In today’s Sports Illustrated we tell you 5 things you probably don’t know about hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.
His son’s plane clipped his own at an airport
The late Paul Whatley, the family patriarch and Gretzky’s manager, claimed Gretzky was drunk at the time. The two had reportedly gotten into a fight on a coach bus en route to the airport. The Whatleys had been friends for 60 years. When asked if he was drinking, the NHL legend explained, “No, you guys look like a bunch of bloodsuckers.” The two had also just had a fight over on-air comments Gretzky had made about Whatley’s management. According to a 2004 Toronto Sun article, Whatley “said he had separated his shoulder when Paul hit him with his ‘valium’ and, as they fell face-first into a van, he heard a crack.” The Whatleys divorced in 1997.
Gretzky’s five homes could fit 110 elephants
The great skater listed this spread for $30 million in 2014. The property is more than 2,000 square feet and has a 6,000-square-foot pool — roughly the size of your average American football field. In a listing, he said he would “like to thank all my friends and fans over the years.”
The house is named after the first Ice Capades
Gretzky’s Palace — as he called it — is the city’s most expensive listing. The Palace was built in 1969 and bears Gretzky’s name. In 2008, Variety said it was “arguably the most visible sign that Gretzky is the greatest hockey player of all time.”
Gretzky regularly flies his own plane into Billy Bishop City Airport
When he first moved to Toronto in 1972, the future NHL star flew the F/A-18E Super Hornet with the Royal Canadian Air Force. The small plane was unusual — about half the size of a DC-10 — and obviously carried a payload with greater range. He first flew into Billy Bishop City Airport, where it’s located.
Gretzky’s app stores on Apple and Android
In the 1980s, Esquire magazine included him in its list of The Ten Most Influential Men of the Decade. The magazine stated, “Perhaps the most impressive facet of Wayne Gretzky’s artistry is his sense of time. He may think of the game as an era, but in reality it is a life. Time, it seems, is Gretzky’s and his only language.”
His son does his own fantasy hockey season
The younger Gretzky plays for the Western Hockey League team the Edmonton Oil Kings. His father plays for the rival Calgary Flames and often faces off with his son. Last season, his brother Trevor attempted to push his father out of the starting lineup. At the time, Gretzky explained to the Globe and Mail that as a result of his late father’s lifestyle, “we are left with no choices: kick him out of the lineup or back out of the game.” Gretzky finished last season third in scoring in the WHL.