Wayne Gretzky was to ice-hockey what Michael Jordan was to basketball. Dubbed “The Great One”, he is the all-time leading scorer in NHL history. Gretzky also played twenty seasons in the NHL – from 1979 to 1999. As a true icon and legend, what made him so great and a worldwide sensation in hockey? Was it Gretzky’s record for the most goals and assists; more than any other player? Or was it the fact that he scored over 200 points in a single season? This is a feat that Gretzky actually repeated four times in his illustrious and storied career. While many continue to debate the legitimacy of “The Great One” claim, the numbers and stats simply do not lie. Here are some more accolades that Gretzky can call his own:

  • Six All-Star records that have not been broken to date.
  • 15 impressive playoff records.
  • 40 regular-season records.
  • Gretzky is the holder of 61 NHL records to date – many of them still not broken.
  • The Great One tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons – NHL and WHA.

Gretzky Essentials

Wayne Gretzky played Center throughout his historic career. He also shot from the left and was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1999. Known for his unparalleled offensive and defensive skills, the Great One was swift on the ice and truly performed like no other. The Ontario-born Gretzky also had an extensive junior and minor league career before joining the NHL. In fact, he was the shining star of the Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers– where he scored an incredible 378 goals and 139 assists in one season. Gretzky also scored 1,000 goals by age 13 and was featured in the Toronto Telegram as a true prospect for the NHL.

The Great One was heralded for his unsurpassed puck and stick handling skills. His smaller frame also allowed him to glide smoothly across the ice – resulting in fast plays and unstoppable goals. Here is a video of Gretzky in action against the Flames in the ’88 Playoffs.

Number 99

Gretzky first wore number 99 playing with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He originally wanted to don number 9, which was Gordie Howe’s number – his favorite hockey player. However, he had to settle for 99 since the number 9 was taken by teammate Brian Gualazzi. Number 99 would also go on to coach and co-own the Phoenix Coyotes. From the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings to the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers, the Great One truly made a great impact on any team he played with. Today, Wayne continues to enjoy retirement but is still heavily involved with ice-hockey on several levels. He is also credited with the following phrase, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. “

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