This Day In Sports History (August 9th) — Wayne Gretzky Is Traded
It was on this day in 1988 that the Edmonton Oilers did the unthinkable and traded Wayne Gretzky. “The Great One” was traded to the Los Angeles Kings along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski in exchange for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, the Kings first round draft picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993 and $15 million in cash.
At the time of the trade, Gretzky was clearly the best hockey player on the planet. He was coming off his eighth straight season in which he won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player, as well as seven straight Art Ross trophies as the league’s top scorer. More important than his individual accomplishments was the success of his team, as he led the Oilers to four Stanley Cups in a five year span, from 1984 to 1988.
The trade of Gretzky was often compared to the trade of Babe Ruth, as both owners had to “sell” their best player due to other failed business ventures. To this day, many people in Edmonton still cringe when they hear the name Peter Pocklington.
Here is a clip of Gretzky’s press conference when the trade was announced.
Brett Hull, NHL – Born August 9th 1964 (age 49) in Belleville, Ontario
Deion Sanders, NFL – Born August 9th 1967 (age 46) in Fort Myers, Florida
Rod Brind’Amour, NHL – Born August 9th 1970 (age 43) in Ottawa, Ontario