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Category: Wayne Gretzky

Paulina Gretzky ends racy Twitter account after chat with Dad

Paulina Gretzky, the 22-year-old daughter of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, has shut down her popular Twitter account, which featured racy photos of the struggling model/singer/actress
Poor Paulina Gretzky. The struggling model/singer/actress finally was becoming known for something other than being the daughter of legendary hockey star Wayne Gretzky.

OK, so that something was sending out racy photos of herself and her friends via Twitter, but her name was out there nonetheless.

But now it looks like Dad has stepped in and ruined everything. The 22-year-old Gretzky has shut down her Twitter feed -- which had more than 24,000 followers -- apparently after a chat with her father.

Gretzky said in one of her last posts: "Having a nice sit down dinner with my dad about social media..haha." Then came her final tweet on Saturday: "Taking a break from Twitter for a bit. Happy Holidays!!! xoxo."

Some suggest that the move might have something to do with reports that Gretzky's father may be involved in a potential purchase of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Or maybe he was just being a good father and talked some sense into his daughter, who had been posting shots of herself in tight tops, short skirts and provocative poses for the world to see.

You can see possibly the least suggestive of all her photos above. And even though Gretzky's Twitter account no longer exists, you can still find many of the others out there in cyberspace.

Just know that the Great One does not approve.

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Can we believe a word Urban Meyer says?

Who should be the next football coach at UCLA?

Justin Combs, Diddy's son, commits to UCLA football

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: An image from Paulina Gretzky's now-defunct Twitter account. Credit: Twitter / The Chive / New England Sports Network

Greatest sports figures in L.A. history, No. 12: Wayne Gretzky

Continuing our countdown of the 20 greatest figures in L.A. sports history, as chosen in voting by our online readers, with No. 12, Wayne Gretzky.

No. 12 Wayne Gretzky (36 first-place votes, 1,547 points)

Gretzky

On Aug. 9, 1988, ithe Edmonton Oilers traded the greatest player in NHL history, Wayne Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, to the Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million in cash, and the Kings' first-round draft picks in 1989 (later traded to the New Jersey Devils – New Jersey selected Jason Miller), 1991 (Martin Rucinsky) and 1993 (Nick Stajduhar).

The trade turned Los Angeles from a city with tens of thousands of hockey fans into one with hundreds of thousands of hockey fans. Gretzky scored on his first shot on goal in the first regular-season game and led the Kings into the playoffs his first season. He won the Hart Trophy as league MVP and was named the AP male athlete of the decade.

Gretzky was sidelined for much of the 1992–93 season with a back injury, but still led the team in the playoffs, scoring a hat trick in Game 7 of the Campbell Conference finals against the Toronto Maple Leafs as the Kings made the Stanley Cup Finals for the first (and only) time. The less said about what happened there, the better. Curse you, stick of Marty McSorley!

The next season, Gretzky broke Gordie Howe's career goal-scoring record and won the scoring title, but the Kings failed to make the playoffs during the rest of his tenure with the team. On Feb. 27, 1996, Gretzky was traded to the St. Louis Blues for Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, Craig Johnson, and two draft picks.

Many credit Gretzky's trade to the Kings with the creation of the Mighty Ducks and the San Jose Sharks as the NHL spread to places it had never been before.

In 2000, the NHL announced Gretzky's number, 99, would never be worn by another player and in 2002,  the Kings unveiled a life-size statue of Gretzky outside Staples Center.

RELATED:

No. 13: Walter O'Malley

No. 14: Don Drysdale

No. 15: Merlin Olsen

No. 16: Jerry Buss

No. 17: Elgin Baylor

No. 18: Marcus Allen

No. 19: Jim Murray

No. 20: Wilt Chamberlain

Your votes are in: The 20 greatest sports figures in L.A. history

--Houston Mitchell

Photo: Wayne Gretzky with the Kings in 1994. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser hasn't been forgiven for missed call

Kenv Today is a big day in hockey history—especially for fans of the Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was on this day in 1993 that the Kings benefited from a missed high stick by Wayne Gretzky against Doug Gilmour in Game 6 of the conference finals against the Toronto Maple Leafs and went on to win that game and the series in Toronto. The Kings advanced to what remains their only appearance in the Stanley Cup final in their history and lost to Montreal in five games.

Some Toronto fans still haven’t forgiven the Game 6 referee, Kerry Fraser, for his mistake in not calling a penalty on Gretzky. Fraser addresses it well in the column he writes for Canada’s TSN.ca, and it's frightening to read about what he and his family endured as a result of that non-call.

Apparently his mea culpa isn’t enough for some folks. Read the comments if you have a few minutes and you’ll see that some Maple Leaf fans still haven’t let this go after all these years.

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--Helene Elliott

Photo: Referee Kenny Fraser in 1986. Credit: Joe Patronite / Getty Images

Gretzky celebrates his 50th, while media celebrate Gretzky

Thumb_400 Today is Wayne Gretzky’s 50th birthday, a perfect occasion for him -- and for those of us who watched him -- to reflect on his life and accomplishments.

There have been a lot of columns, stories and photo galleries of him out there the past few days, and here are links to a sampling of them.

From Tuesday’s Times, Gretzky talks about being part of Skechers’ new “Comeback” campaign -- though he never considered a comeback himself.

Steve Simmons of Sun Media brings up an interesting point about Gretzky’s self-imposed estrangement from the NHL, and why the league should bring him back into the fold. Amen.

