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#9 of 10 from Favorite All-Time Sports Performers by
Wayne Gretzky
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Wayne Douglas Gretzky, CC (born January 26, 1961) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He is the part-owner, head of hockey operations, and head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Gretzky honed his skills at a backyard rink and regularly played minor hockey at a level far above his peers. Despite his unimpressive stature, strength, and speed, Gretzky's intelligence and reading of the game were unrivaled. He was adept at dodging checks from opposing players, and he could consistently anticipate where the puck was going to be and execute the right move at the right time. Gretzky also became known for setting up behind the net, an area that was nicknamed "Gretzky's office" because of his skills there.

In 1978, he signed with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association (WHA), where he briefly played before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers. When the WHA folded, the Oilers joined the NHL, where he established many scoring records and led his team to four Stanley Cup Championships. His trade to the Los Angeles Kings had an immediate impact on the team's performance, leading them to the 1993 Cup finals, and is credited with popularizing hockey in the southern United States. Gretzky played briefly for the St. Louis Blues and finished his career with the New York Rangers. In his career, Gretzky captured nine Hart Trophies as the most valuable player, ten Art Ross Trophies ...
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