Kudos from Gretzky

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:25 PM ET

Phoenix coach and former Oilers captain Wayne Gretzky paid tribute to his buddy Glenn Anderson in glowing terms yesterday before the Coyotes took on the Flames in Calgary.

"He was a great skater, very unselfish player,"said Gretzky, who'll be front and centre tonight as another dynasty era sweater is lifted next to his at Rexall Place.

"He was one of the best skaters in the game at that time.

"As time went on, he scored more big goals, playoff goals and overtime goals.

"He was a tremendous teammate. He's well deserving of being in the Hall of Fame. The hall is about winning and being unselfish, and he was like that every night."

Gretzky watched Anderson up close for years and still marvels at how Anderson saved his best work for when it mattered most.

"He was never a guy who padded stats," said Gretzky. "If the game was six or seven to one, he really wasn't interested in getting the eighth or ninth goal. He was a guy when it was 2-2, he would get the third goal.

"He wasn't statistically driven, but what he did do was score big goals in big games."

Gretzky says the rafters at Rexall are starting to look pretty good with 3, 7, 11, 17, 31, 99 and now 9 hanging there. It's like an Edmonton wing of the the Hall of Fame.

"We used to laugh and joke about it," he said. "We thought one day our jerseys would be hanging there.

"We didn't realize how many would be up there. To see that many now, it's always nice to see one more go up."

Gretzky believes that although Kevin Lowe doesn't have many stats -- aside from those five Cup rings here --he deserves consideration for his leadership.

"He was a cornerstone to that franchise and those teams. It would be great to see his go up there."

"The team always rallies around each other and it's a nice family to be part of."


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