Agent Says Gretzky Ponders Playing Without a Helmet for a Brief Time

Wayne Gretzky is considering the helmetless look during the NHL's exhibition season, according to his agent.

"He made a casual reference to trying it for a period or two," Michael Barnett, Gretzky's agent, said Tuesday. "The way he said it, I think he will try it. I wouldn't bank on it (for a long term). Conversely, after he tries it, I think he will put it back on."

Gretzky, who left camp for the birth of his third child, was unavailable for comment. He is scheduled to return here today.

In August, the NHL's Board of Governors gave players the option to skate without helmets. Since 1979, players entering the NHL have been required to wear helmets. Only five veteran players played without helmets last season.

Barnett said that Gretzky would only go without a helmet to enhance his performance or comfort level, not for any marketing reasons. "His image and visibility is so well-known internationally, he could wear a garbage can and everyone would know what the person underneath looks like," Barnett said.

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