LOS ANGELES – Wild assistant coach Scott Stevens got a voicemail from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and he had that proverbial heart attack.

"I was like, 'Oh no, uh oh, I think I'm getting suspended. What did I do wrong?' " Stevens said. "I was thinking, 'What did I do behind the bench?' I asked, 'Did I do something?' "

Nope. Bettman delivered the Hall of Fame defenseman the news that he was one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history.

"I was like wow," said Stevens, who captained the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup championships, played in 13 All-Star Games and won the 2000 Conn Smythe Trophy. "It was pretty cool phone call.

"I still can't believe it. It's amazing when you think of all the great players that have played in this league, to be on that list, is quite an honor. It's pretty special."

Stevens was recognized with 99 others Friday night, including everybody from Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier to Eric Lindros and Mike Bossy. Among the 58-person panel of voters was Wild radio analyst and former North Stars defenseman Tom Reid.

The other member of the top 100 with Wild ties? Jacques Lemaire, who coached the Wild from 2000-09 and guided it to three playoff appearances and to the Western Conference finals in 2003.

Lemaire, one of the great defensive forwards in history, won eight Stanley Cups in a 12-year career with the Montreal Canadiens, scoring Cup-clinching goals in 1977 and 1979.

"When I got to the Hall of Fame, I thought that was the max that could be," said Lemaire, who still lives in Sarasota, Fla., and now is an advisor to Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello. "But when you look at all the players here, it just didn't stop one after the other. It was fantastic."

Lemaire noted how many snubs there were.

"There were a lot of guys left behind," he said, before adding with his signature laugh, "but they pick 100, and we're happy we're in."

Those with North Stars ties include former No. 1 overall pick Mike Modano, coach and GM Bob Gainey and Mike Gartner.

Gretzky, Orr and Lemieux all agreed that the late Gordie Howe was the best player to ever play the game. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby made the NHL's top 100, and Gretzky still believes he's the best player in the league.

"He's earned that mantle," Gretzky said. "That's the guy that [Connor McDavid's] chasing, and Connor sees him in his vision, and that's what makes the game wonderful is that you want to be as good as the best player. Right now Crosby is the best player, and you have to earn your stripes. Until somebody knocks him off the castle, that's the way it's going to be."


• The Wild reassigned defenseman Mike Reilly. On Monday, it will likely recall Reilly or defenseman Gustav Olofsson for its upcoming four-game trip.