In this April 16, 2013 photo, Shawn Chaulk poses with his collection of Wayne Gretzky memorabilia in Fort McMurray, Alta. The Wayne Gretzky of Wayne Gretzky collectors has netted some big bucks in an auction of many of his choicest memorabilia pieces, But Chaulk, a native of Bonavista, could make even more, hinting that one buyer is talking about picking up pretty much all that’s left for $1.7 million. — Canadian Press file photo
The Wayne Gretzky of Wayne Gretzky collectors has netted big bucks for old pucks after an auction of some of his choicest memorabilia closed Wednesday.
Former Newfoundlander Shawn Chaulk, a construction contractor from Fort McMurray, Alta., received more than $500,000 for a collection of jerseys, skates, helmets, gloves and pucks used in action by the Great One.
About $350,000 came from one item alone — the jersey Gretzky wore in the 1986-87 season when he scored his 500th NHL goal and won the Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers.
Chaulk said those deals may be dwarfed by those yet to come, as private buyers sniff around what’s left of what was probably the greatest Gretzky collection ever assembled.
“While we were busy auctioning this group of stuff out the front door, there was a lineup of people knocking on the back door looking for private deals,” said Chaulk. “In one single transaction this week, I sold a group of five items for over $100,000.”
Chaulk, a 45-year-old quick-to-smile Bonavista native, had amassed a collection that made grown men weak in the knees — memorabilia from the world’s best player from the sport’s last great dynasty.
The items most recently on auction included pieces of hockey history including:
• The puck Gretzky shot to score his 500th goal ($22,400).
• The skates he wore for that milestone marker ($19,500).
• A Jofa helmet worn during Gretzky’s last year in the Western Hockey League and first year as an Oiler ($13,000).
• A No. 99 practice bib and jersey ($14,000).
• A selection of sticks from all-star games as well as from Gretzky’s time with the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers ($1,433 to $2,310).
Bargain items? The socks he wore in the 1984 Campbell Conference all-star game could have been yours for a mere $875.
Those prices don’t include the 20 per cent buyer’s premium.
Chaulk said he’s generally pleased with the prices his artifacts fetched.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “I thought maybe the jersey might go higher, as did most people in the hobby.
“But auctions are fickle. You’re lucky to have two people bid against each other at those levels.”
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