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Posted On Friday, 02.01.2013 / 1:06 AM

By Jason Bull -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Bull: Gretzky Camp memories

LAS VEGAS -- For my final blog entry I wanted to first take you through today and then go through my top five moments from one of the greatest weeks of my life.

First off, let's talk about today, the day my team got to the championship game and fell a shootout goal short of winning the Gretzky Cup. We lost it 4-3 in the shootout, but a couple of my new friends were playing for the other team so I was excited that they were able to win.

There were no pros playing in the championship game, so it was a little harder, faster and more physical. We had to bear down a little bit more and we did, but we just couldn't finish the job in the shootout.

However, Wayne Gretzky played with my team in the semifinal game, the early game of the day, and that was unbelievable. Seeing Gretzky coming down my left wing and send the puck out to him, that's just crazy. We ended up getting a goal out of that, too, which made an already special moment even better.

Now, for my top five moments of the week; to be honest, narrowing them down to five is tough, but here goes:

1. Meeting Gretzky

I was on the phone with my family back home when Gretzky and his dad, Walter, came walking up toward me. One of the guys from the camp recognized me from the registration day so while I was on the phone I got to shake Gretzky's hand for the first time. That was quite a moment.

2. Seeing Gretzky on the ice for the first time

Getting out on the ice with all the pros was amazing, but seeing Gretzky jump on the ice with us during the first day, when the pros weren't skating and we were just basically practicing, showing our skills so they could divide us into teams, was unreal. He skated right past me and I said to the guy next to me, "Well, you don't see that every day." Unless, of course, you're here.

3. Being on Gretzky's line

I mentioned this one before. It happened today. We created a goal together. Enough said.

4. Hanging out at the Bellagio

You walk into a sports bar to sit down, have a beer and watch a hockey game and you find Denis Savard, Mike Keenan, Mike Barnett and Brian Leetch. Just listening to them tell all these fantastic stories from their careers was thrilling. Those stories, I'll take them back home with me and tell all my brothers and my hockey teammates. Unbelievable.

5. My new Gretzky jersey

Winning the Gretzky jersey Wednesday night and then having The Great One sign it for me is easily a highlight. I held on to that thing for the rest of the night, praying that nobody would spill anything on it, stain it in anyway. That's a prized possession for me. I know I got some great treatment here because I came all the way from Australia, but I would recommend this camp to anyone and tell them they need to get out here to experience it.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.30.2013 / 9:48 PM

By Jason Bull -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Bull scores against Grant Fuhr

LAS VEGAS -- Just when I think this trip can't get any better, the bar gets set even higher for the next day.

The highlight Wednesday was getting a chance to take a faceoff against The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky. I was called for my first shift and there he was, skating out there at the same time. And, right then and there, I knew I was going to be taking a draw with Gretzky.

The ref dropped the puck and I won the faceoff, and nearly created a scoring chance for myself as well. That's a memory of a lifetime.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 7:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Gretzky wonders how he'd do against today's stars

LAS VEGAS -- Is Doc Brown from "Back to the Future" anywhere to be found? Can the DeLorean still get up to 88 mph?

If yes, Wayne Gretzky has a request: He'd like to go back in time to figure out a way to stop his aging process, because as much as The Great One loved playing in his generation, he would have loved the chance to play in today's NHL.

"Mike Bossy and Brett Hull were probably the two purest goal scorers I ever saw in my career and I got excited to play against them because I wanted to see, 'Do I belong on the same sheet of ice as they are on?'" Gretzky, 52, told NHL.com Tuesday from his annual fantasy camp. "That's why I would have loved to compete against a guy like Zdeno Chara, go head-to-head against Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 4:24 PM

By Jason Bull -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Bull: First game at camp is memory of a lifetime

Jason Bull is a 37-year-old police officer from Perth, Australia, but this week he is a rookie at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. Bull will be blogging about his experiences from the Gretzky camp for NHL.com throughout the week:

LAS VEGAS -- Well, my first game at the Gretzky Camp is in the books and despite the 5-2 loss to a team that included guys like Cliff Ronning and Kelly Chase, the experience is one that will sit in my memory bank forever.

I didn't score, but I did come close to getting a few and nearly set up some goals as well. A goal or an assist would have been nice, but there are more games still to come.

I was even thinking about dropping the gloves with Chase since he kept tugging at my jersey and my arms to slow me down. But, yeah, I thought better of it and decided for my own self-preservation and the fact that I want to play in the games Wednesday that I'd better keep my mitts on.

Chase thought it was wise, too.

"It's your fantasy," he told me.

No, no, it's not.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 3:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Gretzky gives new Blues owner thrill of a lifetime

LAS VEGAS -- St. Louis Blues owner Tom Stillman initially thought a friend was playing a joke on him, but he knew that couldn't be the case because the name and number that came up on his phone was one that he had saved in his contacts folder.

