There’s no one quite like Wayne Gretzky. There’s certainly never been a better hockey player, but as a person, he’s just the best. Hockey couldn’t have asked for a better ambassador than Gretzky, a player who scored 894 goals and 2857 points.
Gretzky’s records will live on forever, and since he retired, barely any of them have been beaten. Gretzky is the only player in the NHL to have his jersey number, 99, retired league-wide. It’s not a mystery that Gretzky got the nickname ”The Great One,” and it still sticks around. But that wasn’t his only nickname.
Gretzky himself has claimed that he probably had more nicknames than any athlete ever, and in the locker room during his active years, he could sometimes be called ”Mr. Douglas,” because he used to check in under his middle name at the hotels.
But Gretzky had an even better nickname, that he would be called when playing golf with his friends, and the story behind it is almost too good to be true.
”I was on a plane flight one time from New York to San Francisco and it was one of those flights where the stewardess kind of panicked and started running to the back of the plane and I thought, ’Oh my God, this is the end,’” Gretzky said on The Steam Room. ”And they came back and I’m like, ’Is everything okay?’ And she goes, ’No, no, everything’s fine with the plane. But I think somebody back there is having a heart attack,’ and they went running back to the back of the plane.”
Gretzky, God knows why, decided to do something.
”She comes back and I goes, ’Everything okay?’ She goes, ’Yeah, he’s just having some anxiety, he’s okay.’ And she goes, ’Is anybody up here a doctor?’ And so I hit the call button because I’m an honorary doctor.”
Gretzky told the flight attendant, and she thought Gretzky was kidding.
”I go, ’I’m an honorary doctor.’ She goes, That’s not funny.’ And I said, ’Well, my goodness, I wouldn’t have said it if I thought the guy was really in trouble.’”
And that, of course, became a nickname that Gretzky’s friend would never forget.
”And so I was telling the guys on the golf course, and so everybody in the golf world calls me Doc.”