:

Jealousy is a likely factor. Vancouver’s mountain and sea vistas make it one of the world’s most beautiful cities, and it has milder winters than the rest of Canada. Its success in hosting the Winter Olympics has given it new prominence internationally, too. Is it fair for Vancouver to have all that and the Stanley Cup too?

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Hockey Journo Recalls Wayne Gretzky Scoop That Got Away

Today is Wayne Gretzky‘s 50th birthday, a momentous event north of the border that has been marked for the past week or so by all manner of op eds, interview articles and sports journalist recollections. Here in LA, the Great One was courtside at the Lakers game last night with his kids but told NHL.com he was planning otherwise on having a low-key birthday.

The 1988 trade of Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings was of course a momentously sad business transaction for Canada, recently revisited by Peter Berg for ESPN’s 30 by 30 series. Amazingly, legendary Canadian hockey writer Red Fisher (pictured), now 84 and still writing, got word of the impending trade long before any other journalist. But his good friend, Oilers coach Glen Sather, and team owner Peter Pocklington both flat out denied it. Writes Fisher:

What I did do on that late June day was punch in a speculative story into my computer… Just for fun. It started: “Is The Great Gretzky about to become a King? Edmonton owner Peter Pocklington calls the idea ‘ridiculous’, but The Gazette has learned…” The story length was about 650 words. The computer was put away for the summer.

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