“Canada’s Hockey Dad”, Walter Gretzky died this past Thursday. The father of National Hockey League legend Wayne Gretzky was 82 years old.
A common sight at hockey arenas and charity events throughout Canada over the past 40 years, Walter was certainly the most visible “hockey dad” the game has ever known, and because of that fans across the country felt a special connection.
Wayne Gretzky’s former team, the Edmonton Oilers, today announced they would pay tribute to the life of Walter by wearing a commemorative helmet decal in his memory.
The logo shows the outline of the Oilers familiar “oil drop” logo but recoloured red and white and stripped of any Oilers imagery. A red maple leaf replaces the orange oil drop and “WALTER” is written in place of “OILERS” within the circle. Outside of the circle in white is “CANADA’S HOCKEY DAD” both at the top and the bottom of the logo.
As you can see from the graphic above, I attempted to quickly recreate this logo based on the one photograph released by the team. It’s very possible some of the finer details aren’t totally accurate.
Being a resident of the Toronto area (and a frequent attendee of sporting events here) I crossed paths with Walter many times, and while I never went over to say hi (I don’t like to bother), I would notice him taking time to shake hands, sign autographs, and pose for photographs with every single person who wanted to meet the man.
It is not yet known if the Oilers will wear the decal for the remainder of the season or if just for their next game.