Wayne Gretzky on the current state of the hockey community.

Wayne Gretzky on the current state of the hockey community.

Wayne Gretzky spoke to the media on Monday while out and about in support of a great cause.

Jonathan Larivee

The hockey community often boasts that we have the best and classiest athletes in all of the major sports in North America and when players like Wayne Gretzky make comments like this it's very hard to argue that fact.

On Monday morning, Gretzky shared his thoughts on the current state of the hockey community and explained why he feels the game of hockey remains so special in the hearts and minds of so many fans. Gretzky described that, regardless of how the game has evolved over the years, the one constant has been the tremendous class shown by leaders in the sport and how that tradition has seemingly passed on from one generation to the next.

"The great thing about our game is the people in the game," admitted Gretzky. "I don't wanna leave anybody out but over the years from John Beliveau to Gordie Howe to Bobby Orr it just passes down. To Mario Lemieux and Marc Messier to Crosby and Ovechkin and Stamkos here."

Gretzky says 'here' when speaking of Stamkos because he was actually out in Florida on Monday, providing yet another example of the fantastic type of athlete the hockey community boasts. Gretzky is in Florida to support "Coop's Catch" an event benefiting pediatric cancer research.

Cancer is a topic that hits close to home for many, and Gretzky highlighted that hockey players are no exception.

"It hits home too for us, so when the players can do something like this it's understandable that we wanna be part of it," said Gretzky. "As I said earlier, that's what we're proud about in our game, it's the people in the game."

A great show of class in support of a great cause, and yet another example of how fortunate we are to have the best athletes in the world.