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50 Great Ones
TSN.ca's TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT ONE

There are many great individuals in sports - in and away from the game. But how many among them can truly be dubbed an icon? That's a distinction that could certainly apply to Wayne Gretzky. As part of TSN's celebration of Gretzky's 50th birthday, TSN.ca unveils 50 Great Ones - the Top 50 iconic moments, images and achievements from his unparalleled career.

50 IN JUST 39

Gretzky scores his 50th goal in 39 games - shattering the 50 in 50 records of Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy on Dec. 30, 1981.

IN MY PLACE

The space behind the net will always be known as 'Gretzky's Office.'

TOP OF THE CHARTS

Records the two single-highest goal totals in a season - 92 (1981-82) and 87 (1983-84).

JUST ADD ANOTHER 9

Brian Gualazzi has 9 - the number Gretzky wanted in Sault Ste. Marie in honour of idol Gordie Howe. Coach Muzz MacPherson suggests he wear two 9's and the No. 99 is associated with The Great One forever.

The Look

The sweater tucked into the right side of his pants is Gretzky's on-ice fashion statement.

IN HIS OWN WRITE

John Iaboni knows he's watching a phenom with the first major newspaper article on Gretzky he writes in the Toronto Telegram on Oct. 28, 1971.

A WINNER

Four Stanley Cups and Three Canada Cups.

A RECORD IN ITSELF

Retires with 61 NHL records. Only one - most career assists in the All-Star Game - has since been broken.

THE ULTIMATE HELPER

Total assists (1,963) are enough for the all-time points lead (2nd. Mark Messier - 1,887) before even counting his 894 goals.

His favourite goal

A short-handed OT goal to beat the Flames in the playoffs on Apr. 21, 1988.

NUMBER OF DISTINCTION

Only player to have his number retired league wide (Jackie Robinson is the only other NA pro athlete to share that honour).

ALL THE HARDWARE

Gretzky is the winner of 31 major NHL trophies and awards, Bobby Orr's a distant second with 17.

LEADING WITH AUTHORITY

No player other than Gretzky has scored 200 points in a single season. He did it four times en route to winning 10 Art Ross Trophies.

THE GREATEST SCORER

Becomes the NHL's all-time leading goal-scorer on Mar. 23, 1994 with his 802nd career goal against Vancouver.

99 IS NO. 1

Gretzky is named the "Greatest Player of All-Time" by The Hockey News in 1998.

MAKE ROOM FOR WAYNE

Gretzky scores goal No. 77 against Buffalo to break Phil Esposito's single season record.

THE STREAK

The Great One notches a 51-game scoring streak in 1983-84 over which he scores 61 goals and 92 assists for 153 points.

TELL-TALE TOURNAMENT

Gretzky's 17-point performance at the 1978 World Junior Championship convinces him he can be a pro hockey player.

FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY

Mr. Canada - Gretzky represents Canada eight times in international play, leading his team in scoring seven times.

MASTER BUILDER

As Executive Director, Gretzky leads Team Canada its first Olympic gold medal in 50 years at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

GREATEST OF THE GREATS

Gretzky stands as the greatest of the greats with 9 Hart Trophies. Next best: MLB - Barry Bonds' 7 MVP, NBA - Kareem Abdul Jabbar's 6 MVP, NFL - Peyton Manning's 4 MVPs, CFL - Doug Flutie's 6 MOPs.

HERE COMES THE SUN

Gretzky's arrival in Los Angeles heralds the dawn of a new era in sunbelt hockey.

THE GOAL

Gretzky feeds Jari Kurri with a backhanded pass at the red line, sending him all alone to beat Murray Bannerman. A shorthanded goal that was the epitome of Gretzky's talent and vision.

FROZEN MOMENT

Gretzky passes to Lemieux for the winning goal against the Soviet Union at the 1987 Canada Cup in Hamilton.

