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Wayne Gretzky On Gordie Howe

from Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press,

Even Wayne Gretzky, considered by many to be the greatest hockey player ever, got the Gordie Howe treatment.

It was the first game they played against each other, in the World Hockey Association, soon after Gretzky turned pro with the Indianapolis Racers in 1978.

"He was 49, 50 the very first time I played against him," Gretzky recalled today at Joe Louis Arena, where he joined Howe's family for a public visitation of the hockey legend who died Friday. "The very first time I played against him, we were in the warm-up, and I was 17 and thought I was pretty cool, skating around in warm-up, and he kept winking at me. The third or fourth shift of the game, I took the puck from him and, before I knew it, this big stick pounded me on the hand, and I thought I broke my thumb. He took the puck and said, 'Don't ever take the puck from me.'

"I go, 'OK.'"

Gretzky thought the winks were welcoming from Howe. Then one of his teammates let him in on a secret: Howe had a blinking problem.

"Well, nobody told me that!" Gretzky said. "I thought he was cheering me on."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe, wayne+gretzky

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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