NHL

Gretzky talks about 20th anniversary of goal record

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TSN.ca Staff
3/13/2014 11:12:53 PM
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Wayne Gretzky became the NHL's all-time goal scoring leader on March 23, 1994 when he scored his 802nd career goal for the Los Angeles Kings against the Vancouver Canucks.

With the 20th anniversary of that record-breaking night coming up, Gretzky sat down with Ray Ferraro on the NHL on TSN to discuss his memories of the event and talk about how he is enjoying his life nowadays at the age of 53.

Ferraro asked Gretzky how he remembered the goal that broke Gordie Howe's record, and the former King gave credit to long-time teammate Marty McSorley.

"Marty was a little bit better of a player then people really give him credit for - he had pretty good vision," explained Gretzky. "Marty was a pretty good playmaker and I was probably in more shock than anybody that that puck ended up on my stick. He made such a good play that he basically took a defenceman and the goaltender out of the play to ultimately leave me the empty net.

"So he made the whole goal happen and I just happened to be in the right spot."

The fanfare that followed goal number 802 was a special moment, even among the many NHL records that Gretzky broke during his stellar career.

"I really savoured the moment, I really took it all in - as far as my family being there and my friends being there," said Gretzky. "It was an historic day for me, it was a nice event.

"As a child everybody knows Gordie was my idol and I was fortunate enough to be friends with Gordie and to have that opportunity to break his record...obviously I played with a lot of great players."

Switching from the past to the present, Ferraro asked Gretzky if the competitive fire that drove him through his hockey life still burns the same way today.

"I'm really not competitive now," answered Gretzky. "When I play golf with friends or family I just enjoy playing. I always felt like my whole life and everything I have in my life is because of hockey and I gave every ounce and all my energy to being the best I could be. I was very competitive when I played, and for that matter very competitive when I ran Team Canada and then the involvement with the Coyotes.

"But to me now, that winning is sort of behind me now. My life is more of...okay, I'm going to enjoy my life, enjoy my friends, enjoy my family, and if I have a good round of golf I'm happy and if I have a bad round of golf I'm thrilled."

Ferraro took the opportunity to ask Gretzky if he would one day entertain a return to a job in the National Hockey League.

"Listen, never is a long time but right now I'm really enjoying my life what I'm doing," explained Gretzky. "The stress and pressure of having to win and compete every night, it's sort of, I'm enjoying being a fan. I love the game, I love the players that are in the game today, I enjoy it, I sit back, I enjoy going to games here and there.

"Right now I don't know. If something wonderful came along obviously I'd be all ears, but at this point in time I'm just a fan."

Wayne Gretzky (Photo: Otto Greule /Allsport)

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(Photo: Otto Greule /Allsport)
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