The Great One

By Mathieu Lessard
Cole Harbour Regional High
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


He's gone, he's history, and its time for someone to take his place as the greatest player in the National Hockey League. Wayne Gretzky hung up his skates, after finishing a sub par season scoring 60+ points. Leading the league in scoring was Jaramir Jagr with a incredible 107 points. He has been portrayed to be the next "Gretzky". Is he really?

In Gretzky's final game, when Jagr lead his team to victory in overtime potting the winner, the media called it "inheriting the throne from the great one." The public will not disagree. Jagr is no slouch when it comes to putting the puck in the net, but Gretzky was so much more than that and he brought so much more to the game. It's almost impossible to replace what he has done. There are many great players in the league today, the Jagr's, Yzerman's, Sakic's, but the question still remains: is there another Gretzky?

There will always be players who come and go, and dominate there sport, but Gretzky's impact on hockey was more than imaginable. He broke records people thought would have never been broken and surpassed Gordie Howe as the greatest player of all time. Gretzky is a hero to many, he donates money and time to charities, he owns his own chain of restaurants, and he even has his own roller hockey league. He's not only an athlete - he's a celebrity. Gretzky's title "THE GREAT ONE" sometimes seems as an understatement.

Look at our junior system.There are many bright futures in the NHL, but no one can say there are any "GREAT ONES". Nobody dominates the play the way he did, amassing as many as 300+ points a season.

I guess only time will tell if Joe Thorton and Vincent Lecavalier, former first round draft picks filled with potential can blossom, and bring there game to a new level. Both young men have been showcasing their talents, in there first and second years, their points total have impressed the critics.

The question still remains, will the stars of tomorrow fill there potential, but one thing is for sure, Wayne Gretzky will always be "THE GREAT ONE".