WAYNE GRETZKY STATEMENT
ON MARIO LEMIEUX'S RETIREMENT
"It's always a tough situation when a great player has to retire. Mario's meant so much to not only the National Hockey League, but to the city of Pittsburgh and the Penguins franchise. The good news is we've got some good, young players like Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin coming along, so I'm sure they'll carry the torch. But you don't replace players like Mario Lemieux.
"Mario's a great hockey player and a good person. He's meant so much to the game and done so many great things. He had tremendous reach; he was a big, strong man; he played with intelligence; and he had incredibly soft hands. He also had tremendous grace. The game will miss him. I'm sure he'll stick around in a capacity that he'll still be involved in the game for a long time."