It was 25 years ago today that the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky, Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski to the Kings in exchange for rising American sniper Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three first round draft picks and $15 million, essentially buying the game’s greatest star. Blockbuster trade? Yup. Sure the trade was not a total surprise to Wayne Gretzky who had had discussions with then Oilers owner Peter Pocklington, but you have to think that the shock and finality of the deal was tough to swallow.
As a hockey fan and fan of the Edmonton Oilers this was my JFK moment. I remember that summer early August day like it was yesterday. I was the glued to the TV set for the the next couple of days (remember there was no mainstream Internet and no smart phones then.). I purchased copies of Edmonton newspapers the Journal and the Sun and clipped out every article I could find. I wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Kings saying how much I missed Wayne Gretzky being an Oiler. The Kings sent me an 8X10 picture of Wayne Gretzky in a Kings uniform as a reply. I still have the envelope.
Yes in this digital age, there will be a ton of coverage around the 25th anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky trade. The sports networks will have specials and posts leading up to the anniversary as well as interviews with parties involved in the trade of the century. I myself do not have access to these resources, but if I could I would like to send an open invite to the man himself, Wayne Gretzky for an interview. From a fan of hockey, the NHL and Wayne Gretzky to simply ask him his thoughts on the trade, now and when it happened. Mr. Gretzky you are welcome to visit my home in West Kelowna, BC to reflect on the 25 years since the trade happened. Simply have your people reach out to my people.
The coverage will be great, and why shouldn’t it be? After all, Wayne Gretzky is the Great One. The Hockey News has a great piece on the oral history of the trade that you can find here. As a tribute to Wayne Gretzky here is a look at some cool pieces on Wayne Gretzky and the trade courtesy of YouTube.
The Trade Announcement
A King’s Ransom – documentary on the trade of Wayne Gretzky from the Oilers to the Kings in 1988.
The Life & Times of Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky Documentary – Sports Century ESPN
Wayne Gretzky: Above & Beyond
Mr. Gretzky thank you for the memories and entertainment that you provided.