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Joey And Wayne

from Marty Klinkenberg of the Globe and Mail,

Born with Down syndrome, Joey Moss has been the heart of the Oilers, working as their lockerroom attendant for more than 30 years. Now 53, he has outlasted every player and coach, and has one of the most enduring and remarkable relationships with a team and city in all of sports.

There may be nobody enjoying the Oilers’ return to the playoff spotlight more.

Wayne Gretzky started this hockey love story back in 1980, when he met Joey’s sister, Vikki, and they began dating. Through her, he was introduced to Joey.

When they broke up, the Oilers’ superstar remained friends with the Moss family, and particularly, Joey.

Growing up in Ontario in the 1960s, Gretzky had an aunt with Down syndrome. At the time, children with the chromosome disorder were often placed in institutions. Gretzky’s grandmother would not hear of this, and brought his father’s sister to live with them.

“The thing about people with Down syndrome is that they have unconditional love,” says Gretzky, now a partner and chairman of the Oilers Entertainment Group, the NHL team’s parent company. “My aunt was the same way, and we treated her like everyone else. We never looked at her differently.

“That is how it is with Joey.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joey+moss, wayne+gretzky

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com