Wayne Gretzky.

The Great One was indeed calling the new owner of the Blues to invite him to be his guest at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp.

"It's maybe the most surreal experience I've had since I got involved with the Blues," Stillman told NHL.com Tuesday morning before playing in his first game at the Fantasy Camp. "Really, I can remember times when people used to leave phone messages for me saying it was Wayne Gretzky, ha ha, but it was him and he was asking me to come to the event, saying that they were planning to wear Blues uniforms this year so they'd like me to come.

"When the Great One calls, what are you going to do? You're going to go. This is the hockey fantasy camp of fantasy camps."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 3:04 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Chelios catching the coaching bug with Red Wings

LAS VEGAS -- Chris Chelios calls his role with the Detroit Red Wings an internship.

"Basically, I'm learning how to coach," Chelios told NHL.com Tuesday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp.

Chelios, who turned 51 last week, works primarily with the defensemen for the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate. His title is Advisor to Hockey Operations, but he sees himself as an on-ice coach, a helping hand to first-year coach Jeff Blashill.

"I spend three or four days a week there, go on the ice with them, work with the young defensemen," Chelios said. "It's been great. I'm really enjoying it.

"It's one thing to play and it's another to get behind the bench and coach. There's a lot to it. It's been a great experience for me."

Chelios has been working for the Red Wings since he officially retired from the National Hockey League on Aug. 31, 2010. He spent the 2010-11 season mentoring under general manager Ken Holland and assistant general manager Jim Nill, but quickly learned he didn't belong in the front office.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:33 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Leetch talks Rangers' scoring issues, Cup pressure

LAS VEGAS -- Despite the instant success of the New York Rangers' top line of Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, ex-Ranger Brian Leetch is not convinced that trio has to stay together in order for the team to win.

"I like the way they had it split up to start with, Nash and Richards together, Gaborik and [Derek] Stepan with [Ryan] Callahan," Leetch, a part-time Rangers' analyst on the MSG Network, told NHL.com on Tuesday. "I really liked that. But when you're having trouble scoring and everyone isn't firing on all cylinders, it's a pretty good luxury to throw those three guys together.

"The fact that they had some immediate success also helps, but I liked the first set up. I think that's ideal. Obviously, [Chris] Kreider is a wild card there."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

McSorley: Oilers' depth key to success now and then

LAS VEGAS -- In addition to all the world-class talent the Edmonton Oilers had in the 1980s, Marty McSorley said there also was a push from the superstars to make sure the depth players were winning their own battles.

"Wayne [Gretzky] and Mark [Messier] stressed the fact that we weren't going to win without our third and fourth lines making a difference," McSorley told NHL.com Tuesday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. "You have to outplay the other team's third and fourth lines. They really stressed the fact of that."

McSorley said the same thing will have to come true if the current version of the Oilers is going to reach its potential as a consistent contender for the Stanley Cup.

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Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 7:16 PM

By Jason Bull -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

For Bull, Gretzky camp is a dream come true

Jason Bull is a 37-year-old police officer from Perth, Australia, but this week he is a rookie at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. Bull will be blogging about his experiences from the Gretzky camp for NHL.com throughout the week:

LAS VEGAS -- Hockey has been my passion since I was around 10 or 11 years old. I first learned of the game while living in New Zealand.

My dad took me and my brothers along to a public skating session and at the end of that session, I saw some guys coming through the doors with their hockey equipment. I thought, 'What is going on here?'

So, we stuck around and watched a bit of it. We spent about an hour at the rink and I fell in love with it straight away. I said to my dad, 'This is the game I want to play.' He took me and my brothers back to the rink and we started training. It went from there.

And, to be here now, playing alongside Wayne Gretzky, a player I have admired for years, is beyond a dream come true.

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Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 4:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Fuhr counts Kiprusoff among current favorite goalies

LAS VEGAS -- Edmonton fans may not like it too much, but one of Grant Fuhr's favorite goalies to watch in today's NHL is still Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff.

"I think he gives Calgary a chance every night," the Hall of Fame goalie from Edmonton told NHL.com Monday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. "You watch most nights and they give up a lot of scoring chances, but he gives them an opportunity every night."

Fuhr, who stays involved with the Oilers doing community relations work, also talked about four other current goalies he admires, starting with another Northwest Division rival, at least for now.

"I still like Roberto Luongo," he said. "Everybody else seems to be down on him a little bit, but I think he's a great goalie. He can be that difference. He's in a tough boat right now. It's unfortunate, but it's a tough spot to be in. But, he's a class guy and he's a great goalie. People may not think that, but he's still got all the talent in the world."

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic