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Wayne Gretzky impressed with NHL's talent level

All-time scoring leader says he's happy with League's direction

NHL.com @NHL

Wayne Gretzky is happy with the direction of the NHL.

A four-time Stanley Cup winner with the Edmonton Oilers and the League's all-time leader in goals (894), assists (1,963) and points (2,857), Gretzky is impressed with how the NHL's talent level continues to grow.

"The Commissioner and the Players' Association, and the players themselves, have done a really nice job," Gretzky said during an appearance on HBO's "Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons." "We are growing, we are getting stronger. The players in the game, the young guys, [Jonathan] Toews and [Steven] Stamkos, we've got great kids and they're nice people."

Watch: Wayne Gretzky and Bill Burr discuss "fixing hockey" (HBO) on YouTube

Would No. 99 pay more than $99 for an NHL ticket?

"If you're going to watch [Sidney] Crosby or [Alex] Ovechkin, yes," said Gretzky, who was joined by comedian Bill Burr as a guest. "Because those guys are worth it."

Gretzky also shared a story on what he did when he had the Cup for a day -- or longer.

"We just took it for as long as we wanted," Gretzky said. "The first time we won it, I was sitting in the locker room and I was in the last guy to leave the locker room and the Stanley Cup was there. I was standing beside my dad and I said to [coach] Glen Sather, 'What do we do with the Stanley Cup? We never won it.' He goes, 'You guys won it, take it.'

"So we took it everywhere. We took it to barbeques. We took it to friends' houses. We took it to restaurants. We took it to hospitals. And finally, this guy from the NHL, he should be thanking the Edmonton Oilers. They created this guy who's going to have a job is to follow the Cup around."

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