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Dmitry Kulikov

Wayne Gretzky, now just a hockey fan, doesn't foresee a return to NHL

Wayne Gretzky, now just a hockey fan, doesn't foresee a return to NHL

Wayne Gretzky's bronzed likeness stands outside Staples Center, a constant reminder of the tremendous impact hockey's all-time leading scorer has had in making a once-foreign game part of Southern California's sports culture.

Seeing Gretzky in person, though, is a rare event. Unfortunately for the NHL, it's likely to remain so.

Gretzky was among the speakers last Saturday at the dedication of a statue of Luc Robitaille near Gretzky's own statue. His remarks were warm and charming, a reminder of how effective a spokesman he would be for a game that would benefit from his presence.

But Gretzky said later that while he's a fan of the Kings and of General Manager Dean...

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