99 Tears

A tearful and memorable goodbye when Gretzky is traded from the Oilers to the Kings ("I promised Mess I wouldn't do this...")

PERFORMANCE FOR THE AGES

Game 2 - 1987 Canada Cup Final: Mike Keenan puts Gretzky and Lemieux on the same line and The Great One tallies five assists and helps Super Mario notch a hat trick in a 6-5 2OT win. Gretzky calls it the best game of his career.

WORTHY CHOICE

Lit the Olympic Flame in Vancouver to start the Olympics.

"One More Year!"

Gretzky's last game in Canada is in Ottawa on Apr. 15, 1999. The crowd's chant is deafening.

IT'S BEEN GREAT

His last game as a player in New York on Apr. 18, 1999 is a wonderful sendoff with his memorable wave and smile to the crowd.

ALL BUT THREE

Gretzky earns points in 77 of 80 games in 1985-86, being held scoreless just three times.

WINNING HIS WAY

Gretzky notches a hat trick in a Game 7 win over Toronto – sending L.A. to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final.

INFLUENTIAL

Apple's Steve Jobs uses one of Gretzky's quotes during speaking engagements: Near the end of his iPhone launch, Jobs said, "There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. 'I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.' We've always tried to do that at Apple since the very beginning and we always will."

CONN ARTIST

1985 Cup Final, Game 3: Gretzky scores twice within the first 90 seconds of the game and completes a hat trick in the first period en route to a 4-3 win over Philly. A Conn Smythe Trophy-clinching performance.

PARTING SHOT

Begins the tradition of having an impromptu team picture taken after winning the Stanley Cup in 1988. No other major sport in North America does it.

STAR POWER

Cross-over appeal: Gretzky reaches a broader audience with acting appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Young And The Restless.

UNSELFISH STATS

Gretzky would have won three scoring titles (and tied for a fourth) based on assists alone.

POCKLINGTON'S OTHER DEAL

Oilers owner Peter Pocklington gives Gretzky a new 21-year contract on his 18th birthday at an impressive $1 million per season - signed at centre ice of Northlands Coliseum.

GRETZKY GREETS YOU

Immortalized with statues outside Rexall Place in Edmonton and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

THE BIG TICKET

In the season prior to Gretzky's arrival in Los Angeles (1987-88), the Kings sold out five home games. In 1988-89 - his first season - they sell out 24.

I DO

No one else's wedding came close in terms of coverage in Canada - Gretzky's 'Royal Wedding' with actress Janet Jones.

ORDER OF GREATNESS

Gretzky is named to the Order of Canada in 1984 - just five years into his NHL career.

BREAKING IT IN STYLE

Becomes the NHL's all-time leading scorer (1,851 points) on Oct. 15, 1989 with an overtime goal against Edmonton.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Gretzky scores on his first shot on goal as a member of the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 6, 1988.

PERSONAL BEST

Gretzky scores eight points in 13-4 victory over New Jersey Devils on Nov. 19, 1983 - then called the Devils a Mickey Mouse Operation.

THE LOOK SAYS IT ALL

Canada's greatest international scorer's only Olympic appearance ends in disappointment when Canada loses in a shootout to Czech Republic and he's left to watch from the bench.

FIRST PRO SEASON

Scores 46 goals and 110 points in the WHA before joining the NHL.

OLD TIME HOCKEY

Gretzky has just three career fights - Dec. 22, 1982 vs. Neal Broten, March 14, 1980 vs. Doug Lecuyer and March 7, 1984 vs. Bob Murray.

CHILDHOOD PRODIGY

Gretzky scores 196 goals as 10-year-old and 378 as an 11-year-old.

CLAIM TO FAME

In a very rare incident, Gretzky gave Toronto Maple Leaf Bill McCreary his 15 seconds with this hit at the blueline.

A GREAT GAME

Wayne Gretzky Hockey - As a table top game or video game, every kid loved playing it.

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