Wayne Gretzky: Career, Legacy, Book & Net Worth

Wayne Gretzky, aka “The Great One,” is the best Ice Hockey Player globally with total points of 2,857.

He is the best player to ever step into the Ice Hockey rink. During his career, he was unmatched and won everything that a player can hope for.

Wayne has the highest number of goals, assists, and points till now, and no one has even managed to come anywhere near his high scores.

Besides being the best at Ice Hockey, Wayne is also known for his business mind and political stances.

Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky

He also is a book writer who has won the award of best-selling Canadian book of 2016—a truly multitalented person.

Wayne was not the one with a huge body build and a strong body. Instead, he was a way below-average NHL player.

But how did he manage to become the best? Well, let’s discover that in this article about Wayne Gretzky.

But before we dive into his story, let’s take a quick look at some facts about him.

Quick Facts

Full Name  Wayne Douglas Gretzky CC
Other Names Wayne Douglas Gretzky, Gretz, The Great One, The Great Gretzky, The White Tornado
Birth Date  January 26, 1961
Age  61 Years Old
Birth Place  Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Residence 
Thousand Oaks
Religion 
Jewish
Nationality  Canadian
Ethnicity  Belarusian, Ukrainian, or Polish
Education  Ross Sheppard High School
The University of Alberta
West Humber Collegiate Institute
Zodiac Sign 
Aquarius
Profession  Ice Hockey player
Teams  Indianapolis Racers
Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
St. Louis Blues
New York Rangers
Active Years 1978-1999
Father’s Name  Walter Gretzky
Mother’s Name  Phyllis Hockin
Siblings Kim Gretzky
Keith Gretzky
Brent Gretzky
Glen Gretzky
Marital Status  Married
Wife Janet Jones(m. 1988)
Children Paulina Gretzky
Emma Gretzky
Ty Gretzky
Tristan Gretzky
Trevor Gretzky
Height  6’0 (183 cm)
Weight  185 lb (84 kg)
Eye Color  Blue
Hair Color  Light Brown
Net Worth  $250 Million
Social Media  Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram
Merch Signed Card, Signed Jersey, Funko
Last Update July 2022

Wayne Gretzky: Early Life

After Walter made the Rink, Wayne practiced there for hours when he was three years old.

He was crazy about the game and enjoyed learning about it.

He was training under his father, and his father would teach him how to skate and the techniques.

They had a drill they would do sets regularly where Wayne would skate between the Javex bleach bottles and tin cans.

One of Walters’s best advice to Wayne was, “skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.”

Wayne implemented this and got better than everyone in no time. He was a true prodigy who was born to play Ice Hockey.

He used to practice for hours and would only stop when his mother got angry at him and insisted on him coming back home.

Due to this hardworking mentality, he rose above everyone else at his age.

When he was six years old, the player was coached by Dick Martin.

His coach was also astonished by Wayne’s skills and said he was better than the 10-year-olds handling the puck.

Wayne started playing for Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers at the age of 10, and that is when he showed his skills by scoring staggering 378 goals and 139 assists in just one season.

When Wayne was just 13 years old, he already had 1000 goals in his amateur records, which caused other kids’ parents to resent him.

Besides, he was so good that he won the games single-handedly.

It meant to Wayne that he was just too good to play with those scrubs.

Walter understood it too, and when Wayne was 14, he arranged for Wayne to move to Toronto and play there at a higher level.

Wayne Gretzky: Family and Education

Wayne Douglas Gretzky was born on January 26, 1961, in Brantford, Ontario. He was the son of Phyllis Hockin and Walter Gretzky.

Walter worked at Bell Telephone Canada and owned an apartment in Brantford, where the family lived.

After Wayne’s birth, the family moved to a house in Varadi Avenue in Brantford.

Walter decided to move for several reasons, and one of them was that it had a front yard big enough to make an Ice rink.

Wayne grew up with his siblings Kim Gretzky, Keith Gretzky, Brent Gretzky, Glen Gretzky.

Since childhood, Gretzky was also very close to his grandparents because his grandparents would always visit him and play with him.

And similarly, he also visited them and played ice hockey on the farm his grandparents owned.

Wayne played hockey with his grandmother, scored goals, and celebrated when he was two years old.

Walter saw that his son enjoyed playing hockey and building an ice rink in their backyard and named it “Wally Coliseum.”

Walter taught all his children about ice hockey and helped them practice.

Moving on to Wayne’s educational background, He studied at Ross Sheppard High School, The University of Alberta, and the West Humber Collegiate Institute.

He practiced hockey while attending school and turned professional after high school.

Yes, he did not attend a university, but he was awarded an Honorary degree of a doctorate from the University of Alberta.

Wayne Gretzky: Age, Height, Weight, and Physical Appearances

Wayne turned 61 Years Old.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the teams he played for wished him.

