115 Facts About Wayne Gretzky


Wayne Douglas Gretzky is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach.

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Wayne Gretzky played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for four teams from 1979 to 1999.

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Wayne Gretzky is the leading goal scorer, assist producer and point scorer in NHL history, and has more assists in his career than any other player scored total points.

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Wayne Gretzky 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.

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Wayne Gretzky became known for setting up behind his opponent's net, an area that was nicknamed "Wayne Gretzky's office".

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Wayne Gretzky was the top scorer in the 1978 World Junior Championships.

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Wayne Gretzky played briefly for the St Louis Blues before finishing his career with the New York Rangers.

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Wayne Gretzky led the league in goal-scoring five times and assists 16 times.

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Wayne Gretzky won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and performance five times, and often spoke out against fighting in hockey.

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Wayne Gretzky was one of six players voted to the International Ice Hockey Federation's Centennial All-Star Team.

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Wayne Gretzky became executive director for the Canadian national men's hockey team during the 2002 Winter Olympics, in which the team won a gold medal.

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In September 2009, following the Phoenix Coyotes' bankruptcy, Wayne Gretzky resigned as head coach and relinquished his ownership share.

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Wayne Gretzky left in 2021 to become an analyst on Turner Sports' NHL coverage.

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Wayne Douglas Gretzky was born on January 26, 1961, in Brantford, Ontario, the son of Phyllis Leone and Walter Gretzky.

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The family moved into a house on Varadi Avenue in Brantford seven months after Wayne Gretzky was born, chosen partly because its yard was flat enough to make an ice rink in winter.

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The farm was where Wayne Gretzky skated on ice for the first time, aged two years, 10 months.

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Wayne Gretzky was a classic prodigy whose extraordinary skills made him the target of jealous parents.

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Team Wayne Gretzky played on at age six was otherwise composed of 10-year-olds.

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Wayne Gretzky's play attracted media attention beyond his hometown of Brantford, including a profile by John Iaboni in the Toronto Telegram in October 1971.

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Wayne Gretzky's play attracted considerable negative attention from other players' parents, including those of his teammates, and he was often booed.

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When Wayne Gretzky was 14, his family arranged for him to move to and play hockey in Toronto, partly to further his career, and partly to remove him from the uncomfortable pressure he faced in his hometown.

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The Gretzkys won, and Wayne played Junior B hockey with the Toronto Nationals, in a league that included 20-year-olds.

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Wayne Gretzky scored his first professional goal against Dave Dryden of the Edmonton Oilers in his fifth game, and his second goal four seconds later.

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One of the highlights of Wayne Gretzky's season was his appearance in the 1979 WHA All-Star Game.

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Wayne Gretzky captured the Lou Kaplan Trophy as rookie of the year, and helped the Oilers to first place in the league.

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That year, Wayne Gretzky became the first hockey player and first Canadian to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.

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Wayne Gretzky was named 1982 "Sportsman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated.

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Wayne Gretzky was named an officer of the Order of Canada on June 25, 1984, for outstanding contribution to the sport of hockey.

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Wayne Gretzky was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 2009 "for his continued contributions to the world of hockey, notably as one of the best players of all time, as well as for his social engagement as a philanthropist, volunteer and role model for countless young people".

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Wayne Gretzky held a press conference one day after being awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy, criticizing the NHL for punishing teams and players who previously benefited.

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Wayne Gretzky had a major influence on the style of play of the Edmonton Oilers and in the NHL as a whole, helping to inspire a more team-based strategy.

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Wayne Gretzky knew he wasn't big enough, strong enough, or even fast enough to do what he wanted to do if others focused on him.

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Wayne Gretzky made his opponents compete with five players, not one, and he made his teammates full partners to the game.

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Wayne Gretzky made them skate to his level and pass and finish up to his level or they would be embarrassed.

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Two hours after the Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1988, Wayne Gretzky learned from his father that the Oilers were planning to deal him to another team.

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At first, Wayne Gretzky did not want to leave Edmonton, but he later received a call while on his honeymoon from Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall, who asked permission to meet and discuss the deal.

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Wayne Gretzky informed McNall that his prerequisites for a deal to take place were that Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski join him as teammates in Los Angeles.

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Wayne Gretzky made an immediate impact on the ice, scoring on his first shot on goal in the first regular season game.

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For only the second time in his NHL career, Wayne Gretzky finished second in scoring, but narrowly edged the Pittsburgh Penguins' Mario Lemieux for the Hart Trophy as MVP.

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Wayne Gretzky was nervous Edmonton would greet him with boos, but they were eagerly waiting for him.

