WASHINGTON -- The Great One can tell how much Alex Ovechkin wants to win a championship.
"What I love most about Alex is the fact that he wants to win the Stanley Cup," Gretzky told CSN Mid-Atlantic at Verizon Center on Friday, where he watched the Edmonton Oilers play Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
"There's a lot of guys that say they do that really deep down maybe they don't. But he's one guy that would do and pretty much give up anything and everything to get his name on the Stanley Cup, and those are the kind of guys, the kind of leaders that you want in your organization."
Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06 and has not won the Stanley Cup. Washington has never advanced as far as the Eastern Conference Final in his 11 seasons.
Gretzky, a four-time Stanley Cup winner with Edmonton and a partner and vice chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group, has been traveling with them this week, including a 4-3 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Wednesday.
Friday was the 35th anniversary of Gretzky breaking the NHL single-season goal record. Gretzky scored his 77th goal to break Phil Esposito's record set with the Boston Bruins in 1970-71, and scored two more after that in a 6-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Memorial Auditorium on Feb. 24, 1982.