He is a retired professional hockey player. He is the hockey head coach with a net worth that will blow your mind. He is arguably the best hockey player to ever grace the planet. 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 is right 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’s name is Phyllis Leone Hockin. The family lived in Brantford and that was where Gretzky was raised. He was the oldest child in the family of five children and his other siblings are his sister, Kim Gretzky and three other brothers, Keith, Glen and Brent Gretzky. Gretzky picked up his interest in the hockey sport while watching the game at his grandparent’s house when they went to visit. As early as when he was two years old, he would pitch himself against his grandmother, Mary and try to score against her like he sees in the games on TV.
Gretzky’s first mentor in hockey was his father and this put him way ahead of his peers so much that he played in teams that were way above his age grade as a child. He was so good that his then coach, Dick Martin could not help but note that he was even better than his seniors. He picked up a rather involuntary habit at this stage and stuck with it throughout his playing career in the National Hockey League (NHL). Because he played as a 6-year-old in a team of 10-year-olds, the outfit for the game was bigger than his body so the young Gretzky would tuck his sweaters into his pants to have it fit his small body and all through his playing career, he always tucked his jersey in.
As Gretzky grew older, his game improved and he could only get better and better which attracted envy from his teammates, peers, and even fans. So how good was he? While playing for the Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers, Gretzky scored an astonishing 378 goals and had 139 assists in addition to the goals in one season and at just 10 years old. By the time he was 13, he had reached 1000 goals and the negative reception he got was over the roof, prompting his family to ship him out of Brantford to Toronto where he continued his career.
He joined the Toronto Nationals in the Metro Junior B Hockey League for the 1975–76 season and he won the “Rookie of the Year” award in that first season after hitting 60 points in 28 games. He bettered his points tally the next season to 72, howbeit with more games (32). He was picked by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 1977 OMJHL Midget Draft even though his father (and manager), didn’t agree with it because of their traveling schedules. However, he settled in and wore the number 99 for the team.
In those days, there were two alternate hockey leagues – the World Hockey Association (WHA) league and the National Hockey League (NHL). In 1978, Wayne Gretzky became a professional as he signed for the Indianapolis Racers, which were in the WHA. But he would later turn up for the NHL as his contract with the Racers was bought by the Edmonton Oilers, who were in the WHA at the time. But they soon got promoted to the NHL and so Gretzky became an NHL player. He went on to win several awards while breaking several longstanding records in the NHL, including the ones set by hockey legend, Gordie Howe. First was the all-time point record of 1,850, and then the Howe’s record of 805 career goal. He achieved that with far less number of games than Howe. He became the NHL’s leading scorer of all time (and also in assists).
Other teams which Wayne Gretzky turned out for in his 20-year career include the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers. Upon his retirement from the game after the 1998-99 season, his jersey number “99” was also retired in his honor as the most famous hockey player of all time.
Having such a glorious career comes with its rewards – financially. Wayne Gretzky attracted a lot of endorsements during his heydays as different companies continued to scramble for his face on their products (or service) including Nike. These deals made his net worth swell beside his salary and earnings from the hockey game. He was at one point a part-owner of the ice hockey franchise, Arizona Coyotes (formerly known as the Phoenix Coyotes). He also served as vice-chairman and partner of the Oilers Entertainment Group, the parent company of his former hockey team, Edmonton Oilers. Wayne Gretzky presently has an estimated net worth of $200 million.
Family – Wife, Son, Daughter
Wayne Gretzky is married to former Playboy model, Janet Jones and they have been married for over three decades are still together. The marriage has produced five children. Gretzky first saw his soon-to-be wife when he served as a panelist on Dance Fever, even though 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 began dating. Before now, Jones was engaged to be married to Vitas Gerulaitis, a pro tennis player. It lasted for two years but she broke it off after she met Gretzky. They (Jones and Gretzky) got engaged one year on, in 1988 and six months later, on July 16, 1988, they were a married couple. The wedding was exquisite and was also the talk of town. Gretzky was said to have spent over $1 million on the ceremony that was dubbed “The Royal Wedding” by the Canadian press.
Their five children are Paulina, Ty, Trevor, Tristan, and Emma Gretzky. His first daughter, Paulina Mary Jean Gretzky was born December 19, 1988, and she is an actress, model, and pop singer. She is engaged to Dustin Johnson, an American golfer and they have two kids – Tatum Gretzky and River Jones Johnson. Ty Robert Gretzky was born July 9, 1990, and he attended Arizona State University. He previously played hockey with the Midget AA hockey team at Shattuck-Saint Mary’s before he quit. Trevor Douglas Gretzky is an actor and a baseball player born September 4, 1992. He 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.
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