Wayne said everyone got excited on Friday night, got to his hotel and told Mario we could go home since a deal had been agreed upon.
He was hoping something could have happened on Saturday. Hoping hockey could resurrect itself from the dead. He did not want to go to the meeting, but started thinking about the players, fans, NHL staffs and hoped he could be a part of making it happen.
Wayne said quite frankly he is embarrassed as should be everyone who was in the negotiating room on Saturday. He was told maybe there was some way to move off the figures proposed by both sides, he passed it on to the NHL and they all said lets get together and talk about it.
The NHL said in the meeting they could not move off of the $42.5 figure so talks on Saturday were all about other issues, no cap figure ever discussed. Talk about entry level salary and arbitration in the meeting. Wayne said he was not comfortable talking about that, so he asked the players can we talk about a cap figure and unfortunately, the talks never went that far. Wayne said the players were trying to clear up all the other issues before talking cap numbers.
Wayne said the game got canceled on Wednesday, the commissioner was not going to pick up the phone and all of the sudden say ok, we can increase the cap number.
Gretzky says common sense tells him negotiations will be tough to come by in the next few months. Not sure when they will talk again. People are thinking how can this be over because of a $6.5 million dollar difference. He says there are many more issues on the table and he and Mario were not expecting that.
Does not have an answer on how to handle Phoenix fans on this lockout. They have nothing to sell now, but the past hasn't been great for them either. They were very excited to play this year, new arena, nothing to sell.
Does not see how this is going to end, just encourages both sides to continue talking. Someone asked him what side he is on and he said the side of hockey.
Wayne said he spent the whole weekend excited about the possible agreement that he has not had a chance to decide if he wants to get involved with Canada in the upcoming world tourney. Will probably make a decision this week.