The name of Gretzky Wayne is known not only to every Canadian. Schoolchildren play hockey and dream to become at least a bit like him, and all over the world one rarely meets a person who has not heard about this famous hockey player. Although Canada and Russia are rich in hockey talents, this person stands apart. Many say that true talents appear in the world once in a hundred years. But such a talent as Gretzky, appears much less often. And such a star has not yet risen on the hockey sky.
Children's hockey years
Wayne was born into a family of emigrants in his second tribe. At the beginning of the last century, his grandfather Terenty emigrated from Russia to Canada. And already in Canada I found a spouse, also a native of the former Russian Empire, Mary. This family was engaged in farming. And it was in her later born Wayne Douglas Gretzky - so sounds the full name of the hockey player.
Grandfather Terenty was very close to the little Wayne and encouraged him to practice hockey. Often, he and grandmother watched the progress of training and the first hockey success of the grandson. Gretzky Wayne grew up quite a stalwart and strong boy. And as eyewitnesses say, he used to play hockey with the guys who were his senior for several years.
But this absolutely did not bother him. At the age of five, he played for the hockey team of his hometown, in which six-year-olds were announced. And already at the age of ten he performs in the children's hockey league, where he scored 378 goals for the season, which is an absolute record to this day.
At that time, he constantly focused on his idol Gordie Howe, who then still shone on the ice. And in his 14 years, the teenager goes on the ice already against the twenty-year-olds and plays so that journalists call him a rising star, comparing his career with Hou's career.
Wayne Gretzky and WAA
Already at this time, young hockey player Wayne Gretzky gets into the field of view of coaches of various youth teams. At the age of fourteen he defends the colors of the Canadian team at the international tournament in Quebec, where he receives the most flattering reviews.
Beginning next year, Wayne Douglas Gretzky leaves his hometown, in order to continue his professional career. The first youth team he contracted with was Greyhounds from Ontario. It is in it that he holds his first professional season, and at that time, it should be noted, he was only sixteen years old, and scored seventy goals in the opponents' goal. He gets to the World Junior Championship in Montreal in 1978 and together with the team wins it. At the same time, the talented hockey player is not only the youngest participant of the championship, but his best scorer.
Like any kid in Canada, Gretzky Wayne dreams of playing in the NHL. But according to the laws of this organization, players must be over 18 years old, and Wayne was only 17. Therefore, the hockey player concludes his first adult professional contract in the VAA.
The club, with which hockey player Wayne Gretzky concluded his first contract of one hundred thousand US dollars, was "Indianapolis". But in the same month he is exchanged for another club, VXA, Edmonton. With him, the hockey player spends his first season, scores 46 goals and is recognized as the best newcomer to the WBA. A year later the teams of the VXA and the NHL merge. Four teams VXA falls into the league of the NHL, and among them "Edmonton".
The first steps in the NHL
In 1979, "Edmonton" and three more of his fellow VXA spend their first season in the NHL. Together with "Edmonton" the first season holds and Wayne. At the end of this season, the hockey player wins his first title "Hart Trophy". That is the title of the most useful player of the NHL. At the same time the question of how many goals Wayne Gretzky scored scored his remarkable answer. Scoring this season, fifty-one goals, Wayne became the youngest athlete, who managed to overcome the barrier of fifty pucks. At that time he was only nineteen years and two months old.
Next year, Gretzky simply begins to stamp records. And the records of Gordie Howe, which seemed to be sky-high peaks, begin to fall one by one. In his second season, the hockey player earns the same prize "Hart Trophy" and adds the "Art Ross Trophy" prize to him, which is awarded to the hockey player who scored the most goals in the "goal + pass" system. What is surprising, the coefficient for one game is more than two. For all time in the NHL there were only two hockey players who had a coefficient of more than two. In addition to Gretzky, this result was sought only by Mario Lemieux.
Surprisingly, hockey players are very suspicious athletes. And the number that they wear on a sweater, plays for many a significant role. As already mentioned above, the young Wayne was a fan of the talent of Gordie Howe. And naturally, like his idol, he wanted to have the number "9".
In his first team, "Greyhounds" a young hockey player just wanted to choose this number. But unfortunately, he was occupied by another player. Then the athlete tried the number "19" and played a few matches with him. And then, on the advice of the manager, I chose "99", under which I remember all hockey fans.
It was a kind of talisman, which Wayne Gretzky did not part with until the end of his career. The number on the sweater of the star, which you can see in the photo, is now in the museum of hockey glory and as a sign of respect for the merits of the great athlete is permanently attached to him.
