Wayne Gretzky

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Updated On January 5, 2022
Brantford, Ontario
Birth Sign
Brantford, Ontario

Wayne Gretzky is a retired ice hockey player from Canada. He is recognized as one of the all-time great ice hockey players. His ‘National Hockey League’ (NHL) career spanned nearly two decades, from 1979 to 1999, and he appeared for four different NHL teams. At the end of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records, including the most goals and assists in NHL history. He was named the ‘Most Valuable Player of the Season’ in his debut NHL season with the ‘Edmonton Oilers.’ He was inducted into the ‘Hockey Hall of Fame’ almost immediately after declaring his retirement, bringing an end to an illustrious career. He credits his outstanding hockey abilities to the fact that he began playing at a young age. He was skating on ice at the age of two, and by the age of six, he was competing against teenage boys. Wayne has 61 records to his name, all of which he set during his time in the ‘National Hockey League.’ For several years, he was the head coach of the ‘Phoenix Coyotes.’

Childhood and Adolescence

Wayne Douglas Gretzky was born in Ontario, Canada, on January 26, 1961, to Walter and Phyllis Leone. His father was employed by the company ‘Bell Telephone Canada.’ The family had five children, all of whom were hockey players as toddlers. Wayne picked up his first hockey stick at his grandfather’s house when he was two years old. He was playing with the teenagers in his neighborhood by the time he was six years old. His coach, Dick Martin, once remarked that he could play better than boys twice his age on occasion.
Wayne put forth an outstanding performance in his debut junior season, playing with boys considerably older than him. He became obsessed with the game and insisted on playing against the elder members of the team. Wayne scored 378 goals in his first junior season, which was an incredible achievement for a young lad.
As he entered his teenage years, his popularity grew beyond the confines of his hometown, and the Wayne-wave began to sweep across Canada. His family moved him to Toronto when he was 14 years old to help him improve his skills and offer him with better facilities. Wayne was the third pick in the midget draft for the ‘Ontario Major Junior Hockey League’ (OMJHL’Sault )’s Ste. Marie Greyhounds’ in 1977. In 1978, his outstanding performance at the ‘World Junior Championship’ helped him break into the major leagues.

NHL Professional Career

Wayne played his first official NHL season in 1979, despite age limits. With a remarkable performance, he disproved his naysayers and went on to win the league’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ award, scoring a league-high 137 points. Due to his past experience with the ‘World Hockey Association,’ he almost missed out on the ‘Calder Memorial Trophy,’ which is granted to NHL rookies (WHA). Wayne won the ‘Art Ross Trophy’ for his efforts the following season.
He set a new record for goals scored in a season when he scored 50 in 39 games in 1981-82. He finished the season with a career-high 92 goals, 120 assists, and 212 points. Thanks to Wayne’s presence on the club, it didn’t take long for his team to become the strongest in the NHL. In 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988, the ‘Oilers’ won the ‘Stanley Cup,’ and Wayne’s contribution to the team’s success was enormous. Records continued to tumble as he played.
Wayne had established himself as one of the finest goal scorers and point scorers in the league by 1986. He finished the season with a career-high 52 goals and 163 assists, putting him among the world’s finest ice hockey players. Wayne’s outstanding performance was lauded in Canada, which is a hockey-crazed country. Wayne’s abilities on the ice gained him celebrity status among Canadians, and the government didn’t hold back in bestowing honors and prizes on him. He was given the title of ‘Officer of the Order of Canada,’ which is one of Canada’s highest civilian decorations.
Wayne kept up his strong performance for ‘Oilers.’ However, in mid-1988, the ‘Oilers’ transferred Wayne to the ‘LA Kings’ in exchange for cash and a few players, which surprised many. There were rumors that Wayne had persuaded ‘Oilers’ to proceed with the transaction so that he could aid his wife, who was a failing actress. Another notion indicated that the NHL made the move on purpose in order to boost the sport’s appeal in Southern California.
Wayne made his NHL debut with the ‘Los Angeles Kings’ in 1988. For the first season, he was appointed alternative captain. Despite his lackluster performance, he was still regarded as one of the league’s greatest players. He played well enough to lead his side to the Stanley Cup finals in 1993, but they were defeated by the ‘Montreal Canadiens.’
Wayne had to leave the ‘LA Kings’ in 1996 to join the ‘St. Louis Blues.’ He only played for them for one season. He’d lost his magical touch by this point. He joined the ‘New York Rangers’ the following year and played for three more seasons before announcing his retirement from the game. In 1997, he led his team to the ‘Eastern Conference Finals,’ but they were defeated by the ‘Philadelphia Flyers.’ In his final season, 1998-99, he shattered Goldie Howe’s goal scoring record of 1071 goals.
He kept in touch with the game and his squad after declaring his retirement in 1999. He was inducted into the ‘Hockey Hall of Fame,’ as expected.
He purchased a 10% ownership in the ‘Phoenix Coyotes’ in 2000 and became the team’s head of hockey operations and managing partner. From 2001 through 2009, he was the head coach of the ‘Phoenix Coyotes.’ After the team’s poor record in the previous few seasons, he cut all links with them in 2009.
He was named vice-chairman and partner of the Oilers’ parent business, ‘Oilers Entertainment Group,’ in October 2016. On the business side of the company, he began working closely with the group’s CEO Bob Nicholson and owner Daryl Katz. Wayne now owns and operates his own restaurant in Canada.
He has won the ‘Art Ross Trophy’ ten times, the ‘Hart Trophies’ nine times, and the ‘Ted Lindsay Award’ once (5 times). In his honor, a number of awards and distinctions have been established.
Wayne Gretzky has made numerous appearances on television, notably as a judge on the show ‘Dance Fever.’ He’s also appeared on a number of talk shows over the years.
Wayne has also published a number of books, including ’99: Stories of the Game,’ which he co-authored with Kirstie McLellan Day and was released in 2016.

Personal Experiences

Wayne Gretzky met actress Janet Jones on the set of the show “Dance Fever.” In 1987, he began dating her. The pair married in July of 1988. They have five children and live in California with their family.

Estimated Net Worth

Wayne Gretzky has a net worth of $250 million.