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On February 27, 1996, Wayne Gretzky joined the St Louis Blues in a trade for Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, Craig Johnson and two draft picks.

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Wayne Gretzky partially orchestrated the trade after reports surfaced that he was unhappy in Los Angeles.

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Wayne Gretzky was forced to endure public criticism from his head coach for the first time in his career.

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Long prior to either him or Wayne Gretzky joining the Blues, Mike Keenan had refused to moderate his coaching style even while coaching Wayne Gretzky while with Team Canada during international tournaments.

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Wayne Gretzky ended his professional playing career with the New York Rangers, where he played his final three seasons and helped the team reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 1997.

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Wayne Gretzky said he would have voted Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe as the best of all time.

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Wayne Gretzky reached one milestone in this last season, breaking the professional total goal-scoring record of 1, 071, which had been held by Gordie Howe.

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Wayne Gretzky ended his career with a final point, assisting on the lone New York goal scored by Brian Leetch.

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At the time of his retirement, Wayne Gretzky was the second-to-last WHA player still active in professional hockey.

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Wayne Gretzky told journalist Scott Morrison that the final game of his career was his greatest day.

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Wayne Gretzky made his first international appearance as a member of the Canadian national junior team at the 1978 World Junior Championships in Montreal, Quebec.

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Wayne Gretzky went on to lead the tournament in scoring with 17 points to earn All-Star Team and Best Forward honours.

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Wayne Gretzky debuted with the Team Canada's men's team at the 1981 Canada Cup.

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Seven months later, Wayne Gretzky joined Team Canada for the 1982 World Championships in Finland.

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Wayne Gretzky notched 14 points in 10 games, including a two-goal, two-assist effort in Canada's final game against Sweden to earn the bronze.

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Wayne Gretzky did not win his first international competition until the 1984 Canada Cup, when Canada defeated Sweden in a best-of-three finals.

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Wayne Gretzky led the tournament in scoring for the second consecutive time and was named to the All-Star Team.

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Wayne Gretzky has called the tournament the best hockey he had played in his life.

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Wayne Gretzky led the tournament for the fourth and final time with 12 points in seven games.

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Wayne Gretzky did not, however, compete in the final against the United States due to a back injury.

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However, Wayne Gretzky was passed over for the captaincy, along with several other Canadian veterans including Steve Yzerman and Ray Bourque in favour of the younger Eric Lindros.

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Wayne Gretzky retired from international play holding the records for most goals, most assists (28), and most overall points (48) in best-on-best hockey.

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Wayne Gretzky's reading of the game and his ability to improvise on the fly were unrivaled, and he could consistently anticipate where the puck was going to be and execute the right move at the right time.

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Wayne Gretzky was considered one of the most creative players in hockey.

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Wayne Gretzky's playing time soared, as he was being sent on not just for power plays but double shifts and even penalty kills.

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Statistics support the contention: whereas Phil Esposito, who had set the previous goal-scoring record, needed 550 shots to score 76 goals, Wayne Gretzky netted his 76th after only 287 shots—about half as many.

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Wayne Gretzky scored his all-time record of 92 goals with just 369 shots.

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Wayne Gretzky said that many of his advantages were a result of his father's brilliant coaching.

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Wayne Gretzky used to stand on the blue line and say to me, "Watch, this is how everybody else does it.

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Wayne Gretzky learned much about hockey from his father on a backyard rink at his home.

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Wayne Gretzky cultivated a love of hockey in his sons and provided them with a backyard rink and drills to enhance their skills.

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Wayne Gretzky played for 10 years with the Oilers, with Sather as coach.

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Where Wayne Gretzky differed from others in his development was in the extraordinary commitment of time on the ice.

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Much has been written about Wayne Gretzky's highly developed hockey instincts, but he once explained that what appeared to be instinct was, in large part, the effect of his relentless study and practice of the game, in co-operation with his coaches.

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When he entered the league in 1979, critics opined that Wayne Gretzky was "too small, too wiry, and too slow to be a force in the [NHL].

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Wayne Gretzky weighed "about 170 pounds" for the better part of his career.

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Wayne Gretzky consistently scored last in strength tests among the Edmonton Oilers, bench pressing only 140 pounds.

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Wayne Gretzky'story repeated itself in June 2011, when Gretzky's 17-year-old son, Trevor, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs.

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Wayne Gretzky excelled at box lacrosse, which he played during the summer.

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Wayne Gretzky received a good deal of cover from burly Oiler enforcers Dave Semenko and Marty McSorley.

