Kariya 'honored' to share ice with Stevens at Legends Classic

by 5d ago
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Time heals all wounds.

That appears to be the case for Paul Kariya, the former Anaheim Ducks star who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.

As part of the festivities, Kariya participated in Sunday's Legends Classic game. It was his first time in skates since his 2011 retirement, and it also marked the first time in many years that Kariya had come face to face with former New Jersey Devils captain Scott Stevens.

Stevens delivered a devastating hit on Kariya during the 2003 playoffs that left him motionless and spawned concussion concerns.

Remarkably, Kariya returned to the ice only minutes later and potted one of the biggest goals in Ducks history. Unfortunately, it's not something he recalls.

"I have no recollection of anything that happened before Game 6, (in) Game 6, Game 7 two days afterwards," Kariya told TSN's Michael Farber.

However, bygones appear to be bygones.

"That's the first time I saw (Stevens)," Kariya told Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register. "Scott's a Hall of Fame player and one of the best defensemen of all time. Honored to be on the ice with him.

"When you see (the painful memories) and see what happened, anger isn't a strong enough word for what was going through me at that time. But, with most things, with time and perspective now it's seven years since I've retired. I don't look back."