Why Did Wayne Gretzky Choose 99? All You Need To Know

Wayne Gretzky chose the jersey number 99 during the 1977-78 season and then never looked back. Find out what made him pick this iconic number!

Published on Jun 16, 2024  |  04:01 PM IST |  44.8K
Wayne Gretzky's Instagram
Wayne Gretzky's Instagram

The legendary hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, is synonymous with the number 99. Officially changing his number in the 1977-78 season, he had the honor of having it retired after his retirement.

But many fans must be wondering the reason behind Gretzky choosing 99. Here’s everything you need to know about the story behind this iconic number.

Also Read: What Is The Wayne Gretzky Rule In the NHL? All You Need to Know

Why did Wayne Gretzky choose the number 99?

While Gretzky was young, he was fascinated by another amazing player and four-time Stanley Cup winner, Gordie Howe. The late hockey player used to wear jersey number 9. This was the sole reason Gretzky wanted to emulate the player and wear the same number.

Not only that, the four-time NHL Championship winner even wore number 9 during his youth hockey days. However, when Gretzky entered the league, another hockey player, Brian Gualazzi had already taken the same number, much to the former's dismay.

Gretzky received a different number, which he later wanted to change. However, he was not sure of which one to opt for. His team coach, Muzz MacPherson then suggested he go for two nines instead.

Gretzky followed the advice only to embrace the new number. It quickly became a symbol of his unique identity and unparalleled talent.

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Moreover, the 63-year-old player never looked back after that and played his entire life with the same jersey number. While other teams were ready to give the initial desired number to him, Gretzky was content with the 99.

Also Read: Did Wayne Gretzky Get PLASTIC SURGERY To Look Better On Camera? Exploring Viral Rumors

Wayne Gretzky’s 99 number proves to be lucky for him

Gretzky’s career slowly progressed as he moved ahead with his game. This unique last number stayed with him during his tenure at the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, as well as the New York Rangers.

During his time in the NHL, The Great One shattered numerous records, many of which still stand today. He holds the records for the most goals, assists, and points in a career, as well as the most points in a single season.

All of these were achieved by wearing the same jersey number. Additionally, the number retired league-wide in the 2000s. This means, no other players can ever wear this number in the NHL league. 

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Also Read: How many Stanley Cups Did Wayne Gretzky Win and How Many Were With the Edmonton Oilers?

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About The Author

Alisha Kotadia is a skilled sports journalist at the Pinkvilla. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass

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