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Gretzky believes that breaking records is important to grow the game

Mike Armenti   ·   25 janvier 2020
Wayne Gretzky's 894 goals was a record that many expected would never be touched, but as Gretzky has said in the past, "records are made to be broken". Enter Alexander Ovechkin.

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Ovi is the best pure goal-scorer of his generation and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who would argue otherwise. Including Gretzky himself.

"From the day he came into the game, into the National Hockey League, we knew what he was," Gretzky said. "He was just a hard-working guy who loved to score goals. Everybody loves to score goals. The two, three guys that I always remembered seemed to love it more than anybody were Brett Hull, Mike Bossy and Luc Robitaille, and Alex has that fire. He gets around the net and he just loves to score."

Ovechkin has basically set up an office at the top of the left circle and although everyone in the league knows exactly where he is, few have been able to stop him. His shot is elite and it doesn't seem to matter if he's delivering a wicked wrister, snapping it home quick on the short side or setting up for a hellacious one-timer, he just seems to always get the job done and his eight Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophies are proof of that.

"The Great One" knows exactly what it will take in order for Ovi to break the record and he draws some parallels between how the stars aligned for him and how they're also aligning for "The Great Eight".

"What I accomplished, I'm very proud of. It's hard to do what I did, and it's really hard to do what he's doing now. But there's no question in my mind that he has a real legitimate chance of doing it. The two things that you need; you've got to stay healthy, and he's proven that over his career. He plays hard and he stays healthy. And, secondly, you've got to be on a good team -- and he plays on a good team.

"For my success, I had to play with good players. He plays with good players, and that obviously helps."

Gretzky, an ever humble ambassador for the sport of hockey, has fully embraced Ovi's pursuit of his incredible, longstanding goal-scoring record and whole-heartedly puts his support behind the 34-year-old, who now sits at 692 goals, just 202 goals away from making history.

"I think it would be wonderful for the game," Gretzky said. "Anything that's positive is always good for the game. I said jokingly to Sergey (Kocharov, Capitals vice president of communications) … I said I hope (Capitals owner Ted Leonsis) realizes that when I was chasing Gordie's record, Gordie and Colleen got to fly on the team plane. I hope I get invited to fly on the team plane because I would love to be at the game."

You have to admire Gretzky's selflessness and ability to see the bigger picture. Few, if any, love the game more than Wayne and it would be fitting if he got his wish to go on tour with the Ovechkin and the Caps if and when the race reaches the home stretch.



SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON
QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
image
The city of Miami is located in which American state?
CALIFORNIA
CUBA
FLORIDA
HAWAII
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON