How Wayne Gretzky says players should stay in hockey shape during NHL pause


On Monday, Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky sat down for their first joint interview with NBC Sports' Kathryn Tappen. 

Among the many interesting topics "The Great One" and "The Great Eight" discussed was how a player could stay in hockey shape during the NHL pause, which began on March 12 due to the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ovechkin asked Gretzky what he could be doing. Number 99 recommended Rollerblades.

"I always tried to do the closest thing to playing hockey," Gretzky said. "I probably would have found a pair of Rollerblades, or inline skates, and I would've been skating around flat property around the neighborhood as much as I can.

"Because your hands and your shot and stickhandling, that's never going to go away, but one of the things you lose quickly, if you're not skating every day, is that skating stride. So if I was a player of today's generation and we were locked out, I would try to find places to rollerblade as much as possible."

Rollerblades are a type of inline skate. They have a larger boot and wider wheels than inline speed skates. 

ESPN's Emily Kaplan reported a lot of players have been rollerblading or inline skating. 

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov got Rollerblades during the pause and Bauer sent inline skates to 75-100 of its top-level athletes, including Patrick Kane, David Pastrnak, Nikita Kucherov, the Hughes brothers, Hilary Knight, Rebecca Johnston, Marie-Philip Poulin and Alexis Lafreniere, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL draft.


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