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Brett Hull storms out of practice

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Hull storms out of Team USA practice

Canadian Press

9/5/2004

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CP) - A winner of the World Cup of Hockey tournament has yet to be crowned but Brett Hull already is assured an award - Most Unhappy Player.

Hull, a healthy scratch for Team USA's win over Slovakia, showed up for practice Sunday to find he had been assigned the same green sweater as other Friday scrubs, and he didn't like it one bit. He left the ice 10 minutes before his teammates, again declined interview requests and was out of the Xcel Energy Center in a hurry.

The third-leading goal scorer in NHL history could not have expected to be a spare part in what is probably his last major international tournament for the United States, for whom he's performed beyond the call of duty. To say he's frustrated is putting it mildly.

``Got a minute to talk to reporters, Brett?'' Hull was asked in a corridor outside the dressing room.

``What would I have to talk about?'' he replied.

``Fans want to know how you're doing,'' said the reporter.

``I don't give a (deleted) about the fans anymore,'' said Hull.

End of conversation.

A few minutes later, as Hull headed for an arena exit, he again was asked for a minute of his time. He just kept walking.

The 40-year-old scoring machine has filled reporters' notebooks with candid comments during his remarkable career, which makes his disdainful demeanour now all the more shocking.

``He shouldn't be happy about it and he's not,'' centre Doug Weight said of Hull's reaction to his diminished role. ``But you don't want a teammate who doesn't give two cares about being in the lineup or not, and he cares and he's upset about it.

``If he doesn't want to talk to (reporters) about it, that's part of it. It's part of our job, I agree. But it's (Hull's) right (not to do interviews), I guess.

``He's always given (reporters) plenty to write. He's done a great job performing that part of his job. If something's bothering him or if he doesn't feel like talking for a couple of days, I don't think that should, in a 20-year career, be something that's held against him.''

When the team got wind of Hull's profanity-spiked comment, further attempts were made by the media relations staff to get him to consent to an interview. He again refused.

Coach Ron Wilson was asked if he'd put Hull back in the lineup for a quarter-final elimination game Tuesday. He couldn't say that he would, adding lineup decisions will be made game day. That's not the vote of confidence Hull was looking for.

Wilson would look like a motivational genius if Hull scores a big goal and the Americans win Tuesday. Hull could then take the post-game podium and break his silence, smiling all the while. But if that doesn't happen, one of the greatest players to ever wear the red, white and blue will exit the international stage with a sour taste in his mouth.

The situation isn't harming the team, said Weight.

``He has done nothing to affect our chemistry in a bad way,'' said Weight. ``He has been fine.

``When he gets out there again, he'll still be the most dangerous player on the ice.''

Alas, there won't be a huge audience in the United States. Terry, who at about 550 kilograms is the largest pig in Minnesota, is enjoying more of the public's attention at the state fair than the World Cup is in these parts. No American channel carried the Canada-Russia game Saturday night.

U.S. general manager Larry Pleau went to a hockey pub to see if it had a CBC signal but, no, college football ruled.

Captain Chris Chelios, Hull, Brian Leetch and a handful of others have been U.S. teammates forever - or so it seems.

``We're a close group,'' said Chelios, 42. ``Brett and I are honoured, at our ages, to be part of this team.

``If I have to sit out or Brett has to sit out and if it's for the better of the team, so be it. We know Brett's going to be there for us if he's called on. Hopefully, we've got three more games and he'll be a part of it and get the opportunity to win a game for us.''

Hull wants that chance to let his stick do the talking.

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Brett Hull... A+ class act indeed :)

Wonder if Gretzky is gonna put him in charge of PR too ??? B ):lol:

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He is utterly useless on the ice. The only thing that he could contribute on is the powerplay, but he hasn't been putting up points altogether! He should definately stay benched.

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Good riddance to Hull, who has no business being in an international tournament in the first place. If he wants to coast and float at the redline like he did against Canada, he can do it wearing the green sweater in practice.

Pleau would've passed on Hull if he hadn't been his GM in St. Louis. I'm almost sure of it. Canada was able to pass on Stevens in 2002, and came out with a gold medal. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made. But bringing a power-play specialist to a tournament like this was a mistake.

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Hull officially sucks!

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*dances* I am so glad that people are finally getting to see the pig that I always saw him to be. Maybe this will be the end of all the Hull worshiping... well at least for the moment.

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Go back to Canada where you belong.

Edited by Devsrule

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Nice team player move by Mr. Idiot.

What an ass. If I was Ron Wilson, I would have told him to keep going once he left practice, we don't need your negative, unsupportive childish attitude around here anyhow.

Guy might be the 3rd all time goal scoring leader, but he's DONE! He's old and it shows like the rest of Team USA.

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Nice attitude Brett. He could have not said anything. This just makes him look worse. He has to come to the reality that he doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt right now. He was a no-show in the first two games. I guess Wilson is going to stick with the lineup he had the other night. That might be a good thing.

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I have to like him this year since he is on my # 2 favorite hockey team, the Coyotes.

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When you're trying to win, no one plays because of what they've done in the past. You either contribute or sit. Brett should realize that. He should've earned his roster spot by playing well. Glad Wilson had the balls to sit him.

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``I don't give a .... about the fans anymore,'' said Hull. 

This is EXACTLY why I'm hoping for a long, very long lockout. I pay Primo Good Money to see the rich pretty boy prima donas' play the game I love. Each year it gets worse, their salary goes up and so does my out of pocket expenses. I can't afford to bring my family anymore, so its just me. And what des the average fan get in return? we get the Golden Brett saying were not worth a shiite.

Fek em all. Lock em out til they lose thier homes and cars and then lets rebuild this League with the talent the Juinors can offer us.

109 DTG before the USA World Junions Champions defend their Gold medals.

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[A] There are two possibilities here:

(1) Brett still thinks he is good enough to play and the coaches don't.

or

(2) The coaching staff are forcing him to see that he isn't good enough to play.

If it's the latter, I can see him blowing off steam. It's a tough shock when someone tells you that you're no longer able to do what you do best.

Err, Canada's returning to the WJ with a more mature team, and the US is going in WITHOUT Parise and a lot of their vets from last year. I don't think it will be as easy. Plus we won't have Fleury in nets.

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*dances* I am so glad that people are finally getting to see the pig that I always saw him to be. Maybe this will be the end of all the Hull worshiping... well at least for the moment.

my thoughts as well.

:puke: on hull

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It's typical Hull. Nothing Brett Hull says should surprise anyone anymore and it doesn't change his accomplishments in the sport. But making remarks about the fans like that deserves whatever criticism it gets. Advancing age, declining skills, an unwillingness to work as hard as other players his age have to in order to maintain their competitiveness... it's not that hard to figure out why Hull isn't the force he once was. His game was built for a different era, for better or worse. NHL hockey today doesn't reward the floater/sniper the way it did ten or twenty years ago.

At least he's still giving people lots to talk about.

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