Charles Barkley on his awkward meeting with Jack Eichel.

Charles Barkley on his awkward meeting with Jack Eichel.

The NBA legend had an awkward encounter with the Golden Knights star forward before Game 4.

Jonathan Larivee

NBA legend Charles Barkley is quickly turning into one of the very best ambassadors that the sport of hockey currently has, and he was reprising that role on Saturday night when he was on hand in Florida for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Barkley, who has made no secret of the fact that he has been rooting for Matthew Tkachuk and the Florida Panthers throughout these playoffs, was a guest on the NHL on TNT panel prior to the start of tonight's game and was interviewed by Sportsnet's Kyle Bukauskas during the first intermission as well.

It would be during that interview with Bukauskas that Barkley would recount his rather hilarious first meeting with Vegas Golden Knights star forward Jack Eichel. Barkley revealed that he had been excited to bump into Eichel at the hotel prior to Game 4 on Saturday, but admitted that when he introduced himself to the talented young forward that Eichel appeared to have no idea who he was.

"So yesterday I was at the hotel," said Barkley on Hockey Night in Canada. "I walked up to Jack Eichel and said how great he was... I think he had zero idea who I was."

Barkley is of course known around the world but his Hall of Fame career in the NBA took place almost entirely before the 26 year old Eichel was even born, so it's not that surprising that Eichel wouldn't recognize him. Barkley wasn't offended at all however and even went out of his way to point out that Eichel was very gracious to him in spite of the fact that he didn't know Barkley was a sporting icon.

"He looked at me like 'Who the hell are you?' it was pretty funny," admitted Barkley. "When I walked up to Eichel he was awesome, he was very cordial."