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spade632
Rookie



Canada
247 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2011 :  10:22:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As some of you may know Gretzky turns 50 tomorrow.

In honour of reaching the big 5-0, TSN has posted what it sees as the Top 50 Gretzky moments. Your thoughts?

See the list here > http://tsn.ca/50greatones/

On a related note, this really boggles my mind.

"At the age of six, Gretzky would watch games with a pencil and paper with a hockey rink drawn on it. As the puck moved around the ice, he would trace a line around the page. When his father asked him what he was doing, Wayne responded matter-of-factly, "Dad, see where all the lines cross, that's where the puck is most of the time." (http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=350968)

Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5812 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2011 :  10:48:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reading through the list had me shaking my head. Some of his achievements are just unbelievable!
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spade632
Rookie



Canada
247 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2011 :  11:02:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alex116

Reading through the list had me shaking my head. Some of his achievements are just unbelievable!



For sure Alex - I figured if I started into all the unbelievable stuff that I'd just end up re-posting the whole list (and then some) here. Faster to just link it :D
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Guest4178
( )

Posted - 01/25/2011 :  12:38:15  Reply with Quote
Thanks for passing this along. I've read many stories about Gretzky, but I never heard the story about him tracing the path of the puck around a diagram of a hockey rink. I do remember the story about how his dad would fire pucks into the corner of their backyard rink, and get Wayne to look ahead to where the puck ended up, instead of where it was shot.

Back to the link (not rink), there was a funny comment from a guest about how it took Gretzky only 39 years to reach 50!

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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4608 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2011 :  06:45:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Never heard about that pencil tracing the path of the puck . . . that is quite an incredible story, especially considering his age, even if it an exagerration.

He didn't have the best or most accurate shot; he wasn't the fastest or most agile skater; and he was no tough guy and rarely if ever went into the corners.

But he was an absolute genius when it came to seeing the ice, knowing where the puck was going to be, and knowing where everyone was at every second. The kind of hockey 'sight' that we may never see again, especially comparing him to his peers at the time.

50. Ugh. I feel old now.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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spade632
Rookie



Canada
247 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2011 :  13:11:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
His on-ice vision was certainly unparalelled.

In that vein I remember hearing about a game once where all of the sudden Gretzky started yelling at the Ref for what appeared to be no good reason.

As it turned out, the other team had too many menon the ice and Gretzky was the ONLY person in the entire arena (refs, players, coaches, fans) who noticed it.

As most people will know / have heard - people complained about how hard Gretzky was to hit which was part and parcel of his vision - By the time they got to where Gretzky "was" he was already somewhere else, thus avoiding the hit - in the same vein as going to where the puck WILL be as opposed to where it is. (And yes, the whole Semenko etc.. "protection" and the unwritten "don't touch 99" rule" no doubt helped too.)

Edited by - spade632 on 01/26/2011 13:15:34
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8191 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2011 :  14:12:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the thing we can appreciate about Gretzky more today than we could when he was playing was the impact he has on the way the game is played today. Skating from one side of the ice behind the net to the other and back. Using the net a shield from defenders. The open ice vision and passing. The circle back in the neutral zone. He wasn't the first to that, but he was the best and made things common practice.

I had the pleasure of watch much of Gretzky career. Some of which I did not appreciate as much as the time, but I don't believe I will ever see a player who was as amazing as Gretzky.
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mcrosier
Top Prospect



Canada
11 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2011 :  08:00:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hard to believe he is 50. It seems like yesterday he was at the World Juniors. What a pleasure it was to have seen several games live and to watch hundreds more on TV. To think we saw that brains can defeat brawn and to see the best ever who was humble and put an all out effort every night. He was the 1st on the ice at practice and the last off the ice. Add to that his never ending charity work and you have someone who is very special beyond just the world of sports. Thanks Wayne!
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Oilearl
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
266 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2011 :  08:24:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All his records etc. aside he was a great representitive for Canadians on the world stage! Made me proud to be a Canadian watching his humble and respectful grace when interviewed. I saw an interview where he said he kinda mailed it in the last 8-9 games the year he scored 92 and now he wishes he would have tried to reach 100 goals that year... it's one of his regrets looking back. Happy 50th Wayner!!
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Guest4178
( )

Posted - 01/27/2011 :  09:03:15  Reply with Quote
Gretzky definitely had a shot at 100 goals the 1981-82 season. At the halfway point, he was certainly on pace to score 100 or more goals. I caught an interview last night where it was noted that when Gretzky did 50 in 39, there were more than a few people who believed he would break his own record, that maybe he could do 50 in 35 games or less. It made logical sense at the time. He was only 21 years old after all.

Interestingly, the year of Gretzky's greatest individual achievement, was a year of disappointment from a team standpoint. 1981-82 was when the "Miracle on Manchester" took place, whereby the Kings came back from a 5-0 deficit after two periods to beat the Oilers 6-5 in game 3 of their best-of-five series. The Oilers were huge favourites, with 48 wins and only 17 losses that season, playing against the Kings, who had a record of 24 wins, 41 losses and 15 ties. It was a big upset, but a good learning lesson for the young Oilers.
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