Wayne GretzkyHockey Player
Born: 26 January 1961
Birthplace: Brantford, Canada
Best known as: NHL legend and nine-time league MVP
Wayne Gretzky was named the greatest player in National Hockey League history by The Hockey News in 1998. Among his accomplishments: he was the NHL's all-time leading scorer, he was named league MVP nine times and he led the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cups in five years (1984-88). Gretzky made hockey somewhat of a Hollywood fad when he was traded to Los Angeles in 1988; he finished his career with the New York Rangers, playing his last NHL game on 18 April 1999. Later that year he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (the usual three-year waiting period was waived in his case), and the NHL retired his jersey -- no. 99 -- permanently throughout the league. In 2000 Gretzky joined the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes as a managing partner. Five years later, in 2005, he moved behind the bench as the team's head coach (as well as part-owner). His first year as coach was a rough one: A losing season on the ice; the deaths of his mother and grandmother; and a gambling scandal into 2006 involving his assistant coach that implicated him Gretzky and his wife (neither were charged with any crime). Gretzky stepped down as coach and director of hockey operations of the Coyotes in September of 2009
Extra credit: Gretzky's nickname is "The Great One"... His wife, actress Janet Jones, appeared in the movies The Flamingo Kid (1984) and A Chorus Line (1985).
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