When Wayne Gretzky gave the worst pre-game speech ever, and almost gave the coach a heart attack

Wayne Gretzky ended up with 2 857 points in 1 487 NHL games before ending his amazing career with the New York Rangers, back in 1999. ”The Great One” is without a doubt, as the name suggests, the greatest player in the history of the game.

Wayne Gretzky holds or shares 61 records listed in the NHL’s Official Guide and Record Book, but he was a special player even as a kid. However, Wayne has strong opinions on how to teach kids’ the game.

Speaking on the ‘Cam and Strick Podcast’, he reveals he one time gave the worst pre-game speech ever – just by telling the truth.

“My dad has a youth hockey tournament every year in my hometown, he goes to the arena on December 26th from 8 in the morning until 9 at night for four straight days. And a couple years ago I went home, and he wasn’t feeling great, so I told him: ‘Look, stay here, I’ll go over to the arena for a few hours for you’.”

“So I went over and I got there and one of the coaches just said: ‘Hey, listen, I got an 8 year old team, can you go and talk to my boys before the game?’. I told him: ’You know what? I’m the wrong guy”. He said: ‘No, no, come in and say whatever you want to say for a few words’. I said to the guy again: ’Look, I’m not kidding you, I’m telling you I’m the wrong guy for that’. But he insisted.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

So Gretzky did as he was told, and told the kids to simply enjoy the game.

”I walked in to the locker room, said hello to the boys, and then said: ’Now remember, you’re 8 years old, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. it’s how many goals you get’. The coach just looked at me like he was gonna have a heart attack! I said to him: ’I told you I was the wrong guy for this job’.”

”That’s what I feel about kids hockey and kids sport. Just go out and have fun, just go play. If you win or lose doesn’t matter when you’re 8 years old. You’re not gonna remember it when you get older, it’s all about having fun, getting better and enjoying the game. That’s how I’ve always looked at it.”