May 18, 2008 / 4:17 AM / in 11 years

Gretzky headlines IIHF Team of the Century

Wayne Gretzky gestures during their NHL pre-season game against the Edmonton Oilers in Glendale, Arizona, September 25, 2007. REUTERS/Rick Scuteri

QUEBEC CITY (Reuters) - Canada’s Wayne Gretzky headlined ice hockey’s Team of the Century announced by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) on Saturday.

Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One” and considered the best player ever, played in only one world championship in 1982 during his Hall of Fame career, though his impact on the game made him one of sport’s most recognizable names.

Gretzky was the only Canadian voted on to the team in balloting conducted by a panel of 56 experts from 16 countries, with Russian players dominating the selection.

Netminder Vladislav Tretiak, forwards Valeri Kharlamov, Sergei Makarov and defenseman Vyacheslav Fetisov, who were part of the Soviet teams that dominated international ice hockey from the 1960s to 1980s, were named along with Sweden’s Borje Salming.

The IIHF also announced the “Miracle on Ice”, the United States unlikely march to a gold medal at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, was voted the top hockey story of the century.

“It pleases me that the ice hockey story of the century occurred at the Olympic Games,” said International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, who attended the ceremony. “This is what defining sporting moments are made of.”

Writing by Steve Keating, editing by Greg Stutchbury

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