"Every time I went into the town (he was coaching in) when I was coaching, he would always come into my office to talk," he explained. "Friday will be a tough one, but I'm glad I'm doing it."
"I was here in '81 and did a documentary with (Vladislav) Tretiak, but I've Converse Heels Wedge never played hockey in Russia, and that's one of the reasons I wanted to come. I never got the chance to play here," Gretzky said. "This is going to be my chance, although I'm 51 and slow."
"Spectacular. You'll never duplicate '72, but I remember saying to Mike (Keenan) after Game 3, 'That's the closest we're going to be to '72.' It was so phenomenal," he Converse Ballet Flats Black
"It really was my aspiration, but I never got the opportunity."
This week's hockey celebrations in Russia are a three fold event.
Of course, that 1987 Canada Cup series a trio of 6 5 games which ended with Lemieux's goal in the dying moments of regulation time in the finale was something special as well.
"My wish and dream was to eliminate the Canada Cup and do another eight game series with Canada and the Soviet Union," Gretzky said Monday night, shortly after arriving in Moscow.
Not only are the nations honouring the 1972 Summit Series and holding a memorial game in Yaroslavl to honour the KHL Lokomotiv team that was wiped out in a plane crash a year ago, but it's also the 25th anniversary of the 1987 Canada Cup, arguably the most thrilling of the events born from the 1972 series.
The events in Yaroslavl will have a special meaning for Gretzky, too.
Gretzky wanted Summit Series II
There was so much friction between the United States and the Soviet Union, but the real friction was between Canada and the USSR as far as hockey supremacy. For the Canadians to come back the way they did and to win the way they did is really unique.
"His dad was from Belarus and he knows a lot of the guys from Converse Boots Indonesia
"My next door neighbour probably had the first colour TV on the street, and my dad would let me get out of school at 12:30 and we'd go there and watch the games," said Gretzky, adding that Phil Esposito's eight game performance was as good as anybody has ever seen. "It was so emotional when we won. I was thinking about it today. Converse Fashion Man
the '72 team," he said. "We watched, liked every family in '72, so it's nice to reminisce together and listen to their stories."
After he and Mario Lemieux led Canada to the thrilling victory over the Soviet Union in the best of three final of the 1987 Canada Cup, the Great One really wanted to take the rivalry up a notch.
He played with Alexander Karpovtsev (one of the Lokomotiv assistant coaches) while with the New York Rangers and Yaroslavl head coach Brad McCrimmon at the 1978 world juniors.
"It's funny, but I have the series on DVD and I was watching it this summer. My kids, who are American, really don't understand what '72 is all about. They laugh because it was the middle of July and I was watching Game 6 out of Russia."
Gretzky may hold more scoring records than any other player in NHL history, but part of him is in awe of Canada's 1972 team. He was just a youngster when that series took place.
And Gretzky jumped at the chance to join the festivities, bringing along Mark Messier and Brett Hull.
But 1972 remains the standard, so Gretzky brought his father, Walter, along to Russia to take in the experience together.
If Wayne Gretzky had his way, we would have had another Summit Series.
In fact, Gretzky has never played a hockey game in Russia, something he'll change Wednesday night in St. Petersburg.
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