Remembering the Gretzky trade
Sunday, 24 August 2008
I’d be remiss if I didn’t link to one of Joe Pelletier’s best posts this summer: The Gretzky Trade: 20 Years Later. Joe’s rounded up just about every bit of retrospective analysis on the Internet about the landmark deal that sent the Great One to L.A., and offers his own reminiscences.
I remember August 9, 1988 very well, too. It was the pre-Internet age, so when I heard the shocking news, I turned on my radio and roamed around the AM dial until I found Dan Russell’s SportsTalk, a Vancouver show that had all-day coverage I could listen to in Victoria. Growing up as a Canucks fan, I’d always hated the way Gretzky’s Oilers laid waste to the Canucks, but I had enjoyed the stylish way they’d dispatched the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals two months earlier. Hearing Gretzky was gone was simply unbelievable.
When the trade came down, you realized implicitly the NHL would never be quite the same again. When Gretzky was dealt once more to St. Louis in 1996, it wasn’t nearly as big of a news event, showing how the landscape had shifted.