On Sunday April the 18th, 1999, the greatest player ever known to the NHL played his last game. Wayne Gretzky brought many leadership qualities to his team, and to the game of hockey throughout his career. Using his democratic leadership styles, Gretzky was dedicated to his hockey career and has set many examples to the NHL and to many of his admirers. His good traits as a person and a leader earned him the position to be a role model for many people in North America. Gretzky was not only a great leader in hockey; he was a great leader in life and a great person to look upon as a role model for society.
A few years after Gretzky was born on January 26, 1961 in Brantford, Ontario, the young Wayne had learned to skate1. His father flooded their backyard to make an ice rink that young Gretzky skated upon and learned the game of hockey. When he was 17, he was playing for the Indianapolis Racers in the WHA (World Hockey Association) and was soon traded to the Edmonton Oilers. That season was the last in the WHA for Edmonton, as their team and 3 others merged into the NHL2. During this time, Gretzky led all the young and upcoming stars of the league and soon earned his first of four Stanley Cups with the Oilers in 1984. After 10 years in Edmonton, and leading the team to many Stanley cup finals, Gretzky was traded off to the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings were a very weak team before Gretzky. He led the team to a Stanley cup final in 1993 against Montreal. Although he put so much effort and leadership into the team, the Kings lost the series with Montreal2. He was later traded to the St. Louis blues for a short stay, and then to the New York Rangers where he ended his NHL career in 1999. When Gretzky ended his career, he held or shared 61 NHL records (40 for regular season, 15 for Stanley Cup playoffs and 6 for All-Star Game) 3. He has also been the only player to have his number retired from all NHL clubs, and will never be worn by an NHL player again.