The NHL also discussed Wayne’s greatest plays of his career and memories about Wayne on TV on January 26, 2021.

Wayne has an Athletic body and stands at 6 feet tall.

Similarly, he weighs about 185 lbs. He doesn’t have the biggest size of an average NHL player, but he is a brilliant player.

The player has a better understanding of the game, and that is how he conquered the game of Ice Hockey despite being smaller than others.

His blue eyes and light brown hair complemented his athletic body.

A handsome-looking guy who is smart and athletic. Probably a girl’s dream boy.

Wayne Gretzky: Nationality, Ethnicity, and Horoscope

Wayne is a Canadian as he was born and raised in Canada.

Despite being Canadian, Wayne has a lot of ethnic background behind him. He belongs to Belarusian, Ukrainian, or Polish ancestry.

However, In an interview, he stated that his parents were White Russians from Belarus.

He might have also acquired some English and Irish ancestry from his mother’s side.

Similarly, Wayne falls under Aquarius under the zodiac signs. People under the Aquarius sign are known to be fearless and have a strong sense of leadership.

The great one is also known for his time in Edmonton Oilers, where he became the Captain and led the team to many wins.

Wayne Gretzky: Career

The Great one officially started his career in 1978 when he was scouted by one of the WHA (World Hockey Association) teams named Indianapolis Racers.

WHA is a league that is like NHL.

On June 12, 1978, the Indianapolis Racers signed 17-year-old Wayne Gretzky under a $1.75 million contract.

Wayne scored his first-ever professional goal against the Edmonton Oilers.

Unfortunately, after playing a few games, he was moved from Indianapolis Races to the Edmonton Oilers in 1979.

Joining The Edmonton Oilers

After the WHA collapsed in 1979, Oilers were invited to join NHL, and this is how the journey of the greatest player of the NHL began.

However, many critics said Wayne would have trouble in NHL because the talent here is better, and the players are also bigger and stronger.

But they couldn’t be more wrong. In Wayne’s first NHL season, he scored 137 points and tied with Marcel Dionne for the highest point.

Wayne Gretzky debut
Wayne Gretzky debut

Similarly, Wayne also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the MVP for most games.

Moreover, in his second season, he won his first Art Ross trophy and scored his highest(at that time) of 164 points.

Then in his third season in NHL, he broke the record of 50 goals in 50 games.

Other players did not break Gretzky’s record for almost four decades, and Wayne did it easily.

He ended that season with 212 points. He broke another record and became the only player in NHL to go past the 200 point mark.

The closest someone had gotten Mario Lemieux when he scored 199 points.

Additionally, in 1982, he was named the Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.

The Trade that Upset the whole nation

In 1984, Gretzky was awarded the order of Canada award for his extraordinary performances and contribution to hockey.

Similarly, Gretzky continued his career at Oilers and won many trophies. The most important one was the Stanley Cup.

Gretzky won three prestigious Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers in 1985, 1987, and 1988.

While he was at Oilers, he influenced everyone around him and made them play better.

He helped the players to increase their understanding of the game.

Under the leadership of Wayne, the team became the highest-scoring team in the NHL’s history.

However, after winning the 1988 Stanley Cup, Wayne realized that the Oilers were looking forward to trading Wayne with another team.

The news upset him as he was a big part of the team and the team was a big part of who he had become.

On August 9, 1988, Wayne was traded by the Oilers to Los Angeles Kings.

This event was a big upset in the NHL’s history, and it made many fans sad it was so upsetting that even New Democratic Party House Leader Nelson Riis demanded the government block it.

The trade was successful, and Gretzky officially became a player for the Los Angeles Kings.

One of the biggest moments in Wayne’s life happened when he returned to Edmonton for the first time after the trade.

He was welcomed by a crowd of 17,503 people who gave him and standing ovation of straight-four minutes.

That was a moment of honor for Wayne Gretzky and showed how much he had done for the team.

Arrival at Los Angeles Kings

The great one debuted for the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, and immediately after Gretzky joined the team, he was made the alternate Captain of the team.

Things got better for LA Kings after Wayne’s arrival, and he helped the team become better and led them to the semifinals of the Stanley Cup in his first season there.

In 1990, Wayne was awarded the Athlete of the decade by the Associated Press.

After Wayne’s arrival, the number of LA Kings fans also increased, and many fans also started to see the legend play.

California was not really into hockey, but Gretzky is known as the person who sparked the light in people towards hockey.

Unfortunately, Wayne could not play most of the 1992 season because of his severe back injury.

Due to the injury, he got stripped of a record he had been maintaining for the last 13 years of 100+ points each season.

Next season, he returned with a hunger to play, and he played spectacularly.

