Wayne Gretzky was one of those players that comes along maybe once in 50 years in a sport. The way Tiger Woods dominates the PGA Tour these days is how Gretzky dominated the NHL. There was time when Babe Ruth would hit more home runs than many teams combined and Gretzky could dominate like that as well. Some of the numbers he put up are eye popping and it's hard to imagine anyone coming along and breaking them, but 20-50 years from now, who knows. Mario Lemieux, if had been able to stay healthy, would have given him a run for his money.
The most amazing fact to me is that Gretzky ended his career with 2856 points. Mark Messier is second with 1855, 1001 points behind. And Gretzky played in 271 less games! If he had played those 271 games and produced at his career average, he would have 3377 points. He made everyone around him better and that is also a sign of a very special player.
He has also been a great ambassador for the game, worked in management with Team Canada and served as Head Coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, a team in which he has an ownership stake.