Today in Sports History: April 18

In 1999, Wayne Gretzky hung up his hockey jersey. He played in his final NHL game for the NHL. The New York Rangers recorded a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gretzky’s final point scored was a second-period assist on a power-play goal. Nicknamed The Great One, Gretzky played 1,487 games, scored 894 goals and won 2,875 points. He holds 61 National Hockey League (NHL) records: 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. Gretzky joined the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 and led them to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals. In addition to his time in the NHL, Gretzky also played in the 1998 Nagano Olympics, the World Cup of Hockey in 1996, four Canada Cup tournaments and both the IIHF World Junior and World championships. After his retirement in 1999, the NHL retired his jersey no. 99 and inducted him into the Hockey Hall of Fame without the traditional waiting period. Almost ten years later, he became the managing partner for the Phoenix Coyotes and was honored as the torchbearer in the opening ceremony at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

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