Wayne Gretzky may be 53-years old, but the greatest hockey player of all time still gets big billing on talk shows around the country.

The Great One appeared on Conan yesterday, and among other things, Gretzky spoke about what made him retire.

The host originally asked Gretzky about the unwritten rule that players weren't allowed to hit Wayne, but in replying Gretzky gave away why he retired.

“It’s not true …” Gretzky told O’Brien. “I got hit, I didn’t get hit as much as people probably wanted me to get hit — especially on the opposing teams.

“But I knew it was time to retire when I was playing my last year and people I was playing against, before they would hit me, they would scream my name and I remember thinking, ‘Wow something’s not right about this.’”

That's quite the revelation and to be fair no player wants to be known as the guy that seriously hurt or ended the career of Wayne Gretzky, so no wonder they warned him of hits.

Gretzky was never the quickest skater and it seems that in his ageing years that famous hockey brain slowed down just enough.

Gretzky retired in 1999 at the age of 38. His 40 odd regular season records and goal scoring feats will never be beaten in the NHL. He truly is the best there ever was.

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