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Wayne Gretzky was named honorary chairman of the Open Ice Summit, held in August 1999 to discuss ways to improve Canadian ice hockey.

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Wayne Gretzky stressed the need to play and practice hockey for the love of the game, and felt that skill was more important to develop than talent and that Canada had the potential to be world leaders in skill development.

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Wayne Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 22, 1999, becoming the tenth player to bypass the three-year waiting period.

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Also in 2002, Wayne Gretzky received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.

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Wayne Gretzky was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017.

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The Coyotes were in the process of being sold and Ellman convinced Wayne Gretzky to come on board, averting a potential move to Portland, Oregon.

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Wayne Gretzky convinced his long-time agent Michael Barnett to join the team as its General Manager.

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In 2005, rumours began circulating that Wayne Gretzky was about to name himself head coach of the Coyotes, but were denied by Wayne Gretzky and the team.

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Wayne Gretzky did not attend the Coyotes' training camp, leaving associate head coach Ulf Samuelsson in charge, due to an uncertain contractual status with the club, whose bankruptcy hearings were continuing.

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Wayne Gretzky was executive director of the Canadian men's hockey team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Wayne Gretzky addressed those comments by saying he spoke out to protect the Canadian players, and the tirade was not "staged".

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Wayne Gretzky again acted as executive director of Canada's men's hockey team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, though not with the success of 2002; the team was eliminated in the quarterfinals and failed to win a medal.

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Wayne Gretzky was asked to manage Canada's team at the 2005 Ice Hockey World Championships, but declined due to his mother's poor health.

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Wayne Gretzky served as an ambassador to Vancouver's successful bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and was named Special Advisor to Canada's men's hockey team at the Games.

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Thirteen years later, on December 31, 2016, Wayne Gretzky participated in the Winter Classic Alumni Game, which was held between teams of former Chicago Blackhawks and St Louis Blues players two days before the 2017 Winter Classic.

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In October 2016, Wayne Gretzky returned to the Oilers as a partner and vice-chairman of the team's parent company, Oilers Entertainment Group, to work closely with owner Daryl Katz and Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson on the business side of the Oilers' operation.

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On May 25, 2021, Wayne Gretzky announced that he would step down from his role with the Oilers, stating that "The Oilers, their fans, and the city of Edmonton have meant the world to me and my family for over four decades—and that will never end.

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Wayne Gretzky serves as a studio analyst for NHL broadcasts on TNT and TBS.

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Wayne Gretzky has made several TV appearances, including as a Dance Fever celebrity judge, and acted in a dramatic role alongside Victor Newman in The Young and the Restless in 1981.

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Wayne Gretzky was a guest host of the American late night variety show Saturday Night Live in 1989.

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In December 2016, Wayne Gretzky appeared briefly in a cameo on a Christmas episode of The Simpsons as a winter character.

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Wayne Gretzky is a dual citizen of both Canada and the United States, having become a naturalized citizen of the latter.

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Wayne Gretzky proposed in January 1988, and they were married on July 16, 1988, in a lavish ceremony the Canadian press dubbed "The Royal Wedding".

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Wayne Gretzky owned or partnered in the ownership of two sports teams before becoming a partner in the Phoenix Coyotes.

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In 1985, Wayne Gretzky bought the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for C$175, 000.

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Wayne Gretzky was a board member and executive officer of the Hespeler Hockey Company.

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Wayne Gretzky has endorsed and launched a wide variety of products, from pillow cases to insurance.

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Wayne Gretzky is a partner in First Team Sports, a maker of sports equipment and Worldwide Roller Hockey, Inc, an operator of roller hockey rinks.

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Wayne Gretzky made an appearance on the music video for Nickelback's "Rockstar".

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Wayne Gretzky has written several books, including Wayne Gretzky: An Autobiography, with Rick Reilly, and 99: My Life in Pictures (1999), with John Davidson and Dan Diamond.

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In 2003, while not criticizing Canada for declining to participate in the invasion of Iraq, Gretzky praised President of the United States George W Bush and his handling of the conflict, saying: "the President of the United States is a great leader, I happen to think he's a wonderful man and if he believes what he's doing is right, I back him 100 per cent.

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In 2014, Wayne Gretzky praised Harper at a United for Ukraine Gala event in Toronto calling him "one of the greatest prime ministers ever".

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Wayne Gretzky won a record nine Hart Trophies as the most valuable player in the NHL.

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Wayne Gretzky was named the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1985 and 1988, receiving the Conn Smythe Trophy.

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The Wayne Gretzky Trophy is awarded annually to the playoff champion of the OHL's Western Conference.

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