; born January 26, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach.He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999.Nicknamed "The Great One", by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL itself.
He was adept at dodging checks from opposing players, and consistently anticipated where the puck was going to be and executed the right move at the right time.
Gretzky became known for setting up behind his opponent's net, an area that was nicknamed "Gretzky's office".
In 1978, Gretzky signed with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association (WHA), where he briefly played before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers.
When the WHA folded, the Oilers joined the NHL, where he established many scoring records and led his team to four Stanley Cup championships.
He scored more assists than any other player scored total points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times.
In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive.
At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records.
Despite his unimpressive stature, strength and speed, Gretzky's intelligence and reading of the game were unrivaled.
His trade to the Los Angeles Kings on August 9, 1988, had an immediate impact on the team's performance, eventually leading them to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, and he is credited with popularizing hockey in California. Louis Blues before finishing his career with the New York Rangers.