Yes. Wayne Gretzky is among a long list of NHL players that honed their handeye coordination and physical endurance by playing lacrosse in the summer.
Other players include: Brendan Shanahan, Doug Gilmour, Cliff Ronning, Joe Sakic, Steve Larmer, Collin Patterson, Tim Hunter, Paul Kariya, Don Cherry, Gary Roberts, Adam Oates, Paul Coffey, Joe Nieuwendyk. …and many more!
"If sport has a high point of the year, it must be the first week of spring." "...When I was growing up, I used to love this time of year. It was when I put my hockey equipment away and I was absolutely ecstatic to see the end of the hockey season. One of the worst things to happen to the game, in my opinion, has been year-round hockey and, in particular, summer hockey. "All it does for kids, as far as I can tell, is keep them out of sports they should be doing in warmer weather. I could hardly wait to get my lacrosse stick out and start throwing the ball around. It didn't matter how cold or rainy it would be, we'd be out firing the ball against walls and working on our moves as we played the lacrosse equivalent to road hockey." "All the good hockey players seemed to play lacrosse in those days and everyone of them learned something from the game to carry over to the other - things athletes can only learn by mixing up games they play when they are young."
National Post, March, 2000