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Walter Gretzky Passes Away At Age 82

from the CP at Sportsnet,

Walter Gretzky, the ultimate Canadian hockey dad who taught and nurtured the Great One, has died. He was 82.

The father of Wayne Gretzky became a name himself, a constant in Wayne's world. As Wayne's star ascended, Walter remained a blue-collar symbol of a devoted hockey parent in a country filled with them.

Wayne Gretzky confirmed his father's death on Thursday night with a social media post.

``It's with deep sadness that Janet and I share the news of the passing of my dad,'' said Wayne. ``He bravely battled Parkinson's and other health issues these last few years, but he never let it get him down.

``For me, he was the reason I fell in love with the game of hockey. He inspired me to be the best I could be not just in the game of hockey, but in life.''


Filed in: NHL Talk, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Paul's avatar


“On behalf of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, I extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Gretzky family on the passing of Walter Gretzky. The fabric of our franchise has been woven by some of the most influential players, coaches and executives the game has known and included in that too, are the loved ones that make our team a family. From his development and constant influence on one of the greatest players our game has known, to the tremendous impact he had on Canada’s Gold Medal-winning team in 2002, Walter was truly everyone’s hockey dad. He will be missed by all of us, but the memories created by his tremendous character and passion for our game will remain with us forever.”

-Bob Nicholson, Chairman, Edmonton Oilers

“On behalf of Wayne’s former teammates and the entire Edmonton Oilers alumni, we are tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Walter Gretzky. Each of us who had the pleasure of spending time with Walter were undoubtedly affected by his positive approach to life, family and hockey. As we grow older, the passing of those dear to us whether they be teammates, siblings, coaches or parents reminds us to live our lives in a way that honours their legacy while holding them close in our hearts when they are no longer with us.”

-Kevin Lowe, Alumni and Teammate

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/05/21 at 04:25 AM ET

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That’s Hockey host Gino Reda joins Jay Onrait and shares his memories of the late Walter Gretzky, including how much time he would spend with people who wanted to meet him, no matter how many lined up. Gino also recalls his visiting the Gretzky house in Brantford, Ontario, and how humble Walter was, staying in the home Wayne grew-up in.

Watch the 8 minute segment at TSN

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/05/21 at 04:54 AM ET

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Elliotte Friedman and Ron MacLean on Walter Gtrtzky.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/05/21 at 05:04 AM ET

d ca's avatar

If you remember Gretzky’s wife was bashed by all of Canada for luring him to LA for her career. Gretzky’s dad never came out and publicly defended her and he never took the blame. It was only publicly revealed in 2009 by Wayne that his dad was responsible for the move to LA.

Wayne Gretzky would have been playing for the Detroit Red Wings if his wife would have had her way in the 1988 trade from the Edmonton Oilers that gutted Canadian hockey fans….

At the end of the day and this is kind of unique the Oilers said, `what city do you want to go to?’ I had the choice of New York, Detroit or L.A.

Everyone thought that my wife (actress Janet Gretzky) had picked L.A. and my wife said, `you should play in Detroit.’ It was my dad who called me and said, `you should play in L.A.’ For whatever reason, he said, `I think you should move to L.A.’ and I became an L.A. King after that.”

So while condolences are certainly merited, I personally will always feel whether imagined or not that Walter had a grudge against both my hometown and my hometown team. But the part that bothers me the most as I get older is him not standing up for his daughter-in-law and publicly outing himself. So lets not go overboard on the whole perfect hockey dad thing.

Posted by d ca on 03/05/21 at 05:47 AM ET


Condolences to the Gretzky family.  Devastating to lose someone you love.  Very sorry to hear.

Posted by ThatGuy on 03/05/21 at 09:13 AM ET

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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.

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