In this sports memoir, Wayne Gretzky weaves memories of his legendary career with an inside look at professional hockey and the heroes and stories that inspired him.
From minor-hockey phenomenon to Hall of Fame sensation, Wayne Gretzky rewrote the record books, his accomplishments becoming the stuff of legend. Dubbed “The Great One,” he is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player who ever lived. No one has seen more of the game than he has—but he has never discussed in depth just what it was he saw.
For the first time, Gretzky discusses candidly what the game looks like to him and introduces us to the people who inspired and motivated him: mentors, teammates, rivals, the famous and the lesser known. Weaving together lives and moments from an extraordinary career, he reflects on the players who inflamed his imagination when he was a kid, the way he himself figured in the dreams of so many who came after; takes us onto the ice and into the dressing rooms to meet the friends who stood by him and the rivals who spurred him to greater heights; shows us some of the famous moments in hockey history through the eyes of someone who regularly made that history.
Warm, direct, and revelatory, it is a book that gives us number 99, the man and the player, like never before.
For the National Hockey League's 99th season, Gretzky (number 99), its greatest player ever, offers a look at back at some of hockey's pivotal moments and its greatest pioneers and for hockey fans, the book is great fun. Gretzky's well-known love for the game and respect for its history are evident in his narration. The book breezes through short histories of NHL teams, from the formation of the original six teams to expansion and the World Hockey Association, as well as memorable events such as the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the U.S.S.R., the Miracle on Ice, and the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup tournaments. And of course the book is filled with a robust cast of great players, from the NHL's original superstar, Howie Morenz, to Gordie Howe, Gretzky's teammates and contemporaries, and the influx of great Russian and European players. There is even a short chapter on the experiences of hockey's first black players, Willie O'Ree and Herb Carnegie. It's fun to have "the Great One" narrate some of hockey's key moments, but the book feels hastily assembled, and for hardcore NHL fans, much of the history will be familiar. The book also lacks any real insights or revelations from Gretzky's own playing days. He remains one of hockey's great ambassadors, but as a hockey historian, he just misses the net.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I haven't bought the book but reading the first 55 pages are really interesting. I learned a lot just from those 55 pages that I have never knew before.
Would kill to listen to this at work. Thanks.