Morning Skate 127: The NHL needs The Great One

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Morning Skate 127: The NHL needs The Great One

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The commemoration of Wayne Gretzkys 50th birthday should have been a celebration of everything that marked the career of The Great One and his brilliance in the 1980s, when the NHL was making a surge forward in terms of popularity and scope.

But instead it was more of a Where is Wayne? game filled with disagreements over his departure from the Phoenix Coyotes and his current estrangement from the NHL, which needs him so badly. Not sure if it will take another coaching gig I think Gretzky might have fallen into that category of great player that might not have been perfect for the coaching job but Gretzky should be involved as a general manager, owner or simply an ambassador to the game.Mario Lemieux has performed that role to a tee in Pittsburgh, and now Gretzky needs to simply find a home where he can put his own imprint as the personality behind the organization a setting that Phoenix was never ideal for.Gretzky was simply too great for that team, but its time he found something suitable for stature and returned to the game he loved and the game that loved him right back. A great account by SI.coms Stu Hackel of whats happened between the NHL and Wayne Gretzky since he left his post with the Phoenix Coyotes. The NHL All-Star game is here to stay, but hopefully the Olympics is as well as its a much better advertisement for how good the game of hockey can be. Anybody want Sergei Samsonovs four tickets to NHL All-Star weekend? Celebrities for Charity is raffling them off for a good cause. Brad Marchand is scared to score, writes the Days of Y'Orr. Perhaps some of his teammates should fine a way to turn that kind of fear into production. A brief pictorial history of the Anaheim Ducks as All-Stars, some of them were even Mighty: who could forget Guy Hebert? Well, okay so maybe I did. The All-Star break came at the wrong time for the New Jersey Devils and Brian Rolston, who were on their longest hot streak of the season after sucking the life out of hockey for the first three months. Apparently the Hockey News twitter account has decided that the victimization of Matt Cooke is a cause they need to take up. Some people just don't get it.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after watching the Boston Celtics take a hard pass on the Boogie. 
 
-- Bob McKenzie sits in with the good folks at TSN 1200 Ottawa sports radio and talks a little Claude Julien of the Montreal Canadiens

-- The Avalanche youth movement is set to begin as quickly as March 1, as Colorado may move some of its veteran players at the trade deadline. 
 
-- Ryan Johansen got snubbed in his return to Columbus for the first time as a member of the Nashville Predators. That’s too bad, but it’s also not exactly Wayne Gretzky returning to the Edmonton Oilers for the first time. 
 
-- The price tag for Kevin Shattenkirk is in and it includes a top prospect and a first-round pick, along with another piece, for a rental defenseman. That should be far too rich for the Bruins’ blood. The B's were already intent on avoiding the rental market ahead of the trade deadline, and the steep price -- even for a potentially useful short-term acquisition like the puck-moving Shattenkirk -- should make that even more of a certainty. 
 
-- Ken Campbell asks whether hockey agents have gone too far in chasing after prospective prospects before they even enter their teenage years. 

 -- Bobby Ryan has a hand injury that’s going to sideline him, another piece of bad luck for the Senators forward. 
 
-- For something completely different: On President’s Day, it seems only natural to go through the favorite Presidents in the history of the Marvel Universe.