In 1984, as the NHL lockout was raging, Gretzkys father, Wayne Gretzin, bought a house in the French countryside for $250,000.
Gretzin lived on the island for more than 40 years, but after the NHL shut down in 1986, Gretzin relocated to the United States.
But he didn’t stay long.
The NHL’s lockout had forced Gretzin out of the game for good.
He took his business and his wife, Mary, and moved back to Canada.
It was only when Gretzin was diagnosed with cancer in 2000 that Gretzin made a deal with the NHL.
He would play for the Montreal Canadiens, and play for one more season.
He then retired in 2004.
But when he was diagnosed again in 2018, Gretzonas life was changed forever.
He was diagnosed in 2020 with pancreatic cancer.
He passed away in November 2020 at age 80.
Gretzonans son, Peter, played a small role in his death.
He spent the rest of his life with his wife.
After his death, his family made a statement to NHL players saying, “You all made it, we were just trying to keep the game alive.”