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Wayne Gretzky arrives in Vancouver with little fanfare

February 10, 2010 |  3:26 pm

You'd think that in Canada, of all places, Wayne Gretzky would be instantly recognized and mobbed everywhere he went.

Gretzky But there he was Tuesday night at the Vancouver International Airport, standing by himself as he waited for his luggage at the baggage carousel. His anonymity no doubt was helped by his toque -- a close-fitting, ear-covering winter hat -- but it's still amazing to think that he walked through the baggage claim area unnoticed.

Colleague Lisa Dillman said the arrival of actor Donald Sutherland caused a far bigger stir on Tuesday.

Gretzky was the executive director of Canada's gold medal-winning 2002 hockey team and the seventh-place team in 2006, but he isn't part of the Vancouver management team. He said he was here on behalf of sponsor Samsung for a promotional deal. And yes, he has been keeping track of the Kings.

"They have a good team," he said as he loaded his gear onto a cart.

-- Helene Elliott in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Can you find Wayne Gretzky in this picture? Credit: Troy Fleece / Associated Press