Wayne Gretzky (1961 - ) Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Nickname: The Great One
In 1979, Wayne Gretzky entered the National Hockey League as an Edmonton Oiler. In that season, he tied with another player to be the Most Valuable Player in the league and went on to be most valuable player for eight more seasons in a row.
Although the Oilers saw him as the biggest asset to their time, two hours after the Oilers won the Stanley cup in 1988, Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. “The Trade” upset many Canadians and he still received standing ovations when he returned to Edmonton.
Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 22, 1999, becoming the tenth player to bypass the three-year waiting period. Gretzky's size and strength were unimpressive but he is widely considered the smartest player in the history of the game. He was also considered one of the most creative players in hockey with spontaneous decisions which helped to make him such a phenomenal player.