He broke the record of Gordie Howe’s record of highest numbers of goals by scoring his 801st goal.

After the Los Angeles Kings went bankrupt in 1994, Gretzky’s relationship with the new owner was not well maintained.

Unfortunately, he left the team in 1996.

Briefly playing for St. Louis blues.

After leaving LA Kings, he joined the Blues for a brief time.

After joining the Blues, he was immediately made the team captain; being the team captain, he had trouble with his teammates and coach, making it hard and uncomfortable for him to play there.

When Blues tried to extend their contract with Gretzky for $15 Million, he refused the contract and signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent.

Joining New York Rangers and Retirement

Gretzky played three seasons with New York Rangers from 1996 to 1999.

During his time at the NY Rangers, he helped them reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 1997.

Gretzky scored 10 goals and assisted in 10 goals too.

It was the first time in Wayne’s career that he was not named the team captain.

Similarly, the 1998-1999 season was the last season that Wayne played as a professional.

In his last season, he did his best, but he was way past his prime, and it was getting hard for him to score.

Despite being old, he again broke Gordie Howe’s regular-season goal score by scoring his 1,071st goal.

Wayne was set to play his last ever professional game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Despite both Rangers and Penguins being American teams, they played the national anthem of both America and Canada to honor Gretzky.

However, Rangers lost the game. Despite the loss, Wayne was followed by respect from all the fans and standing ovations.

Wayne Gretzky was emotional and very honored. The player stated that it was the best day of his life later in an interview.

International career

Wayne also had a very long international career because he started his international career in 1978 for the Canadian national junior team at the 1978 World Junior Championships in Montreal, Quebec.

He won a bronze medal for Canada in that tournament.

Next, he also played for Canada’s national men’s team in 1981’s Canada Cup. Similarly, in this tournament, also he won a bronze medal.

Gretzky won his first-ever international tournament when he led his team to win the 1984 Canada Cup.

Moreover, in 1987’s Canada Cup, he scored the tournament best of 21 points in just 9 games.

Moreover, Wayne played in the Olympics representing Canada in Ice Hockey. He attended his first-ever Olympics games in 1998.

He attended the Winter Olympics held in Japan.

Unfortunately, he could not win any medals as Canada lost in the Semifinals and again lost in the match.

Wayne Gretzky: Injuries

The ice hockey player was mostly injured due to back problems over the time of his legendary career.

Similarly, it began in 1990, when he injured his back.

Moreover, Gretz was sidelined for that season’s next three playoff games because of the injury!

Furthermore, on September 14, 1991, he picked up a back injury as Gary Suter checked him from behind in an international game against the USA.

Although the injury didn’t affect the number of his appearance in that season, it caused him to perform a career-low 31 goals and 90 assists in a season.

In September 1992, The White Tornado suffered the One In A Million Injury.

Dr. Robert Watkins, the spinal consultant who had previously operated on Wayne, told Gretz could play ever again!

Wayne was diagnosed with a herniated thoracic disk.

Similarly, the Great one was sidelined due to a career-threatening injury and returned on January 18, 1993.

Most importantly, the doctors helped him rehabilitate himself to recover faster!

Additionally, Gretz had only missed 5 games before the long number of matches missed.

Wayne Gretzky: Career Stats & Records

  • Has 60 NHL unbroken records
  • Regular Seasons: 40
  • Playoffs number: 15
  • All-Star Games in total: 5
  • 894 total goals: Most goals of all time
  • 2857 total points: Most points in history

Summary of NHL Career Stats:

Season NHL Career
Games Played(GP) 1487
Goals(G) 894
Assists(A) 1963
Points(P) 2857
+/-
520
Penalty Minutes(PIM)
577
Power Play Goals(PPG) 204
Power Play Points(PPP)  890
Shorthanded Goals(SHG)  73
Shorthanded Points(SHP) 
149
Game Winning Goals(GWG)  91
Overtime Goals(GWG) 2
Shots(S) 5088
Shooting Percentage(S%) 17.6

Wayne Gretzky: Legacy

After his retirement, he was named the honorary chairman of the  Open Ice Summit.

In 1999, he was also inducted into the hall of fame right after his retirement.

Similarly, in 2000, he was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame.

Furthermore, one of the most honorary moments happened when the NHL decided to retire the jersey no 99 that Gretzky wore.

The retirement of the jersey number meant no other player could wear a jersey with the number 99 on it.

Similarly, in 1999, Edmonton named one of its busiest highways under the name of Wayne Gretzky. It was named Wayne Gretzky Drive.

In 2002, Wayne got honored by the LA Kings and mounted a statue of Wayne outside the Staples Center.

Wayne Gretzky Statue
Wayne Gretzky Statue

Similarly, his hometown honored him in the same year by renaming the park as “Wayne Gretzky Parkway.”

