‘Clerks’ filmmaker Kevin Smith was quick to mourn the death of legendary hockey coach Wayne Gretzky.
As known, Gretzky passed away on March 4, years after he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Gretzky was 82.
To lead a tribute to the late hockey star, Smith included a series of photos of himself with Gretzky and added a lengthy caption to praise the legacy of the coach. The filmmaker called Gretzky “Canada’s Dad” and continued as follows:
“A decade back, during what I can only describe now as a mid-life-crisis, I got really into the life and legacy of @nhl legend #waynegretzky. His story became my new religion at the time, but it led me to a more suitable role model, not to mention the greatest Gretzky who ever lived!”
According to what Smith stated in his message, Wayne’s quotes “You miss 100% of the shots you never take” and “Don’t skate to where the puck is; skate to where it’s going to be” changed his life, his business, his art and totally him.
“For over a decade, that phrase was my lodestar – and it was formulated by a telephone line worker who flooded his backyard so his kids could learn the Game on the homemade ice of Wally’s Coliseum. He was a Dad beyond all Dads – and easily one of the best people I ever met.”
In his message, the filmmaker also stated that in past, one of his aims was to break the then-existing Guinness world records for the biggest street hockey tournament; and he did it as a gift of gratitude for Gretzky.
Smith also stated that the legendary coach was the father figure he was looking for long years and concluded his tribute as follows:
“The world is poorer without him. I was lucky to spend the time I did with him, yes. But I was lucky to have known him at all. Rest In Peace, Wally. And thank you for making me a better person. #KevinSmith”
Head this way to view the original Instagram post.