VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Fantasy Sports
More
Betting Tools

 
Chelios induction brings Gretzky to HOF

TORONTO (AP) - When Wayne Gretzky was a kid, he used to love visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Advertisement
''I used to come and just stare at all the equipment and the names,'' Gretzky said. ''It's a wonderful place.''

Gretzky returned to the Hall of Fame on Monday night, this time at the request of a friend - 2013 inductee Chris Chelios. He walked the red carpet in the footsteps of other members of Chelios's circle like Cindy Crawford, Kid Rock, John Cusack and Tony Danza.

''He's just a good man,'' Gretzky said of Chelios. ''You just call him, you need a favor, and he'll be there in the next heartbeat. ... They both had a lot of class, and I've got a great deal of respect for him.''

There are few players in the game's history who command respect on the level of Gretzky. But he hasn't been formally involved in the NHL since stepping down as Phoenix Coyotes coach in 2009.

''I'm always close to the game,'' Gretzky said. ''The game's always been good to me. The National Hockey League commissioner's office, they have always treated me with a great deal of respect and always been good to me. I've chosen at this point in time to take a step back and be a fan like everyone else and watch.''

On Monday, Gretzky watched Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos break his right tibia in a game. Hours later, he reacted like someone heartbroken at a major loss for the game.

''It's horrible,'' Gretzky said. ''The players today are bigger, better and stronger than we were when we played. These guys are really incredible athletes and they play a high risk - it's a physical game, it's a fast game. And they all carry themselves so well, from Crosby to Ovechkin, Stamkos, Perry, Getzlaf.

''Our game should be very proud of how they conduct themselves as individuals and as people, and don't want to see anybody get an injury like he sustained today. It's unfortunate, and that's the risk of being of being a National Hockey League player or a professional athlete. It really is difficult.''

Gretzky set a pile of NHL records in 1,487 games, but he found it difficult to play against two individuals.

''There's only a couple players in my career that I played against that were tough and mean, that I was a little nervous about,'' he said. ''And both of them - Mark Messier and Chris Chelios - every time they hit me, they would tell me, `Gretz, I'm behind you.' They both had a lot of class.''

Gretzky joked with Chelios that he'd be thinking about those hits during the defenseman's induction speech.

''I said: `I'm coming there for all the times you hit me and whacked me and hacked me,' Gretzky recalled. `''I'm going to count them out on my hands when you're up on stage. I'm going to just keep counting how many times you whacked me.'''

Over Chelios' marathon career, that happened a lot. Naturally Gretzky was there to see his friend get inducted, along with Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan, Fred Shero and Geraldine Heaney.

''To make the Hockey Hall of Fame is really hard,'' Gretzky said. ''You've got to be a real special person because that's what makes it a special place. Everybody who's coming in, good for them, it's well-deserved.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: Second Round Predictions
Sportsbook.ag: Series Prices - Best Bets
News: Second Round Cheat Sheet
News: Second Round Series Odds
Pens chase Holtby, take 2-0 series lead
Pageau scores four, Senators win in 2OT
Devils win lottery, will pick 1st in draft
Predators recall F Gaudreau
Home ice can be a disadvantage
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
11-2 +951 L13 Picks, 12-3 G-Plays
4-1 +345 L3 Days, 11-6 G-Plays
2-0 +225 LN, +2,930 G-Plays TY
10-6 L16 G-Plays, +6,440 Overall
7-3, +508 L10 Guaranteed Plays
NHL Pro Hockey Expert Sports Picks
2016 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 6220
Bruce Marshall + 4093
Stephen Nover + 571
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2032
Bill Marzano + 1651
Gary Bart + 1320
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 778
Bruce Marshall + 414
Doc's Sports + 100
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3317
Scott Rickenbach + 3030
Bill Marzano + 2640
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 765
Bill Marzano + 754
   
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1421
Bill Marzano + 492
Gary Bart + 314
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership