Rexall Place: The Home of "The Great One"
Rexall Place is an indoor arena in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada situated on the north side of Northlands Park. It is home to the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, the Edmonton Rush of the National Lacrosse League and the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL. Located outside this historic building is the legendary statue of the of the “The Great-One” Wayne Gretzky hoisting the Stanley Cup. The statue was created in 1989 after Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, as tribute and a thank you for all he did for not only Oilers organization but also for the city of Edmonton. The Statue was recently moved in 2016 to its new home in front of the new Rogers Place in Edmonton, where the legacy of 99 still lives on.
Backstory and Context
Known around the globe as the greatest hockey player of all-time, Wayne Gretzky is a former professional hockey player who played twenty seasons in the National Hockey League, hoisting the Stanley Cup four times back to back with the Edmonton Oilers between 1984-1988 and also, was and remains the National Hockey League’s all-time leading scorer with 894 career goals and the National Hockey League’s all-time leader in career points with 2,856.
Following the fold of the World Hockey Association in 1979, Gretzky was sold to the Edmonton Oilers on a 5.5 million dollar over twenty-year contract. Later in 1980, Gretzky became the youngest player in National Hockey League history to score 50 goals in a single season and he also won his first most valuable player award. The Legendary "99" spend eight seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, where he recorded four Stanley Cup wins in 1983-84, 1984-85, 1986-87, and 1987-88 seasons. During this time, he won the Conn Smythe trophy as the Most Valuable Player during two of the championship runs. In his eight seasons with the Edmonton oilers, Wayne Gretzky had a total of 583 career goals, 1086 career assists and 1669 career points. Some of Gretzky's greatest moments on the ice took place at the Rexall Place. Rexall Place will always be the birth place of the "the Great One".
The statue was designed by sculptor John Weaver, who worked for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington and the Alberta Provincial Museum. The 950-pound bronze figure stands 9'2” and was funded by Molson Breweries and gifted to the City of Edmonton.The statue of Wayne Gretzky is a reminder to fans and players alike, that the legacy of the greatest player will always be remembered and celebrated for decades. In 1999, The Rexall place was the first arena in the NHL to officially retire the jersey number 99, after Gretzky retired and was inducted into the hockey hall of fame.
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Wayne Gretzky Stats. (2000, July). Retrieved March 10, 2020, from https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/g/gretzwa01.html