Wayne Gretzky retired in 1999 after leading the Edmonton Oilers to their only Stanley Cup, after a haul of nine scoring titles and two ‘MVP’ trophies in 14 NHL seasons.
The Great One has also won two Olympic gold medals – the men’s team at the 1980 Lake Placid Games, and was selected for Team Canada, winning gold in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
The naturalised Canadian enjoyed huge success in the women’s game too, recording a further 100 goals for the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League.
What was his net worth?
Gretzky is worth a reported $1bn
The ultimate marketer, Gretzky joined major US and European multinationals such as Pepsi, Pernod Ricard, General Motors and Ford in the 1990s and now owns vast property portfolios and a wine label.
However, the 68-year-old was named the 48th richest man in the US in 2015, with a reported net worth of $1bn. He’s also listed as the world’s sixth richest celebrity by Forbes.
When does Wayne Gretzky return to ice?
The Great One was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016
After an injury kept him out of action for four months in 2017, Gretzky is set to feature in his first game since retiring – at the World Championships in Denmark.
Despite being declared in form, the chance to face pro rivals like Ilya Kovalchuk and Martin St Louis is still up in the air, as his funding deal with AEG hasn’t come to fruition just yet.
Gretzky played his last game for the Oilers in October 2004. Since then, he has been involved in a bitter legal dispute with the NHL over his ownership rights.
How did he leave us?
Wayne Gretzky won the Stanley Cup in 1994
Gretzky is known as the ‘GOAT’ – greatest of all time – and many consider his legendary ice-time of 970 minutes and 51 seconds to be the most a player has ever played in a game.
His exploits in Edmonton were enough to secure him the Art Ross Trophy – given to the top NHL scorer in each season – four times, and the Hart Trophy – the most valuable player award – once.
As well as a smattering of world records, Gretzky is also famous for kicking the glass as he entered the dressing room for the 1997 Stanley Cup Final to commemorate becoming the first to achieve three triumphs.
His exploits landed him the ‘C’ for the NHL and even won him the affection of fellow Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.
‘Ice with the Great One’
It was always going to be hard to find a Canadian with an inferiority complex when thinking about it.
Over 700 members of the country’s NHL stars have been snapped up by AEG, which owns two LA and one Chicago franchises.
For 26 years, the Gretzky Museum on the US side of the country has been open to the public.
How many World Cups has he played in?
Wayne Gretzky has played in three World Cups
Including the one in Las Vegas in 1991-92, Gretzky has played in three World Cup finals.
He represented Canada at the 1994 Olympics in Los Angeles, and 2003 Olympics in Athens.
Gretzky also missed the second world cup, due to a shoulder injury suffered during the 2002 Olympics, but played in the 1991 event.