When it comes to the major sports (being football, basketball, baseball and hockey), no one has completely dominated their just like “The Great One”. Wayne Gretzky completed dominated the NHL throughout his career and is the holder of dozens of records. His story is a brilliant one and is worth taking a trip down memory lane for.
Wayne Gretzky was born (On January 16th 1961) and raised in Brantford, Ontario. Gretzky first skated before the age of three and was actually taught the sport by his father on the family’s backyard rink. All of this work paid off and made Wayne a prodigy in the sport. When Gretzky was only six years old, he was playing on a team full of ten year olds, and was better than them all. While he wasn’t big, fast or a particularly good skater, his extreme hockey intelligence was evident from an early age and is something he carried with him throughout his career.
By the age of ten, Gretzky scored a mind numbing 378 goals in just one season. He had 1000 goals by the age of 13 and other parents soon grew to hate him as he was just so much better than other kids and eventually Wayne would even get booed. Him and his family would eventually move to Toronto to get away from this pressure, but then also to help his career move along.
When he was 16, he was drafted to the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds, and this was the first place he wore his world famous number “99” jersey. He originally wanted to wear 9 (for his idol and favorite player, Gordie Howe) but it was taken so he elected to go with 99. After a year in junior, he soon found himself on the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers in 1978, where he won rookie of the year. The following year, the WHA folded and the Oilers joined the NHL, and thus would begin the dominance of Wayne Gretzky.
For the next two decades or so, Gretzky put on some of the best performances ever seen in sports. Not only did he win four Stanley Cups in the 80’s but also eight Hart Trophies (including 7 straight from 1980-87). His scoring prowess was the best of all time and no one will ever score even close to as many points as he got ever again. In total, Gretzky had 894 goals and 1963 assists, giving him 2857 career points. Second on the list is Mark Messier with 1887. That’s right, if Wayne (the all-time leader in goals) never scored a single goal in his entire career, he would still have the most points in NHL history.
The man holds dozens of NHL records was inducted into the Hall of Fame immediately after retiring in 1999 and is the only player in league history to have their jersey number retired league wide. Gretzky is truly the unanimous best player of all time and those who had the privilege to watch him should be extremely happy as we will likely never see another Gretzky ever again.