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Wayne Gretzky > Wiki

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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 for most points in a season, five Lady Byng Trophies for sportsmanship and performance, five Lester B. Pearson Awards, and two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP.

After his retirement in 1999, he was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, being the last player to have the waiting period waived. He became Executive Director for the Canadian national men's hockey team during the 2002 Winter Olympics, where the team won a gold medal. In 2000 he became part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, and following the 2004–05 NHL lockout he became their head coach.

Nicknamed "The Great One", Gretzky was called "the greatest player of all time" in Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the NHL. He is generally regarded as the best player in the history of the NHL, and has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and coaches. Upon his retirement on April 18, 1999, he held forty regular-season records, fifteen playoff records, and six All-Star records. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season—a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 15 NHL seasons, 13 of them consecutive. Gretzky's #99 has been retired by all teams in the National Hockey League. He is one of only two athletes to have earned this honour from a major professional sport, the other being Major League Baseball's Jackie Robinson, who wore uniform #42.
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Quick Tip by . January 28, 2013
Come on! His nickname was "The Great One!" What more do you need to know?
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