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10-05-2003, 06:25 PM
Tao Jones
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Wayne and Mario, as talented as they may be, have produced generations of "I'll just camp on the blue line or set up shop behind the net"-type players and fans of such, that reflect the self-centered greed representative of the '80's and early '90's that value record numbers and dollars above team concept and sportsmanship. Lady Byng? or Lady cha-Ching?

Who else but Wayne Gretzky could get away with cross-checking Doug Gilmour to the ice from behind, to score a game tyer, sending a conference finals game into overtime, instead of going to the penalty box for a Toronto power play? Imagine what a Montreal-Toronto series in the '90's would have done to the ratings.

For what other player than Wayne, would they stop a regulation game for 20 minutes mid-period in front of a crowd full of celebrities against Vancouver, to have an awards presentation during a loss?

Who other than Mario, would retire because he did not get the same clutching and grabbing penalties called against his opponents that Wayne did, and then return after he decided that the league was reverting back to his "style" of play?

Mario retired due to health problems you say. That never stopped Bobby Clarke from playing with diabetes, Shayne Corson from playing with Crohn's disease, or Saku Koivu from returning from cancer. None of these players complained that their performance was hampered by the way they were calling or not calling the rules. The trap is ruining hockey? I guess that is why so many teams are implementing it with success.

I wonder if Pittsburgh would have tanked the remainder of their season, if the lottery system were in place before Mario was drafted? Jealous New Jersey fan you say?

No, thank you. I'll take the "2.5" Cups earned by the blue-collar efforts of Ken Daneyko, who won his first Cup alongside two-way forwards with work ethics such as John MacLean, Neal Broten, Randy Mckay, etc., at the conclusion of the NHL's first labor strike-shortened season because they loved the game enough to show up in game-shape despite their layoff; over the record numbers and money chasers with inflated salaries that threaten another work stoppage where the ultimate loser is the fan, anyday. (-5 for run-on sentence)

Scott Stevens may never win as many Cups as Wayne Gretzky, and Ken Daneyko's name may be engraved less frequently on Lord Stanley than Claude Lemieux, but as a player, Daneyko will always have won more Cups than Mario.

If numbers equal "Great"ness, I prefer character.

Team before individual.

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