Wayne Gretzky calls for Russia to be banned from rescheduled world juniors
'Take that stance since the games are going to be played in Edmonton,' Gretzky says of Canada
NHL icon Wayne Gretzky made his opinion known Saturday night regarding consequences for Russia's invasion of Ukraine — he believes the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) should ban Russia from the rescheduled world junior men's hockey championship.
With a number of athletes, leagues, organizations and sports having either handed down sanctions or made a push for Russia to be barred from competing, Gretzky feels as though his idea has to be the next move.
"Sports get zeroed in on. If we are going to send hockey players home we should send everybody home. It's not just hockey players there is a lot of other people here who are making a living," Gretzky said on NHL on TNT.
"I think international hockey should say, 'We're not gonna let them play in the world junior hockey tournament. I think we got to, as Canadians, take that stance since the games are going to be played in Edmonton."
Ahead of the Stadium Series, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLonTNT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLonTNT</a> studio crew discusses the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. <br>The full segment ⬇️ <a href="https://t.co/Md0RMkNl96">pic.twitter.com/Md0RMkNl96</a>—@NHL_On_TNT
The 2022 world juniors had been postponed to August after a number of positive COVID-19 cases, in addition to forfeited games, led to its stoppage in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta.
The IIHF announced on Friday they were planning to meet to discuss possible sanctions against Russia.
Poland's men's soccer team has refused to play Russia in its upcoming World Cup qualifying match, with Sweden and the Czech Republic following suit. Finnish-based Jokerit withdrew from the KHL (Russia's Kontinental Hockey League) playoffs, while Latvian-based Dynamo Riga pulled out of the league entirely on Sunday.
A number of other events, including the men's Champions League final, have been moved from out of Russia to other countries.