Hockey legends are converging on Saskatoon to honour Gordie Howe.

Howe, 86, is set to attend the Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner Friday night to raise money for community programs.

His flight from Texas was delayed and Howe's arrival in Saskatoon was expected on Thursday night.

Guests for the event were arriving throughout the afternoon. Among the greats of the game who arrived Thursday afternoon, Wayne Gretzky spoke glowingly of Howe.

"I would do anything for him," Gretzky said. "I think that the reason the game is where it's at today is because of Gordie Howe. And I've always said he was the greatest player that ever played."

Bobby Hull and Brett Hull also arrived, from Chicago.

"We came to honour one of the greatest sports legends," Bobby Hull said.

"He was the greatest player and more importantly the nicest man," Gretzky added. "We're all really thrilled to be here and be part of this."

RAW: Bobby Hull on Gordie Howe event1:56

'He's a special guy,' Brett Hull says

brett hull

Brett Hull is in Saskatoon for the Gordie Howe tribute event. (CBC)

"Growing up and listening to the stories and watching and understanding the greatness of Gordie Howe, it's very special," Brett Hull said. "All the great things he's done in the game and outside of the game, for people. He's a special guy and I'm very proud to be here."

Hull added that he feels fortunate to have known great players like Howe.

"I'm glad that I know the great legends and was lucky enough obviously to have my dad," Hull, who turned 50 last year, said. "I don't think enough young players today understand why they're in the NHL now and who paved the way for them."