In 2004, his hometown also inducted him in the walk of fame.

Similarly, in 2010, he was awarded The Ambassador Award of Excellence by the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission.

And recently, in 2017, he was named as one of the best NHL players ever. Well, technically, he is the greatest ever.

Wayne Gretzky: Owning a Team

After Wayne’s retirement, many teams approached him to buy their ownership, but he was not interested.

But in 2000, he bought 10% stakes of Phoenix Coyotes.

Gretzky eventually became the head coach of Coyotes and started training them.

He became the head coach of Coyotes in 2005.

Around 2009, Coyotes announced bankruptcy, and the team was on the verge of vanishing. During this period, Wayne did not attend the training camps too.

As other bidders stepped in and tried to own the team, they were also trying to push down Gretzky.

Therefore, on September 24, 2009, Wayne finally had it and decided to step down as the head coach and head of hockey operations of the Coyotes.

Wayne Gretzky: Book and Political Activities

Despite being already so good at many things, Wayne is also a great writer.

Moreover, he had written a few books like an Autobiography (1990) with Rick Reilly.

And in 1999, he wrote My Life in Pictures (1999) with John Davidson and Dan Diamond.

Similarly, his most recent book is the Stories of the Game, which he wrote in 2016 with Kirstie McLellan Day.

This book was about the history of hockey. Wayne explained how hockey evolved over the years and became what it is now.

This book also was a best seller in Canada.

Moving on to his political career, Wayne criticized Canada for not participating in the invasion of Iraq, and he praised the US president of that time, Gorge W Bush, for his decision to invade Iraq.

And again, in the 2015 Canadian federal election campaign, Wayne endorsed the conservative party, and he also endorsed the prime minister of that time, Stephen Harper.

Furthermore, he praised Harper, and he was bombarded with criticism.

Wayne Gretzky: Wife and Children

Wayne is currently happily married to Janet Jones, a former actress.

The great one met his soon-to-be wife on Merv Griffin’s show Dance Fever in 1984.

Likewise, the event was the first place of their first meeting.

But despite their meeting in 1984, they didn’t really vibe with each other, and nothing happened, and they just parted ways.

However, in their next meet at the Los Angeles Lakers game in 1987, they fell in love and started going out.

Wayne proposed to Jones via call in 1988, and similarly, they got married soon on July 16, 1988. Their wedding took place in St. Joseph’s Basilica.

Moreover, the TV Channels broadcasted it all across Canada.

The couples are still happily married, and they have 5 kids.

Gretzky family
Gretzky family

Similarly, Paulina Gretzky was born on December 19, 1988. She is their oldest child.

They have three other sons named Ty Robert (July 9, 1990), Trevor Douglas (September 14, 1992), and Tristan Wayne (August 2, 2000).

Furthermore, they again had a daughter on March 28, 2003, and they named her Emma Marie.

Wayne Gretzky: Net Worth

Wayne is worth a lot as he has been playing for years, and he was the most successful player in the history of the NHL.

He is also the other richest player in the history of the NHL.

Wayne Gretzky has an estimated net worth of approximately $250 Million

Wayne also has a beautiful mansion worth $15 Million in California. It looks exquisite and royal.

Wayne Gretzky Mansion
Wayne Gretzky Mansion

Wayne earned from his business ventures after the end of his career at NHL.

During his time at NHL, he earned tons from the contracts and endorsements.

Wayne Gretzky: Social Media

Wayne is available on all the social media platforms like Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram.

He has 542K followers on Facebook.

Similarly, on Instagram and Twitter, he has 31.4K and 186.4K followers, respectively.

Furthermore, he also has a Youtube account, but it is not as popular. He only has around 671 subscribers on his Youtube channel.

Wayne Gretzky: Fun Facts

  • The Canadian holds 60 NHL near to unbreakable Records.
  • Likewise, Wayne captained four different teams during his incredible career!
  • Throughout the 1980s, Gretzky won 8 consecutively Hart Trophies.
  • The legend scored 378 goals in his final ever season of Pee Wee.
  • Gretz has a record of most hattricks in a season, with 50 of them.
  • At 21 years old, The Great One scored 92 goals in the 1981/ 82 season, which is a record still not broken!
  • You can buy a Wayne Gretzky autographed card, photo, or puck, which will cost $75, $225, and $250.

Wayne Gretzky: FAQs

How many Stanley Cups did Wayne win?

Wayne won around 4 Stanley cups in his career.

Which jersey number did Wayne Gretzky wear on his back?

The legendary Candaian ice hockey player wore number 99 on his back.

Likewise, he chose to wear number 99 in most of the teams he was part of!

What made Gretzky so good?

It was his mentality and his understanding of the game.

Where did Wayne Gretzky end his career?

He ended his career in New York Rangers.

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