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The Sweetest Moment! Essay

1113 words - 4 pages

Taught by his father, Walter, Wayne Gretzky was a prodigy. At 6 years old he was skating with 10 year-olds and he scored 378 goals in 85 games. This was when the first story on him was ever published in the Toronto papers. At 14, Wayne played against 20 year-olds where he not only left his hometown to further his career but also escape the jealousy his on-ice achievements often created. His parents made two complete strangers who they had never met to be his legal guardians. He soon signed with his first agent.Wayne played one year in the Ontario Hockey League at the age of 16 with the Greyhounds, where he began wearing 99 on his jersey since his idol Gordie Howe's number 9 was being worn by a teammate. The next year, he signed with the World Hockey Association and Eight games into the season, his contract was bought by the owner of the Edmonton Oilers. After the 1978-79 seasons, four WHA teams, including the Oilers, joined the National Hockey League. In his first NHL season, 1979-80, Gretzky was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the League's Most Valuable Player, which would be the first of eight in a row, and tied for the scoring lead with 137 points. Gretzky was not eligible for the trophy given to the top NHL rookie, because of his previous year of professional experience.In his second season, Gretzky won the Art Ross with a single-season record 164 points, and won his second straight Hart Trophy. The Oilers were a young, talented team with forwards like Mark Messier and Jari Kurri, defenseman Paul Coffey, and Gretzky as its captain. In 1983, they made it to the Stanley Cup finals just to be swept by the three-time defending champions New York Islanders. The next season, the Oilers met the Islanders in the Finals again, this time winning the first of four Stanley Cups over the next five years. In 1981, Gretzky became the fastest player to 50 goals in a season. Breaking the record of 50 goals in 50 games, Gretzky took 39 games to reach the same mark when he scored on an empty net in the remaining seconds of the game against Philadelphia. Gretzky scored 5 of Edmonton's goals that night.On February 24, 1982, Gretzky broke yet another record for most goals in a season of 76, when he scored four goals to help beat Buffalo 6-3. It was not an entirely unexpected event because the previous record holder was on hand to present Gretzky with the record-breaking game puck.During the rest of the 1981-1982 seasons, Gretzky would go on to break yet another scoring record, scoring an amazing 92 goals in the season as well as amazing 212 points, another record that was seen as impossible to break. In 1982, Gretzky became the first hockey player and Canadian to be named Male Athlete of the Year. He also was named Sports Illustrated Magazine's "Sportsman of the Year." He was also named male athlete of the decade in 1990. In a trade that changed the dynamics of the NHL, Gretzky was traded with two other players by the Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings for a...

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