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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Oilers legend Joey Moss to Alberta Hall of FameSportsnet.ca, February 25th
Joey Moss, the longtime locker room attendant for the Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos, will be inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet in Red Deer on May 29 for his contributions to hockey and football. Wayne Gretzky helped land Moss a...Read more
Three-vehicle crash on Wayne Gretzky ParkwayBrantford Expositor, February 23rd
At least one person was taken to hospital by ambulance following a three-vehicle collision Monday, Feb. 23 on Wayne Gretzky Parkway at Edmondson Street. (Heather Ibbotson / Brantford Expositor) ...Read more
Wayne Gretzky endorses candidate in Ontario's Progressive Conservative ...CBC.ca, February 23rd
Wayne Gretzky waded into Ontario's Progressive Conservative leadership race on Monday by voicing his support for Barrie MP Patrick Brown. The hockey legend endorsed Brown as the best person to become the leader of Ontario's official opposition...Read more
Was Gordie Howe or Wayne Gretzky the better player? Ask SAPITBusiness.ca, February 23rd
National Hockey League teams are embracing analytics for a competitive edge and now fans will get a small taste, thanks to a new partnership between the NHL and German business software vendor SAP SE. The NHL and SAP have inked a multiyear ...Read more
Dustin Johnson, Wayne Gretzky Grouped with Jordan Spieth at Pebble BeachGolf Channel (press release) (blog), February 11th
Dustin Johnson has had plenty of quality time recently with Wayne Gretzky, the father of his fiancee, Paulina, and grandfather to the couple's recently-born son, Tatum. The two will spend a few more hours together this week, though, as they team up...Read more
Gordie Howe HonoredESPN, February 7th
"He is, he was, he will always be the greatest of all time," Wayne Gretzky said. A sold-out crowd of 1,500 stood in delirious applause as the annual Kinsmen celebrity dinner came to a close Friday night. Their native son, the incomparable Gordie Howe...Read more
Recovering Gordie Howe celebrated at dinner by Wayne Gretzky and othersThe Denver Post, February 6th
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — Wayne Gretzky figures there is no photograph fans ask him to sign more often than the one of him as a smiling preteen beside Gordie Howe, who is playfully hooking a hockey stick around the youngster's neck. "Every time I ...Read more
The phone call that killed Gretzky-to-CanucksSportsnet.ca, January 30th
If not for one pushy phone call back in 1996, Wayne Gretzky would have been a Vancouver Canuck. Back in the summer of 1996, then Orca Bay CEO Stan McCammon thought the Canucks would be able to sign the Great One as a free agent after he had ...Read more