The beauty of Wayne Gretzky is for all the ethereal magic he brought to the rink—that dandy curl at the blue line, his private games of hide-and-go-seek behind the net—he presented something tangible. Beyond soft-focus memories, he left us numbers: 894 NHL goals; 2,857 points; four 200-plus point seasons; 61 NHL records. He was not merely the best hockey player. He was the most quantifiable. He retired in 1999. Eighteen years later, he remains hockey's most recognizable figure, suspending time as he once suspended disbelief. In celebration of Gretzky's 56th birthday on Jan. 26, 2017, here is a look through the years at "The Great One" off the ice.


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