He’s a retired professional hockey player. He’s the head hockey coach with a fortune that will blow you away. He’s probably the best hockey player in the world. He is Wayne Gretzky, the most famous hockey player in the history of the NHL. Everything you need to know about this iconic hockey legend can be found here…
Wayne Gretzky Bio
Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian hockey superstar who was born on January 26, 1961, in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. His father, Walter Gretzky, was a worker at Bell Telephone Canada and his mother is named Phyllis Leone Hockin. The family lived in Brantford, where Gretzky also grew up. He was the oldest child in the family with five children, and his other siblings are his sister Kim Gretzky and three other brothers, Keith, Glen, and Brent Gretzky. Gretzky started getting interested in hockey when he watched the game at his grandparents’ house when they came to visit. Even when he was two years old, he threw himself against his grandmother Mary and tried to score against her, as he sees it on TV during the games.
Gretzky’s first mentor in hockey was his father, and with that, he was so far ahead of his peers that he played in teams far beyond his age group as a child. He was so good that his coach at the time, Dick Martin, could not help but notice that he was even better than his seniors. At this stage, he adopted a rather involuntary habit and remained in the National Hockey League (NHL) throughout his career. Since he played for a team of ten-year-olds when he was six, the outfit for the game was bigger than his body, so young Gretzky tucked his sweaters into his pants to match his small body, and throughout his playing career, he always tucked his jersey into his pants.
As Gretzky grew older, his game improved and he could only get better and better, causing envy among his teammates, peers, and even fans. So how good was he? When he played for the Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers, Gretzky scored an astonishing 378 goals and had 139 assists in addition to scoring in a season and at the age of just 10. By the time he was 13, he had already scored 1,000 goals and the negative reception he received was overwhelming, prompting his family to send him from Brantford to Toronto where he continued his career.
In the 1975/76 season, he entered the Toronto Nationals in the Metro Junior B Hockey League and won the Rookie of the Year award in that first season after scoring 60 points in 28 games. The next season he improved his score to 72, but with more games (32). He was selected by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1977 in the OMJHL Midget Draft, although his father (and manager) did not agree to it because of their travel plans. However, he settled in and carried the number 99 for the team.
At that time there were two alternating hockey leagues – the World Hockey Association (WHA) league and the National Hockey League (NHL). In 1978 Wayne Gretzky became a professional when he signed for the Indianapolis Racers, which were part of the WHA. However, he later appeared in the NHL because his contract with the Racers was bought by the Edmonton Oilers, who were in the WHA at the time. But they soon moved up to the NHL and so Gretzky became an NHL player. In the following years, he won several prizes and broke several longtime records in the NHL, including that of hockey legend Gordie Howe. The first was the record of 1,850 points and then Howe’s record of 805 career goals. He achieved this with far fewer games than Howe. He became the leading scorer of all time in the NHL (and also in Assists).
Other teams Wayne Gretzky has played for in his 20-year career include the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers. When he retired from the game after the 1998-99 season, his jersey number “99” was also withdrawn in his honor as the most famous hockey player of all time.
Such a glorious career comes with a reward – financial. Wayne Gretzky found many supporters during his heyday as various companies continued to fight for his face on their products (or services), including Nike. These businesses made his net worth swell alongside his salary and hockey game revenues. Eventually, he became a partner in the Arizona Coyotes (formerly known as the Phoenix Coyotes) hockey franchise. He was also vice-chairman and partner of the Oilers Entertainment Group, the parent company of his former hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers. Wayne Gretzky currently has an estimated net worth of $200 million.
Family – Wife, Son, Daughter
Wayne Gretzky is married to former Playboy model Janet Jones, and the two have been married for over three decades and are still together. The marriage has produced five children. Gretzky first saw his soon-to-be wife when he was a panelist on Dance Fever, although she did not see him. After that their paths crossed on other occasions until they met at a game in Los Angeles in 1987 and started dating. Before that, Jones was engaged and married to Vitas Gerulaitis, a professional tennis player. It lasted two years, but she broke it off after she met Gretzky. They (Jones and Gretzky) became engaged a year later, in 1988, and six months later, on 16 July 1988, they were a married couple. The wedding was exquisite and was also on everyone’s lips. Gretzky is said to have spent over $1 million on the ceremony, which the Canadian press described as a “royal wedding”.
Their five children are Paulina, Ty, Trevor, Tristan, and Emma Gretzky. His first daughter, Paulina Mary Jean Gretzky, was born on December 19, 1988. She is an actress, model, and pop singer. She is engaged to Dustin Johnson, an American golfer, and they have two children – Tatum Gretzky and River Jones Johnson. Ty Robert Gretzky was born on July 9, 1990, and attended Arizona State University. Before he quit, he played hockey for the Midget AA hockey team at Shattuck-Saint Mary’s. Trevor Douglas Gretzky is an actor and baseball player, born September 4, 1992, and has played for the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels. Tristan Wayne Gretzky was born on August 2, 2000, and is an actor. Emma Marie Gretzky, born on March 28, 2003, is an aspiring actress.
Quick Facts About Wayne Gretzky – Height
Name: Wayne Douglas Gretzky
Known as: Wayne Gretzky
Nickname: The Great One
Profession: Retired pro hockey player
Birth Date: January 26, 1961
Birth Place: Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Spouse: Janet Jones
Children: 5 (Paulina Mary Jean, Ty Robert, Trevor Douglas, Tristan Wayne, and Emma Marie Gretzky)
Height: 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight: 84 kg (185 lbs)
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Light Brown
Net Worth: $200 million