Wayne Gretzky

PHT Morning Skate: Islanders documentary due in mid-October


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Good news Islanders fans, your ESPN 30 for 30 documentary is due to premiere on October 22. The bad news? It’s about criminal former owner John Spano. It’s all right though, it’s directed by big Isles fan, Entourage star Kevin Connolly (pictured with Bryan Berard). (Islanders Point Blank)

Vancouver re-signed defenseman Yann Sauve to a new deal. Hooray depth! (Canucks)

Is Wayne Gretzky that much closer to joining MLSE? A former Maple Leafs beat guy thinks so. (Howard Berger via Twitter)

A surprising upside to Detroit signing Daniel Alfredsson? Him being a right-handed shot. (Detroit Free Press)

Heads up stat nerds: Check out these zone entry numbers from last season. Know who’s pretty good? Anze Kopitar. (Shutdown Line)

Taylor Hall’s hat trick breaks an Oilers record set by Wayne Gretzky (video)

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When Edmonton jumped all over Vancouver in the first period of their 4-0 win, Taylor Hall managed to do something truly incredible. He broke a team record set by none other than Wayne Gretzky.

Hall netted a hat trick just 7:53 into the game, including scoring his first goal 16 seconds into it on Cory Schneider. As CHED’s Dan Tencer notes, Gretzky’s previous team record saw him pull off the fastest hat trick in just over 12 minutes. Jeez, what a slacker that guy was.

Check out the video of Hall’s rapid-fire scoring barrage that sees him start off by beating Schneider and finish the hat trick off by beating Roberto Luongo.

Gretzky calls Crosby the “best all-around player in the game”


Wayne Gretzky may be on the outside of the NHL for now, but when he gives his opinion on players in the game today people listen.

After seeing Sidney Crosby dazzle against the Maple Leafs leading the Penguins to a shootout victory, The Great One gave Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com his thoughts on Sid the Kid and, as you might expect, they were glowing.

“But in my mind, I don’t think there’s any question Sidney Crosby is the best all-around player in the game. His hockey sense is so strong and so solid, combined with his God-gifted talent of being able to see the ice, see the entire picture in front of him. And, most importantly, I don’t care how good you are, if you don’t have a work ethic, it doesn’t matter. There’s no question that each and every game, he’s one of the hardest-working guys on the ice. In my mind, he’s the best player in the game today.”

It wasn’t so long ago that Gretzky called Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg the best player to come out of Sweden so No. 99 isn’t shy about his opinions.  Calling Crosby the best all-around player is a new take though.

Crosby’s not really known for his defensive skills the way guys like Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Ryan Kesler are. Maybe that’s the next trick in the bag for him to master.

Gretzky: “Somehow, some way, both sides will come together”


NHL legends Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr believe that if there is a lockout, it will be brief.

Gretzky told CTV Atlantic that players and owners will find a way to get something done.

“I really think this one won’t be as long as the last one,” Gretzky said. “I think somehow, some way, both sides will come together and we’ll be playing hockey sooner rather than later.”

Orr would be surprised if a lockout ends up being much more than a speed bump.

“I just can’t believe they won’t get together,” Orr said. “There may be a short delay, but I can’t believe it will be more than a short time. It would be so silly.”

Then again, Gretzky also echoes Gary Bettman’s words about fans returning after the last lockout.

“The game itself, though, is such an enjoyable sport and such a way of life in a lot of cities that ultimately a lot of fans will come back, although being upset and being mad,” Gretzky said. “They enjoy the game too much.”

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner)

Today’s the 24th anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky trade


Kudos to the fine folks at NHL.com for their innovative look at the 24th anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky-to-Los Angeles trade — 24 of the Great One’s most unbreakable records.

Here’s a quick video rundown remembering Aug. 9, 1988 and beyond:

“I promised Mess I wouldn’t do this”

Gretzky’s tearful farewell presser…

Pocklington: “I had all kinds of death threats”

The Oilers owner quickly became the biggest villain in Edmonton (perhaps Canada).

Gretzky breaks Gordie Howe’s points record…in Edmonton:

One of the two greatest moments No. 99 had in a Kings uniform.

Gretzky’s Game 7 hat trick vs. Toronto in 1993:

I’d argue this would be the other one.