Maybe the writing was on the wall and this shouldn’t have been a shocker but it was summer and I wasn’t really following the hockey rumors in the off-season- but I had just finished cutting my grandmothers yard- had just gotten in my car to head home when I turned the radio on and heard that The Great One- Wayne Gretsky had been traded by the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. I thought I had certainly heard wrong. Was this April 1st? I didn’t know the behind the scenes stuff that was going on- which is all well chronologized in the first ever ESPN 30 for 30 Kings Ransom. The Oilers had just come off winning their 4th Stanley Cup in 5 seasons. Trade the greatest hockey player in history? He wasn’t old-only 27 at the time. It turned out to be a big trade for the NHL- helping to spread the popularity of the sport to other regions of the United States- would we have the NHL in Phoenix, Nashville, Florida etc today without this trade happening? The Oilers would win another Stanley Cup two years later- The Great One would never lift Lord Stanley again in his career.
below is a link to a story that tells the story of the deal.