I dug this stub out thinking about the Winter Classic coming up today in Pittsburgh, then realized why I’d held onto it after all. It was Gretzky’s last game at the Garden – and the crowd was there to pay homage to the Great One. It was amazing what his presence had meant at MSG – if not in Stanley Cups, just in greatness alone.
The game was mostly uneventful, but when you get 17,500 New Yorkers screaming “Gretzky! Gretzky! Gretzky!” as if it was Mantle or DiMaggio, or even Messier if you’re a Ranger fan, you can understand why NY fans are the best anywhere. He was never “The Great One” in New York – forever Messier’s team and still to this day his town, but in NY we know class when we see it.
And Gretzky was all class, every shift for his entire career. He skated a couple of laps in a Goodbye Salute and we all knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
A true Stubstory and a memory I’m glad I pulled out. Here are career stats for The Great One.