Wayne Douglas Gretzky, born February 26, 1961, is a former NHL player for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and New York Rangers. Considered by almost everyone to be the greatest hockey player of all time. Known simply as The Great One. The guy has broken so many records that if we were to list them here, the reader of this article would be here forever. Here is The Other Wiki's list of his records. Extremely well liked by hockey fans all over for his excellent playing, his apparent love and dedication to the game, good looks, and being one of the nicest hockey players ever. Seriously, when Gretzky actually fought someone, hell froze over.
Very popular with endorsements, promoting companies like Coca-Cola, Domino's Pizza, and Sharp Electronics just to name a few. Also made his mark on video games with Midway's Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey (basically the NHL answer for NBA Jam) and 989 Studio's Gretzky NHL games on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.
Won 4 Stanley Cups with Edmonton, then in 1988, came The Trade. He was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, effectively making hockey extremely popular on the West Coast of the United States overnight and pissing off a lot of Canadians. Seriously, the Canadian government tried to intervene and block the trade, showing how much Serious Business hockey is in Canada. Gretzky also got married to American actress Janet Jones just a few months before, thus, many Oilers fans misblamed her for using her acting career as an incentive for Wayne to move to Los Angeles, thus making Jones hockey's equivalent of Yoko Ono. After he was unable to secure a cup win in Los Angeles in '93 and not getting along with the new Kings owners, Wayne then went to the St. Louis Blues. Don't remember that? You weren't missing much, because not even a year later, he went to the New York Rangers, where he played until he closed out his career in 1999. His number 99 was retired pretty much immediately league-wide after he stopped playing, the only number so honoured, and he was inducted to the Hockey Hall Of Fame in 2000.
Also was the owner of the Phoenix Coyotes and served as their head coach for a while, although the team did not see much success when he was their head coach.
As always, you can read That Other Wiki for more detail about him.
- The Ace: See the records on The Other Wiki? Gretzky either set them or broke them throughout his career, to say nothing of his outstanding skills.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: See the page quote above. He has said in interviews that he didn't have size, strength, or speed on his side, so he had to make up for it with smarts. In his childhood years, his father always told him to "skate where the puck is going, not where it had been". This would later prove to be a contributing factor to him growing up to become the league's smartest player to ever set skate on the ice.
- Child Prodigy: During his childhood years, he showed prodigious talent with the stick and often took practices with his father during their spare time.
- It Will Never Catch On: Gretzky was dismissed by some scouts for being too light and not too physical, which would cause him not to last long in the NHL. Who's Laughing Now??
- Humble Hero: See below.
- Nice Guy: He was renowned for being respectful to everyone on and off the ice and simply focused on playing a clean game. Trying to rough him up on the ice pretty much guaranteed that his team's enforcers would come down on the offender harder than usual.
- Officer and a Gentleman: In the figurative sense. Gretzky was both an awesome player and a fine gentleman, having won the Lady Byng Trophy (for most sportsmanlike play) 5 times in his career.
- Red Baron: The Great One. Need we say more?
- Took a Level in Badass: He likes to tell the story of his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final, in 1983 against the defending champion New York Islanders. Gretzky liked the Oilers chances they did have Wayne Gretzky, after all but the Islanders swept them in four games. He and his teammates sat in the locker room trying to figure out what just happened; then they walked to their team bus just as the Islanders were walking, or more accurately limping, to theirs. As Gretzky puts it, thats when the light bulb came on. He saw, first-hand, that the Islanders had pushed themselves a lot harder. Its safe to say the lesson sunk in: Gretzky and the Oilers would win four of the next five Stanley Cups.
- Up to Eleven: Did this with both the legendary "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe's number 9, and all of Howe's records.
- Weak, but Skilled: He had a fairly average physique during his playing days but his ability to visualize puck movement and see openings made him virtually unstoppable on the ice.