Gretzky and "Edmonton Oilers"
The history of Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers were closely connected for ten years. It began when the hockey player was bought from Indianapolis in 1978 and ended in 1988, when the player was sold to the Los Angeles Kings. All the main achievements of Edmonton are connected with the name of Gretzky. Neither before nor after this team did not reach such sports peaks. Especially strange was the decision of the owner of the club after a decade of cooperation to decide to sell the hockey player to Los Angeles.
This exchange has received the stellar name The Trade. There were fifteen million dollars here, and two choices in the draft in the following years. The only thing that the hockey player was able to negotiate is the partners who crossed with him. Wayne Gretzky, whose career has changed dramatically, gets from the cold hockey Edmonton to the warm and not at all hockey Los Angeles.
Winning the Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is a prize that any Canadian boy wants to raise over his head. And with some time, most young hockey players in different parts of the world also dream about it. Wayne was not an exception to the rules. But if the majority of this dream is still a dream, then Wayne Gretzky, whose biography is already filled with various events, can be proud of four such outstanding moments. All the victories in the Stanley Cup are tied with the Edmonton Oilers. It was with this team that he was able to celebrate a landmark victory in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988.
The hockey player had one more visit to the Cup, but with another team - "Los Angeles Kings" - in 1991, but in the final "kings" will give the Cup to Montreal. Thus, according to statistics related to Wayne Gretzky, the famous hockey player participated in five finals, four of which he won.
Records of Gretzky
Talk about records of hockey players in Canada can not be conducted without mentioning such a person as Gretzky Wayne. His records make up a larger number of all available. So, at present, according to statistics, the hockey player has 61 records. Of these, 40 are set in the "regular season" category, fifteen in the "playoff" category and six in the "all-star NHL matches" nomination.
Most of these records will not be beaten in the foreseeable future. Here are just some of them:
- The main indicator of the striker is the number of goals he scored. Thus, Gretzky scored 894 goals, having played 1,487 matches in twenty-five seasons. Going to second place Gordie Howe, who has long finished his performances and he is no longer alive, scored 801 goals, but for this he needed 2,186 games in thirty-five seasons.
- In addition, as already mentioned above, in many seasons Gretzky scored more than two goals (goal + pass) per game. This figure was able to repeat only one hockey player, but the last time it was twenty years ago.
Of course, hockey lovers are eagerly awaiting the time when a new Wayne Gretzky will appear on the hockey ground, which will be able to review all the records set by the first (and there are more than 60), but while Wayne can feel relatively calm - his fame and records no one and nothing threatens.
Ice "kings" from Los Angeles
Since 1988 for eight seasons the hockey player played for the team from Los Angeles. If before the appearance of Gretzky in this city, its residents very poorly imagined what is hockey and why it is necessary to buy tickets for the matches of its team, then with the arrival of Gretzky in Los Angeles, the tastes of its inhabitants have changed significantly. Thanks to the hockey player, who at that time acquired the title The Great One, which means "Great," tickets for the stadium, which was previously filled only by thirty percent, became the same problem as tickets for your favorite basketball team, the "Lakers."
Wayne's International Career
If we talk about the international career of a hockey player, then it started early enough and very well - with the win of the World Hockey Championship among boys. In the adult hockey, Wayne's successes are much more modest. Goals Wayne Gretzky continued to please fans of the national team of Canada, but the titles won by this team, almost was not.
So, the national team together with the hockey player won the Canadian Cup three times and once took the second place. And at the World Hockey Championship in Finland she was able to win only third place - it's all the success of the Canadian team with Wayne Gretzky. Therefore, many fans of hockey Canada made a conclusion for themselves that hockey players appreciate the regular championship and the Stanley Cup than the honor to protect the colors of their team. Gretzky Wayne, quoted from an interview often quoted in the press, seems to share this attitude of Canadian hockey players to the meetings of the national team in the international arena.
Janet Jones - wife of Gretzky
Many fans of the hockey player claim that Wayne's family life was very successful both in terms of American and Canadian standards. At the age of twenty-three, the sportsman met a young actress, his own age. Wayne Gretzky's wife, Janet Jones, began acting in films around the same time that her future husband began to practice hockey professionally. By the time of their first meeting the girl had been shooting for more than ten years.
The most famous film, which can be remembered not only by movie lovers, but also hockey fans, was the "Police Academy", the fifth part. And four years after the first meeting, a wedding was played. After the marriage, Wayne does not leave hockey classes, and Janet continues to act in films to this day. A wedding photo of this couple can be seen in our article.
It clearly shows that Wayne is happy. And this attitude in the family life of the athlete remains today.
