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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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
'Just like a little Wayne Gretzky': Mikael Kingsbury poised to become the most ...National Post, March 13th
On skis by the age of four, with a printout of the Olympic rings stuck to his ceiling by the age of nine, Mikael Kingsbury is now poised to accomplish something, at age 22, that led one of his predecessors to describe him as the “little Wayne Gretzky...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's NHL future; Russian ref gets feet wet (Puck Headlines)Yahoo Sports (blog), March 10th
Wayne Gretzky is enjoying his life as a hockey fan in California and doesn't see a return to the NHL any time in the near future. What is the Great One up to? [Los Angeles Times]. • More than 25 years after Russian players arrived in the NHL, Evgeny...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
Cam Tait: Gretzky proud of Joey MossEdmonton Sun, March 1st
Wayne Gretzky not only gave Edmonton hockey fans unforgettable moments when he played here but away from the game, he helped countless of people, giving them new opportunities to be the best they could. Some of them — whether it be in the media, ...Read more