Photo: The Pink Puck
“Listen, I think that both of them are obviously superstars, both of them are Hall of Famers. I don’t think there’s any debate over that. More importantly, they’re winners and they’re very unselfish, and they’ve had a great deal of success. And they’ve been a real positive for Chicago, not only because of the way they play but because of the fact they’ve won championships.
And so you have to have good leadership and you have to have talent. And they bring both of those qualities to the organization, and consequently they’ve had a great deal of success, and they’re fun to watch.”
Sure, the All-Star duo has earned three Stanley Cup rings, Olympic medals, and a hefty variety of hockey accolades. But, this was different from a trophy. It was words from a living legend.
Toews voiced his appreciation for Gretzky’s comments after Sunday’s Winter Classic practice, noting “tremendous respect” for veteran players and their perspectives.
“He’s the greatest player to ever play the game,” Toews said. “We’re all trying to play to live up to those standards.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s an honor coming from The Great One.”
Kane was a bit taken aback, learning about the compliments from media in the locker room.
“That’s kind of nice,” he said with a laugh. “That’s kind of special.”
He found it to be coincidental, as well.
“It’s funny, I scored my 700th point the other night, and I got all these text messages from people saying ‘only 2,100 more points to catch Gretzky,’” Kane said. “That speaks volumes about how great a player he was. So, that’s nice of him to say.”