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Gretzky Nears Hockey Hall of Fame

April 29, 1999

TORONTO (AP) _ Wayne Gretzky is one step closer to the Hockey Hall of Fame after the selection committee today eliminated the standard three-year waiting period for the Great One.

The board of directors, which has last say in induction matters, must also approve the much-anticipated move at a June 14 meeting.

Gretzky’s nomination for induction will then be discussed at a meeting on June 23, the Hall announced today. The next induction ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 22.

Gretzky, the all-time leader in points, goals and assists, retired after playing his final game with the New York Rangers on April 18. He scored 894 goals, 1,963 assists and 2,857 points.

The decision to waive the waiting period was unanimous. The Hall has previously waived the waiting period for 10 players, ranging from Mario Lemieux to Maurice ``Rocket″ Richard.

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