30 years ago today, the game of hockey changed forever. The Edmonton Oilers sold Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings, giving Southern California the biggest star in the history of hockey. This sale, no not trade, brought hockey to a new level in the south. Without this day 30 years ago, we likely don’t see the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks become teams, we don’t see the Arizona Coyotes and we probably don’t see players like Auston Matthews.
Here’s today’s look around the hockey world, with a heavy dose of Gretzky-to-LA talk.
- 30 years ago today, as we mentioned above, the Oilers sold Wayne Gretzky to the Kings two months after winning their fourth Stanley Cup title, defeating the Boston Bruins. The Sporting News’ Brandon Schlager takes a look back the most famous deal in hockey history.
- The deal was so much more than just Gretzky heading to LA, however. The Oilers acquired multiple draft picks and young players in the deal, opening up a lengthy trade tree that lasted over a decade. The Sporting News’ Adam Gretz breaks down the Gretzky trade tree.
- Former star forward Alexei Kovalev was one of the most dynamic and creative offensive players of his generation. Today’s generation, outside of a number of a players, really doesn’t possess the same kind of offensive flare, mostly due to the way the game is coached. Kovalev was quite vocal about that, explained by Yahoo’s Steven Psihogios.
- The NBA runs Christmas Day, but imagine the NHL having games on Christmas? Sportsnet’s Daniel Goffenberg takes a look at what a five game slate could look like for the league.
- The Gretzky trade dominates the headlines today, but there is some modern news with “The Great One”. Gretzky is helping to grow the game of hockey in China, and has been named the Global Ambassador for the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star.
- Want more Gretzky trade content? NHL Network will have a special schedule to highlight the 30th anniversary of the deal.