By Robert Woolf

APRIL 18

Wayne Gretzky plays his last game- 1999

When you think about the greatest hockey player of all time, right away you think of Wayne Gretzky. Wayne Douglas Gretzky was born on January 26, 1961. No one thought anything of him growing up. “Just another hockey playing kid who won’t amount to anything”. Gretzky proved them wrong… big time. He debuted as a member of the Edmonton Oilers in the 1979-80 NHL season. About 20 seasons and an enormous amount of record later, Gretzky made his last appearance in a hockey uniform on April 18, 1999. By this time he was a member of the New York Rangers, after leaving Edmonton and going to the Kings and the Blues. The 1999 Rangers, Gretzky’s last season, were not good enough to make the playoffs. Gretzky’s last game started with the national anthem, as every sporting event does. But because of how great he was, they were a little different. In place of the lyrics “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee”, Bryan Adams said, “We’re going to miss you, Wayne Gretzky”. Also, The Star-Spangled Banner, who was sung by John Amirante, was changed to include the words “in the land of Wayne Gretzky”. Gretzky got his last point ever, assisting Brian Leetch on the Rangers only goal of the night. They wanted Gretzky to go out on a “W”, but they lost to the playoff bound Penguins 2-1. After the game, Gretzky said “My last game in New York was my greatest day in hockey…Everything you enjoy about the sport of hockey as a kid, driving to practice with mom and dad , driving to the game with mom and dad, looking in the stands and seeing your mom and dad and your friends, that all came together in that last game in New York.”

Wayne Gretzky has so many achievements in his career, that there is a Wikipedia page just dedicated to them. He had 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and 6 All-Star Game records at the time of his retirement. Only 2 of them have been broken since then. I find it just funny reading the Wikipedia page on his accomplishments. If you scroll down to unofficial records, you will see some mostly how he was the Fastest and Youngest to a lot of records. You still have to say that the most amazing one is 215 points in one season. In the 1985-86 season, there was a 80-game schedule. Gretzky had 52 goals and a whopping 163 assists. That averages out to over 2 assists a game. This record will never even come close to be broken. If your wondering if anyone came close to it, someone had 212 points in 1981-82. That person was also Wayne Gretzky. He had back-to back-to back seasons with at least 205 points. In NHL history, no one else has gotten to 200 points. There’s no comparison on the greatest hockey player ever. No one even comes close to “The Great One”.

gretzky

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