"Ifsport has a high point of the year, it must be the first week ofspring. When I was growing up, I used to love this time of
year. Itwas when I put my hockey equipment away and I was absolutely ecstaticto see the end of the hockey season.
One of the worst things to happento the game, in my opinion, has been year-round hockey and, inparticular, summer hockey. All it does for kids, as far as I can tell,is keep them out of sports they should be doing in the warmer weather. I could hardly wait to get my lacrosse stick out and start throwing theball against the walls and working on our moves as we played thelacrosse equivalent to road hockey. All the good hockey players seemedto play lacrosse in those days and every one of them learned somethingfrom the game to carry over to the other - things athletes can onlylearn by mixing up the games they play when they are young."
Wayne Gretzky, The Great One
Gretzky Sr. loves lacrosse
By TY PILSON, Calgary Sun
WayneGretzky's dad credits lacrosse, in part, for helping his son to becomethe NHL's all-time leading scorer. Walter Gretzkyasaid the game oflacrosse had a big influence on his boy.
"It surehelped Wayne," said Walter of his son's involvement in the sport duringthe summer months. "Because in lacrosse, you learn how to fake and heused those same fakes, or moves, in hockey. It sure helped him, nodoubt about that.
"Knowing the different moves, dropping his shoulder and such like you have to do in lacrosse ..., really helped him."
Much like former Flames Joe Nieuwendyk and Gary Roberts, Wayne grew up playing lacrosse in the hotbed of Ontario.
Walter even coached Wayne for a few seasons.
"Ithink he played until he was 15," recalled Walter. "And then he wasplaying junior hockey and he couldn't anymore. He had to make achoice."
Walter said he's glad the sport of lacrosse is finally getting more mainstream exposure.
"It'sone of the oldest sports in the Canada but it's not one of the biggestsports (in popularity)," said Walter. "But it sure is a great sport, alot of fun to watch."