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11-03-2012, 06:13 AM
  #19
Mr Kanadensisk
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Join Date: May 2005
Country: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Wouldn't playing in his first Olympics and trying to help Canada win its first gold medal in Olympic hockey in decades be enough incentive? I just tend to think that if he knew he could have, he would have, but that may be wrong. I'm sure he could have just practiced here and there until the Olympics... or even not and just rolled out of bed and headed for Japan... and still been about the best in the world, so it's obviously not an issue of ability.
I know this is extremely hard for most Europeans to understand but for most Canadian hockey fans the Canada Cup / World Cup prior to '98 was just a big a deal as the '98 Olympics. Since our best players were barred from the Olympics prior to '98 the tournament didn't have the prestige in Canada that it does now.

Mario had already turned down the chance to play for Canada in the '91 CC and '96 WCup so to think that the '98 OG factored into his decision to retire is not realistic. Thankfully he had a change of heart in 2002, but before that there was certainly a period when he was luke warm about international hockey. As far as I know he has never made any political statements about this but in general the relations between Quebec and Canada weren't great in the 90's, maybe this effected his desire to play for the national team???

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