His greatest strength was always to look into the future.
He knew where the puck was going to be, and he made sure he was already there. Now Wayne Gretzky may be having trouble with the future of communication.
All this week, there appears to have occurred a tug of war--or perhaps merely a tug of love--between The Great One and his daughter, Paulina.
The tussle, which seems slightly more subtle than other confrontations in hockey, is over Paulina's Twitter feed.
The feed appears to have been shut down not once, but twice already this week, and reports suggest it's the feed's visual content, rather than Paulina's spelling, that's causing a little gloves-off friction.
Paulina Gretzky, it seems, would like to be a Great One, but she has yet to find the true niche of her greatness. So, as The Daily Beast catalogs it, she garlanded her tweets with pictures of herself that older people might call racy and younger people might call, well, awesome.
Some of these photographs revealed a little flesh. Some revealed a lot. None, naturally, revealed too much. (You can see them here. They are entirely SFW. Safe For Weekend.)
Oddly, even august publications such as The Toronto Globe and Mail described these anodyne snaps as "saucy."
Paulina is 22 and enjoys a certain fame in Canada as a sort of slightly more subtle Kim Kardashian. She is an actress, a model, a singer and--no doubt--an emotional philanthropist.
However, during a dinner with her slightly more famous father last week, she tweeted: "Having a nice sit down dinner with my dad about social media..haha #SIKEEE."
I am not entirely sure whether that last word ought to be pronounced "Sickee" or "Psyche." However, shortly after that tweet, her Twitter account vanished.
Some would have it that The Great One wishes his image to continue on its pristine path, especially as he is said to be in negotiations to buy the Toronto Maple Leafs. Some would have it that it was he who suppressed his daughter's social media fame.
Yet, just two days ago, Paulina returned from tweeting purgatory. The International Business Times (well, who else?) reported that she had tweeted: "Hi everyone I'm back! But shhh don't tell my dad."
I had no idea that fathers of 22-year-olds still had such sway over their headstrong offspring. Still, many would have been delighted that she had stood up for herself, her rights, and, most importantly, her Twitter followers.
Sadly, I must convey the message that yesterday her Twitter feed was again shut down.
You might think that this is merely the tale of the louche and privileged acting out in ways that only they can.
I would like to offer a different view. If it can possibly be true that The Great One is somehow discomforted by what his daughter posts on Twitter, then tweeting has surely come of age.
You are what you tweet. It seems that The Great One might have anticipated that trend.