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Short Shifts

Children of Gretzky, Lemieux, Robitaille join forces to create new movie

Actors, composer, who appear in 'Odd Man Rush' film, presented Calder Trophy at NHL Awards

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

LAS VEGAS - Three iconic NHL names are pooling their talents, but it isn't the Gretzky, Lemieux or Robitaille that hockey fans might expect.

Trevor Gretzky, Alexa Lemieux and Jesserae Robitaille will be featured in the upcoming hockey film "Odd Man Rush," a coming-of-age comedy based on Bill Keenan's memoir of the same name, set in the unusual world of the European game.

The movie could premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Gretzky, Lemieux and Robitaille appeared Wednesday as presenters of the Calder Trophy at the 2019 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone.

Gretzky, the son of Wayne Gretzky and the former actor Janet Jones, is appearing in his fourth film or TV project, pursuing acting following a career in minor-league baseball that was cut short by shoulder surgery. Robitaille, whose father Luc enjoyed a Hall of Fame career with four NHL teams, is a composer and musician who will have some of his work featured in the film's soundtrack.

Lemieux, whose father Mario is a Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner and icon, is making her acting debut, having had an interest in the silver screen while majoring in real estate at the University of Southern California.

Gretzky, 26, and Lemieux, 21, appear in one scene together, in small but prominent roles, having met for the first time shortly before they went before the cameras.

"This role was very different in the fact that it felt like you were on a hockey team," Gretzky said during Award rehearsals on Wednesday. "Most sets, you don't get to go to the rink every day and smell the locker room. It was really special for me to be able to combine my acting with sports. I enjoyed myself. I had a great time."

Each actor's family has delighted in their adult child's success, and they appreciate that they've been able to carve out a niche on their own.

"You've got to do it yourself, whether it's sports, acting, business or anything you do," Gretzky said. "It's really up to you. Obviously I have no complaints. Everything I have is because of my dad and my family. I just try to represent them well.

"My parents have been great. I don't think my dad really understood the whole acting thing after playing sports, but now that he's seen some stuff, he's really enjoying it."

"They were really excited," Lemieux said of her family. "They've always been super supportive of me, whatever my passion is. They were ecstatic about this."

Video: Kids of Gretzky, Lemieux, Robitaille on red carpet

Robitaille doesn't yet know how much of his music will be included in the soundtrack, but he's delighted that it will be featured.

"I've written tons of songs that evoke the feeling of the gritty, realistic movie that they're making," he said. "It has the same feel as that. I was really happy when they asked me to be a part of this. I've almost been waiting for an opportunity like this to share my music."

The three have developed a nice bond while working on the project and appreciate the rare circumstances that brought them together.

"We don't sit around and talk about the glory days of our dads, it's more about us and we're doing it," Lemieux said, after which Robitaille immediately began singing the Bruce Springsteen classic. "Our parents have always instilled in us that if you do something, you do it 100 percent."

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