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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Connor McDavid helps spur Edmonton writer's Gretzky movie closer to realityMetroNews Canada, June 30th
It's the timing that's key. As Edmonton swoons over Connor McDavid's arrival, a local screenplay about the departure of Wayne Gretzky has, serendipitously, taken another step toward the screen. “The arena and the McDavid hype make it a lot easier to...Read more
Nine Innings: Gretzky's lifelong love of baseballSportsnet.ca, June 24th
Wayne Gretzky is in mid-sentence while speaking to reporters when Snoop Dogg rolls up with two offensive-linemen-like bodyguards and interrupts the conversation. “Great One!” cries out the gangsta rap star. “How are you, man?” answers Gretzky. “How you ...Read more
SI Vault: Teen phenom Wayne Gretzky plays with maturity beyond his yearsSI.com, June 23rd
As the 2015 NHL Draft and the arrival of two potentially generational players, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, loom, SI.com looks back at other notable teen phenoms with a series of features from the SI Vault. The fourth part of our series is this...Read more
Wayne Gretzky's son plays baseball in the minors but he's no Great One yetWashington Post (blog), June 22nd
Some day, Trevor Gretzky hopes to wear the same No. 99 his dad wore in the pros. You may have heard of Trevor's father. A fella named Wayne. Scored a bunch of goals playing hockey. Look it up. But if Trevor Gretzky is going to wear the jersey number...Read more
The Latest: Dustin Johnson has future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky in his US ...Newser, June 20th
Matt Kuchar reacts to his putt on the 18th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay on Friday, June 19, 2015 in University Place, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (Associated Press) ...Read more
Paulina Gretzky, Dustin Johnson's Fiancee: 5 Fast Facts You Need to KnowHeavy.com, June 20th
Paulina was born December 19, 1988, just four months after Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in what became one of the most important moves in NHL history. Known as “The Great One,” papa Gretzky is widely ...Read more
Wayne Gretzky offers opinion on Connor McDavidCBC.ca, June 9th
Wayne Gretzky was in Toronto on Monday to attend the second annual Night for Change, but he took a moment to provide his opinion on Connor McDavid's future in the NHL. Click on the video player above to find out what No. 99 had to say about McDavid's ...Read more
Wayne Gretzky joins other hockey legends at Toronto event to speak out against ...National Post, June 8th
On the ice, they were used to avoiding and dishing out violence, but at a Toronto residence Monday, a group of former NHL players joined together to speak out against it. The Canadian Safe Schools Network hosted its second annual Night for Change with ...Read more