Kelowna resident Troy Johnson has his picture taken with Wayne Gretzky at a Kelowna bank. Photo Credit: Contributed

Oilers fan meets Gretzky in Kelowna

‘The Great One’ takes time for photo while at Rutland TD bank branch on Friday.

Idle curiousity led a long-time Edmonton Oilers fan in Kelowna to have his photo taken with hockey legend Wayne Gretzky on Friday morning.

Troy Johnson, an Edmonton native, was walking outside in the Plaza 33 parking lot when he noticed a limousine parked with a bunch of ‘suits’ hanging around the vehicle.

Sensing something was going on, Johnson stepped into the mall and eventually came face-to-face with his hockey idol, Wayne Gretzky at the shopping centre’s TD bank branch.

Johnson asked if he could take Gretzky’s picture. Never one to treat hockey fans in a rude or dismissive manner, Gretzky offered to have a cell phone picture taken with Johnson.

It as a big thrill for Johnson, who grew up in Edmonton during the franchise’s Gretzky glory years, and worked in concessions sales at the old Northlands Arena for hockey games.

Gretzky, who now works for the Oilers in an administrative capacity, was in the Alberta capital on Wednesday for the home opener between Edmonton and the Calgary Flames, which the Oilers won 3-0 behind a 3-goal performance by Connor McDavid, considered at the age of 19 to be the heir apparent to Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby as the next Canadian hockey generational superstar.