I miss Wayne Gretzky

Last night, I was thinking about Gretz. I really miss watching him play hockey.

I have the last game he played on tape... I watched the last 15 minutes of the 3rd period and the post-game drama last night. I still get emotional about it.

I know, tha sounds weird -- but I grew up in Edmonton when he was winning all the Stanley Cups. I was 7 when they were battling the big NY Islander dynasty. I was 9 when they finally beat them. I was 10 when they won again. Etc.

The Oilers and especially Gretzky are a big part of my youth. I believe a big part of the confidence about who I was and where I belonged as a kid came from knowing I lived in Edmonton. Edmonton wasn't a little place to me, it was "where it was at". I lived where Wayne lived. We were the city of champions -- the Edmonton Eskimos were winning the CFL's Grey Cup every year too. That was cool, so I was cool.

When I moved to Victoria at the age of 12, I was cool because I came from Edmonton... the Oilers had just won the Stanley Cup (again) a few months before. I could see West Edmonton Mall* from my mom and dad's bedroom window. To a 12-year-old, that was big stuff. I was confident.

So, I miss Wayne Gretzky. He's not in my life anymore, reminding me of my youth, reminding me where I came from, reminding me that we were a part of something special back then.

Now he'll be part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes. I wish him well.

*West Edmonton Mall, the world's largest shopping mall. Over 27 square blocks of mall. Over 800 stores.

Written on August 16, 2000