There must be something in the Ontario water supply to explain why Canada’s most populous province has given the world so many incredible hockey players. Wayne Gretzky hails from Brantford, while Bobby Orr once called Parry Sound home. That’s only two athletes, you might say, but they happen to be ranked as the number one and two all-time National Hockey League players by no less an authority as The Hockey News.
Gretzky tops the list, and though his last name conveniently rhymes with his nickname, “The Great One,” it was his performance on the ice that gave the moniker teeth. Even after retiring in 1999, he still holds the record for most career goals in regular-season play (894), most goals in a single season (91 in 1981-1982), most career assists (1,963), most career points (2,857), and most three-or-more-goal games (50).
Little wonder, then, that when Gretzky retired, it wasn’t just the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and New York Rangers who retired number 99—every team in the NHL set the digits aside.
For collectors of vintage hockey memorabilia, Gretzky’s Topps NHL rookie card from the 1979-1980 season is among the most desirable pieces of paper in the sport. Back in the late 1970s, O-Pee-Chee was branding those same Topps hockey cards with an OPC logo—both versions are collectible. Far more common are cards from his years with the Kings, Blues, and Rangers, although a card from Gretzky’s first year with each of those teams makes a nice set.
More than any other hockey player, Gretzky enjoyed a lucrative career endorsing products. As a result, many collectors of hockey memorabilia look beyond traditional objects like jerseys, pucks, and sticks to focus on boxes of Post cereal brands and kids lunch boxes.
But for those who must have a game-used jersey, a killer combo is to pair Gretzky’s blue and orange Edmonton Oilers road jersey from 1979 with his black and silver Los Angeles Kings road uniform from 1988.
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Dustin Johnson set the Shadow Creek course record with Wayne GretzkyGolf News Net, March 30th
According to a posting in the club's locker room (really, bathroom), Johnson was playing alongside future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky, hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios and Bellagio casino vice-president of marketing Justin Manacher. Standing on the...Read more
Fun Fact: Wayne Gretzky Scored His Final NHL Goal 16 Years AgoRussian Machine Never Breaks, March 29th
With the Capitals' surprising win over Rangers at Madison Square Garden today, here's a fun bit of trivia worth sharing. Via NHL Network, Wayne Gretzky scored the final goal of his NHL career 16 years ago. It came against the New York Islanders...Read more
Wayne Gretzky Thinks Alex Ovechkin's Season Has Been “Remarkable”Russian Machine Never Breaks, March 27th
“Obviously, from the outside it looks like he's matured (playing a 200-foot game) and yet he's still scoring as many goals as he's always scored,” Gretzky said to LeBrun. “It just shows you, that you can be attentive to what you need to do for your...Read more
Gretzky breaks down Art Ross raceESPN, March 27th
"I hope whoever wins, wins outright, I would hate to see a tie," Wayne Gretzky told ESPN.com this week. "Not because I didn't win it that way, but a point is a point in my view." You may remember that in 1979-80, Gretzky's first season in the NHL after...Read more
Shaun Ayotte returns home after Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp winCBC.ca, March 25th
Ayotte, a lifelong hockey fan who grew up during the glory days of the Edmonton Oilers, won a ticket to this year's Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp — a six-day training camp, tournament and meet-and-greet that gives regular Joes a chance to rub shoulders...Read more
Morgan Hoffmann was supposed to skate with Wayne Gretzky recentlyCBSSports.com, March 24th
That's why he recently turned down a chance to skate with Dustin Johnson's future relative, Wayne Gretzky. "I was actually supposed to go to Vegas last week to go skate with Gretzky. He has a celebrity (tournament) for hockey," said Hoffmann at the...Read more
Gotta See It: Wayne Gretzky in a Red Wings jerseySportsnet.ca, March 11th
Typically, if you see Wayne Gretzky in an NHL jersey that's not an Oilers, Kings, Blues or Rangers one, you're likely looking at a Photoshop job or you've just made a blockbuster trade while playing an old video game. Gretzky is in Las Vegas for his...Read more
Wayne Gretzky, now just a hockey fan, doesn't foresee a return to NHLLos Angeles Times, March 9th
Wayne Gretzky's bronzed likeness stands outside Staples Center, a constant reminder of the tremendous impact hockey's all-time leading scorer has had in making a once-foreign game part of Southern California's sports culture. Seeing Gretzky in person, ...Read more