TSN’s Dave Naylor looks back at the length of Gretzky’s career, starting with a look at Gretzky’s father, Walter.

Darren Yourk of the Globe and Mail discusses Gretzky from the perspective of a fan who grew up in Gretzky’s hometown of Brantford, Canada, and first skated at an arena named in Gretzky’s honor.

Puck Daddy lists 50 reasons why it loves Gretzky ... and if you haven’t seen the "Saturday Night Live" video, take a few minutes to watch it. If you saw it a while ago, watch it again.

Larry Brooks in the New York Post gets Gretzky to say he’d be willing to suit up for the Rangers again ... in an old timers’ game.

And NHL.com has an assortment of stories and charts about Gretzky and his incredible career.

Happy birthday, Wayne!

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Kings captain Wayne Gretzky celebrates after scoring the second of three goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the Campbell Conference finals. Credit: Reuters

Rob Blake ends NHL career; former King praised as 'elite-level player' with 'a blue-collar heart'

Elliott_400 Rob Blake officially ended an NHL career that began more than 20 years ago with the Kings, announcing his retirement Friday during a news conference in San Jose.

Blake, who turned 40 in December, played 1,270 NHL games, including 805 with the Kings. While in L.A., he was a four-time all-star, a key member of the 1993 team that lost to Montreal in the Stanley Cup final and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 1998.

He remains the Kings’ leader among defensemen in games played (805), goals (161), assists (333), points (494) and power-play goals (92). Among all Kings players, he ranks fourth in games played, seventh in assists, seventh in points, fourth in penalty minutes (1,231) and fourth in power-play goals.

"I have very fond memories of L.A.," said Blake, the Kings’ fourth-round pick and 70th overall in 1988. "I was fortunate they gave me an opportunity to play. My first partner was Larry Robinson. I played with Tony Granato, Wayne Gretzky, Marty McSorley and had an opportunity to learn so much."

He ended a distinguished career with 240 goals, 537 assists, 777 points and 1,679 penalty minutes -- and a Stanley Cup championship with Colorado in 2001. He also won an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2002 and a world championship in 1997.

"He’s an elite-level player, but he’s got a blue-collar heart," Doug Wilson, the Sharks’ general manager, said during a news conference attended by several current Sharks. Also in the audience were Granato, former Kings teammate Glen Murray and Kings development executive Nelson Emerson, Blake’s teammate at Bowling Green and with the Kings. Joe Sakic, Blake’s teammate in Colorado, offered a video tribute that praised Blake’s contributions to the Avalanche’s success.

Blake, the Sharks’ captain last season, said that as the season evolved he knew his career was winding up. Though he said he was in good shape and felt fine, “it just seemed like the right time” to retire. “I’ve enjoyed the 20 years, but it’s time to move on to a new step,” he said.

He said he hopes to be involved in hockey again but has no immediate plans beyond spending time with his wife, Brandy, whom he met while playing in L.A., and their two young children. “I envision being in the game many more years,” said Blake, who has long had a home in Manhattan Beach.

Despite the memorable hip checks he dished out -- he was one of the league’s best in his prime -- and his skills in quarterbacking the power play, he’s despised by many Kings fans because of the circumstances surrounding his two departures from the team, in 2001 and again in the summer of 2008. He was loudly booed each time he returned with the Sharks the last two seasons, but did he really deserve that treatment?

To recap: Blake was poised to become a free agent in the summer of 2001. Distracted by contract talks, he briefly relinquished the captaincy before the 2000-01 season began and after the Kings had given him a take-it-or-leave-it offer. He was seeking $9.6 million annually, which the team resisted paying, saying it would have been a quarter of the payroll; the Kings were offering slightly more than $7 million a year.

Then-General Manager Dave Taylor made a last-ditch attempt to sign him, but Blake remained determined to test free agency for the first time. Kings ownership then told Taylor to trade Blake rather than letting him walk away with no return. The team dealt Blake and Steven Reinprecht to Colorado for Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller, Jared Aulin and first-round draft picks in 2001 and 2003. Blake went on to win the Cup with the Avalanche and re-signed with the team, playing four more full seasons.

He returned to the Kings for the 2006-07 season and became a mentor to the young players, even taking Jack Johnson to live with him and his family. Hip surgery in the spring of 2007 slowed Blake considerably and, knowing his time to win the Cup again was limited, he left after the 2007-08 season for San Jose, thinking the Sharks were closer to a championship than the Kings were.

Blake played each of the last two seasons under one-year contracts; the Sharks were upset in the first round of the playoffs in 2009 and lost to eventual champion Chicago in the West finals this season.

The Kings haven’t said anything about retiring his number or otherwise honoring him soon, but they probably will in a few years, and they should. Blake left the first time because he wanted to test free agency, which came later in a player’s career under the old collective bargaining agreement than it does now. The Kings wouldn’t pay him what he wanted, and he left and won the Cup. So did Luc Robitaille.

Blake left the second time because he thought the Sharks were closer to winning the Cup than the Kings, who were then in the early rebuilding stages. He didn’t win the Cup in San Jose, but it’s not his fault Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley develop hollow spaces where their hearts should be once the playoffs begin.

His current and former teammates respected him -- Robitaille offered this tribute -- and in a sport where the team ethic means so much, that says a lot.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Rob Blake in 2006. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho.

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