Wayne Gretzky The Great one

Wayne Gretzky at age 26 as the captain of the Edmonton Oilers

Background information:

Wayne Douglas Gretzky was the first child born to Walter and Phyllis Gretzky. He was born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. He has four siblings: Kim, Keith, Glen and Brent. Both Keith and Brent also played hockey, Brent played briefly in the NHL.

Wayne married his wife Janet Jones on July 16th 1988. He had two daughters Paulina and Emma and three sons Ty, Trevor and Tristan. His son Trevor Gretzky was drafted into the MLB (Major League Baseball) by the Chicago Cubs in 2011. Wayne is currently 55 years old and has both Canadian and American citizenship.

Wayne with his wife Janet

Personal Life:

Wayne Gretzky appearing on the Simpsons, voiced by himself.

Wayne Gretzky has made over 60 movie and TV special appearances, including the Simpsons in which he voiced his character and being a celebrity judge on Dance Fever. While a judge on Dance Fever, Gretzky met his wife to be, Janet Jones. Wayne proposed in January of 1988 and they were married in July of the same year.

Wayne Gretzky after his playing days were done.

The former NHL star is also known as quite the business man off the ice. Gretzky has owned or partially owned the Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Argonauts and the Hull Olympiques. Despite not being able to vote in election due to living in America for an extended period of time he endorsed the Conservative Party and Stephan Harper in 2015.

Career:

Wayne during his rookie year with the Edmonton Oilers.

In 1977 Wayne Gretzky started his hockey career in the public eye as he he played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL. The next year Wayne turned pro with Indianapolis Racers of the WHA, at only 17 years old Wayne was the youngest professional (drawing a salary) athlete in North America. Wayne only played eight games with the team before they folded and traded him to the Edmonton Oilers.

WHA's logo (1972-1979)

The next year the WHA merged with the NHL taking the Oilers with them, in 1979 Wayne started his NHL career. Wayne played with the Oilers up until 1988 including the final five years with them where he won four out of a possible five championships. In 1988 Wayne was traded to the Los Angeles Kings

LA Kings logo at the time of the trade.

With the kings Wayne had more personal success but never reached the same level of team success that he did in Edmonton. Wayne continued to play with the Kings until 1996, at this point it was clear that Gretzky wouldn't be resigning in the off season so he was traded to the St. Louis Blues. He finished the season with the Blues and then signed with the New York Rangers during the off season.

New York Rangers logo.

After three seasons having mixed success with the Rangers Gretzky announced that he'd be retiring. Wayne Gretzky was 38 years old and was considered to be the best hockey player to have ever played.

Education:

Sault Ste. Marie High School

Wayne attended elementary school in Brantford, Ontario and took high school courses in Sault Ste. Marie. He didn't finish his education in Brantford because he started playing professional hockey with the Indianapolis Racers as a part of the WHA before the end of grade 12.

Indianapolis Racers Logo

After Wayne was traded to the Edmonton Oilers he continued to take classes at Ross Shepard High. Once again Wayne did not finish his High School degree due to conflicts with his hockey schedule. Wayne never received his High School diploma. On June 5th, 2000 Wayne Gretzky received a Honorary Degree from the University of Alberta despite never attending university.

"Dr." Wayne Gretzky receiving his honorary degree.

Though Wayne never received a higher education he was always considered to be a genius on the ice. He personally gives most of the credit to his father Walter Gretzky for his brilliance on the ice. He has been quoted saying that "It's not God-given, it's Wally-given." His family and teammates accredit this to his unrelenting study of the game. Wayne has also attended business classes after his hockey career was over to help with his business ventures.

Significance to Canada:

Wayne Gretzky Scoring a goal during the 1987 Canada Cup

Though hockey has always been Canada's favorite sport, Wayne took the love of hockey in the country to a whole new level. Wayne helped bring seven medals to Canada on the international stage including three gold medals. Wayne at the time was a rock star in Canada like no one before him. The amount of attention he received was unprecedented for an athlete. There were times where he had a body double walk out the front entrance of a building so he could sneak out the back.

Gretzky hoisting the Stanley Cup after claiming it for the first time.

Wayne also was a big part of the Edmonton Oilers becoming a powerhouse in the NHL (National Hockey League). With them he won four Stanley Cups and set countless records. This was very important to Canada because with the NHL's expansion into America it showed that the smaller Canadian cities can still win championships. There is a certain pride that Canadians have when it comes to the Stanley Cup. An example of this is when the Vancouver Canucks were in the finals and it brought the whole country to it's feet.

The Canadian Olympic Hockey team with their gold medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In 2002 after Gretzky's retirement, was named the Executive Director of Canada's Olympic hockey team. His role as Executive Director was to help select the players for the team and the coaching staff. With Gretzky's help the Canadians won their first gold medal in Ice Hockey in fifty years. Later Gretzky alongside other famous Canadian athletes helped convince the Olympic committee to allow Vancouver to hold the 2010 Winter Games.

Achievements:

Wayne with a few of his many awards.

1980-87, 1989 Hart Trophy as NHL's Most Valuable Player

1980, 1992, 1994, 1999 Lady Byng Trophy as Most Gentlemanly Player in NHL

1981-85, 1987 Lester B. Pearson Award as Player of the Year

1981-87, 1990-91, 1994 Art Ross Trophy as NHL's top scorer

1984-85, 1987-88 Stanley Cup as NHL champion (Edmonton Oilers)

1985, 1988 Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player in Playoffs

1999 Induction into Hockey Hall of Fame

Career Highlights:

Wayne Gretzky scored 50 goals in just 39 games

Youngest person to score 50 goals in a season (19 yrs old)

Reached 1000 points in his career at the age of 23

Only player to surpass the 2000 point mark. He was 29 when he did this

Records:

Most career goals- 894

Most goals in a season- 92

Most career assists- 1962

Most assists in a season- 163

Only player to reach 200+ points in a season- 215

Most career points- 2856

Most 100 point seasons- 15

Reason for Picking:

A famous quote made by Wayne.

Reason for choosing:

We chose to do our project on Wayne Gretzky. Some of the reasons we picked him is that he is one of the most influential Canadians that has ever lived. We also both like sports and though hockey isn't our first choice of a sport it is impossible to not respect what Gretzky has done for the game of hockey and for Canada as a country. Also Gretzky's work ethic has been well documented throughout his life. Wayne Gretzky is an inspiration to Canadians and people all over the world. He also holds many records that will stand forever.

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