What is Wayne Gretzky Net Worth?
Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian-born retired professional hockey player and entrepreneur who has a net worth of $250 million. Widely considered to be one of the greatest hockey players of all time, he played in the NHL for 20 seasons from 1979 to 1999. During that time, he earned a total of $46 million in NHL salary.
He earned an additional $50 million from endorsements during his playing days. When combined, he earned around the same as $150 million after adjusting for inflation. He has invested his money very wisely, building an empire that today includes sports team ownership, a vineyard, real estate ventures, and more.
Gretzky met actress Janet Jones while he was serving as a judge on the television show “Dance Fever.” They began dating in 1987, he proposed in January 1988, and the couple got married in July that same year. Their wedding ceremony, which reportedly cost him over $1 million USD, was dubbed “The Royal Wedding” by the Canadian press.
Together, the couple has five children: three sons and two daughters. One of their daughters, Paulina Gretzky, a singer, and model, has been in a relationship with professional golfer Dustin Johnson since 2013. They have two kids together.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Wayne Douglas Gretzky was born in Brantford, Ontario, on January 26, 1961. He has three brothers and a sister. His father Walter taught him, his siblings, and their friends how to play hockey on a homemade rink in the family home’s backyard, and from an early age, Gretzky showed a natural talent.
By age 6, he was already playing on a team otherwise composed of 10-year-olds, and he continued to garner attention as he progressed. His excelling on the ice often earned him negative attention from other players and jealous parents, so it was not uncommon for him to get booed during games.
In part to help him advance his career, but also in part to help him escape the negative atmosphere of his hometown, his parents helped him move to Toronto to play hockey there. At the time, players were not allowed to play in different areas, but his parents challenged the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and won, so he was allowed to play Junior B hockey with the Toronto Nationals, eventually earning Rookie of the Year in the Metro Junior B Hockey League for the 1975-76 season.
He eventually was drafted in the 1977 Ontario Major Junior Hockey League draft to play for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds when he was 16.
Professional Hockey Career
In 1978, at the age of 17, Gretzky signed a $1.75 million USD seven-year personal services contract with the Indianapolis Racers in the World Hockey Association (WHA). He had to join the WHA instead of the NHL initially because the NHL did not allow the signing of players under the age of 20.
He only played briefly for the Racers before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers. When his team joined the NHL after the WHA folded in 1979, he was instrumental in leading them to four Stanley Cup victories.
After Gretzky’s playing career was over, he moved into a management role and became the executive director of the Canadian National Men’s Hockey Team for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He later became a part-owner of the NHL team the Phoenix Coyotes, buying a 10% stake in them in May 2000 in partnership with majority owner Steven Ellman.
He went on to become the team’s coach from October 2005 to September 2009. In 2016, he became vice-chairman and partner of Oilers Entertainment Group.