Friday, August 28, 2009
When Wayne Gretzky played his last game on April 18, 1999 most fans probably thought that would be the final time he would lace up his skates and take to the ice in a jersey, but old habits die hard, and there have been occasions where Wayne has donned a jersey and spent some time back on the ice.
Once such occasion was on this date in 2004, when, as Executive Director of Team Canada, Gretzky took part in a Team Canada practice at the Corel Centre, in Ottawa, Ontario prior to their exhibition game that evening versus Slovakia in preparation for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
The jersey is a Nike practice jersey that has a rubberized, screened on Hockey Canada logo on the front, while the Nike swoosh is embroidered.
The back has Gretzky's name and number sewn on and features the additions of the International Ice Hockey Federation patch on the bottom and a custom printed "RESPECT" stop sign patch worn to help prevent checking from behind. I'm hopeful that someday I will find an actual embroidered version, but I usually see orange and black stop sign patches that read "STOP" instead.