Children and grandchildren of Wayne
The famous hockey player was effective not only on the ice field of the NHL. Wayne Gretzky in his family life also set a lot of records. But the most important of them is that after the wedding, Janet and Wayne will soon be twenty years old.
This couple has five children. In the photo offered in the article, you can see only the three senior heirs of the star. His first daughter was named Paulina and was born in late 1988. A year and a half later, in the middle of summer, her brother Ty was born. And two years later another son was born - Trevor. This is the part of the family that is visible in the photo. All these children appeared in the family of an active hockey player.
Two younger children were born after finishing their professional career. In the summer of the two thousandth year - Tristan. By the way, the difference between the third and fourth child is almost eight years. But the hockey player's family did not calm down, and a few years later the last child, Emma's daughter, appeared.
For a while, the Gretzky family led a relaxed and happy family life. But everything changes, and in 2015 Wayne becomes a grandfather. Now, most likely, a new round of development of this happy family will begin.
End of career as a hockey player
The end of a hockey player's career is always sad, especially if it's a great athlete. After eight seasons in Los Angeles and the loss of the Stanley Cup finals, the team slipped to the bottom of the standings and stopped entering the playoff stage. After that, Wayne urged the club's management to exchange it for a stronger team. Such an exchange took place, and the hockey player moved to the "St. Louis Blues".
Here he plays only one season in hockey. Wayne Gretzky did not find any understanding with either the leadership of the team or with his partners. This was the most unfortunate season in the history of the hockey player. During this time he played eighteen games and scored just eight goals. Wayne starts looking for a new club and eventually finds it.
It would be surprising if a hockey player, rightfully called a great one, could not find a club in which he could pursue a career. This club was the "New York Rangers", in which the athlete spends three last in his life season in the NHL. Although great successes Wayne for these three seasons have not achieved, however he played almost two hundred and fifty matches and scored more than fifty goals. Many of his records, he either beat, or set it in these seasons.
The introduction of the hockey player in the Hall of Hockey Glory NHL
After the termination of career Гретцки has been entered into the Hall of hockey glory. Interestingly, it has existed for many years, and here were introduced the most remarkable hockey players who made a huge contribution to the development of this sport in Canada and abroad.
The hall is located in the city of Toronto. Usually it accepts hockey players who have already completed their sports career. And the time period after which the consideration of candidatures begins, is at least three years. Sometimes the organizers make exceptions for the most outstanding athletes. And there were ten such exceptions.
Wayne Gretzky was introduced to the named Hall already seven months after the end of the sports career. This was done in 1999, and after that almost twenty years of such honor - the early introduction to the Hall of Fame - was not given to any hockey player. No wonder one of his friends, Mark Messier, expressed the opinion that such great hockey players appear on the world arena even less often than once in a thousand years.
Was formed and the so-called symbolic team of the century - Centennial All-Star Team, which included all the greatest hockey players of the twentieth century. The only representative of North American hockey, who entered this team, was Wayne Gretzky. Of these six really great hockey players, four represented the Soviet Union, one was from Sweden and one from Canada.
It is interesting that the attacking unit looked like this: the center of the attack was Wayne Gretzky with the extreme attackers Makarov and Kharlamov. Fetisov and Salming organized the defense, and the renowned Tretyak defended the gates. It was this team, in the opinion of hockey experts, reflected the greatness of hockey skill over a century.
Modern life and business of Gretzky
Although Gretzky ceased to be an active professional hockey player, he nevertheless did not give up hockey. And probably, it is impossible, if you have been on skates since four years old, more than twenty-five years professionally you play hockey and you are called great, in one moment throw it all out of your life.
Literally a year after the end of his professional career, Wayne becomes co-owner of one of the NHL clubs, called "Phoenix Coyotes" and has been involved in the life of this club for nine years. In the last four years, Gretzky was his coach. Thus, he tried all the hockey specialties outside the hockey field. And in 2002 he was invited as the chief manager of the Canadian ice hockey team for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, where this team won.
But Gretzky has a lot of talent outside of the sport. He is not only a happy family man, but also a successful businessman. Probably, the popularity that he has not only in Canada, but all over the world, helps him and his family own a restaurant. And many visitors, being near this institution, will visit it with pleasure only because it is owned by the famous Wayne Gretzky, whose biography is known to many. Also, a line of men's clothing under his brand is produced.
Thus, Gretzky became great not only because he played an unrivaled game of hockey, but also because he was able to change the image of the NHL, which before him was usually a big guy with a tooth pinched by a puck. Currently, the NHL symbolizes the open smile of Gretzky, and even Canadian hockey, thanks to the great striker, has acquired a human face.