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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

The Torch & Olympic Hockey


By Fred Wallace


The Olympic Torch weaved its way through Grey & Bruce 7 days ago, bolting through Durham, Hanover, Walkerton, Kincardine, Saugeen Shores and then stopping for a nice ceremony in Owen Sound last Monday night.

As part of the event in Saugeen Shores, CTV-TSN Broadcaster Brian Williams ran with his grandchildren, the Condys, for a leg of the relay.

Prior to his junket on the relay I talked with the veteran broadcaster about a variety of topics pertaining to the Winter Olympic Games and most notably was curious on his take of NHL Professionals participating in Men's Hockey.

Williams, who has been at Olympic Games dating back to Montreal in the Summer of 1976, is all for pro participation.

He says first & foremost, Olympic fans clamour and are totally entitled to watch the very best perform in their sports, be it hockey, or whatever.

Williams says considering the pay days that top track stars, tennis pros and other Olympians can command, there's no reason to exclude professional hockey players.

And based on his experience, you have to respect that perspective.

I've always maintained a different outlook, wanting to return to a time when Canada had a National team and the Olympics of 1980, 84, 88 & 92 exposed the Glenn Andersons and Randy Greggs, or gave you insight on whatever happened to, say Marc Habscheid.

But Brian Williams states, ' time moves on, Fred ', and at this time NHL and professional players are what's best for Olympic Men's Hockey.

I'm Fred Wallace

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