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Wendel Clark and the 1985 World Juniors

Great anecdote from Steve Simmons at the Sun today:

Sherry Bassin and coach Terry Simpson wanted Wendel Clark to play for the 1985 World Junior Canadian team, but they didn’t want the top rated defenceman in all of junior hockey to play defence.

They wanted him to play forward.

The question was: Who was going to tell him?

“Simpson said to me ‘You’re the general manager, you tell him.’ You have to understand the context of the times,” said Bassin. ‘The CHA (now Hockey Canada) people didn’t want to move him at all. They were against it. If you tried and do something like that today, and you’d have agents, GMs, grandparents all calling complaining. I just went down and saw Wendel in his hotel room and tried to break it to him gently. I said ‘Clarkie, how would you feel about playing forward?’ I was waiting for a negative response.
“And he said ‘Mr Bassin, ‘I just want to play on the team. I don’t care what position I play.’

The rest of the entry is well worth a read.

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