Wayne Gretzky was one of the most popular players of all time.
Gretzky signed for the Edmonton Oilers in 1980 from the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he spent his first nine seasons in the NHL.
The Ice Capades striker was named the league’s most valuable player in 1988-89 and went on to win the Stanley Cup with his team seven times between 1984 and 1994.
He was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1996.
“I’ve always believed a great team wins the ultimate prize,” he once said.
Gretzky’s Stanley Cup-winning record beats the previous record of seven he shared with Gretzky’s idol, Red Kelly.
He is also the only player to win the Stanley Cup in five different decades and has scored more points than any other player, with nearly 2,000 in his career.
Gretzky made his debut for the Edmonton Oilers against the Washington Capitals on 7 November, 1980, and went on to win the Stanley Cup with them in 1984, 1985, 1988 and 1993.
In addition to his six Stanley Cup wins, he also won 11 NHL titles with the Detroit Red Wings, six with the Los Angeles Kings and five with the Oilers.
Gretzky’s record was broken by Edmonton teammate Wayne Gretzky with 10.
His son, Paul, also played for the Oilers. He won one Stanley Cup in 2006 and won another in 2008 with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Widely considered one of the greatest goal scorers of all time, he is also said to be the most skilled player of his generation.
Gretzky did not only take part in an eye-popping amount of goals but also in assists, with 1,962 in his career, second only to Gordie Howe (2,850).
Honours and Awards
Winnipeg Jets beat Detroit Red Wings in 2002
Gretzky won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings (four), one with the Edmonton Oilers (two) and one with the Los Angeles Kings (one).
He retired with a record 586 goals and 1,963 assists in 1,219 games played.
Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.
The Sportswriter’s Association of America named him the 2010 “Sportswoman of the Year” for making an impact on the women’s game while he was also inducted into the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.
Gretzky, along with Peter Forsberg, holds the record for the most career points in a season.
Achievements in Europe
Gretzky played three seasons in European competitions for Frolunda. He won the Champions League with Czech side Frolunda in 1986.
World Cup trophies: Five
Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 1961
Gretzky was the star of a compilation of short films made by ESPN in honour of his career. He was also inducted into the North American Sports Fame Hall of Fame in 2005 and awarded the Richard J. De Long Medal from the Canadian Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
How does he rank?
He is in eighth place for most wins (120) of any player in NHL history, behind Wayne Gretzky (1,892), Mario Lemieux (890), Maurice (Rocket) Richard (801), Patrick Kane (761), Marcel Dionne (682), Gordie Howe (601) and Bobby Hull (579).
The player who won the most major hockey awards is Wayne Gretzky (138), ahead of Wayne Gretzky (75), Dave Keon (53), Bobby Orr (53), Doug Gilmour (46), Brett Hull (43), Jean Beliveau (40), Bill Guerin (37), Steve Yzerman (34), Dale Hawerchuk (33), Jaromir Jagr (30), Brian Trottier (26), Mark Messier (23), Ken Dryden (20), Mario Lemieux (18), Cam Neely (16), Glenn Anderson (15), Herb Brooks (14), Dave Tippett (13), Marcel Dionne (13), Jean Beliveau (13), Mario Lemieux (13), Wendel Clark (11), Phil Esposito (11), Marc Bergevin (11), Steve Yzerman (10), Dominik Hasek (8), Jaromir Jagr (8), Steve Yzerman (8), Sidney Crosby (8) and Alexander Ovechkin (7).