January 30, 2016

All Star Game Memories: Wayne Gretzky Steals John Garrett's Car



One of the most famous stories involving John Garrett came during the 1983 All Star Game. Garrett was acquired by the Canucks less than a week prior to the game. However Richard Brodeur, the Canucks number one goalie and all star representative, suffered a broken eardrum courtesy of a Dan Daoust wild shot. As a last minute replacement, Garrett was asked to fill in for the Campbell Conference All Stars despite playing the whole first half in the Wales Conference.

Garrett had a great game too, and was the favorite to win game MVP honors, which of course earns you a brand new car, except a guy named Gretzky put on a goal scoring clinic in the third period. Gretzky's 4 goals in one period instantly became all star legend.

"I had about 15 saves total up to about the six minute mark of the third period" recalls John in Dick Irvin's great book In The Crease. "I knew Lanny McDonald from playing with him at the World Championships one year and he kept talking to me after I'd make a save: 'Hey Cheech, you got the tires....the glove compartment.....hey, great stop. Now you've got the steering wheel.' Then about the six minute mark Gretz scores and makes 4-2. On his next shift he scores again. 5-2. Lanny comes back to me after each goal, 'Oh oh, There go the tires...Oh oh, there goes the steering wheel.' The very next shift 99 scores again. Now he's got the hat trick. And then he gets another goal on his next shift. I mean, he takes four shifts and scores four goals. Guess what. I didn't win the car."

Here's a look back at Gretzky's famous night, including an interview with Dave Hodge.

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