By Rob MacNeil
August 9, 1988, is a day that lives in infamy for fans of both the Edmonton Oilers and Canadian hockey. Wayne Gretzky wasn’t the only one shedding tears as he said goodbye at a press conference announcing his trade to the Los Angeles Kings. Fans wept, members of Parliament raged and the media soaked it all in.
It became known simply as The Trade.
Twenty years later, Sportsnet.ca takes a look back at the trade that saw Oilers owner Peter Pocklington send Gretzky, Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski to the Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three first-round draft picks and, most importantly for Pocklington, $15 million.
Sportsnet.ca presents a timeline of how the trade originated, with all the gossip and rumours to go along with it. For those of you who remember, or for those who want to read it for the first time, Sportsnet.ca has collected several articles from the days and weeks immediately following The Trade.
But what did the Oilers really get for Gretzky? The Trade isn’t complete until the players that were eventually traded for Carson and Gelinas are discovered. Carson, for example, brought the Oilers Petr Klima and Joe Murphy, two kids that were instrumental to the team’s 1990 Stanley cup victory.
Sportsnet.ca has also collected some classic photos of Gretzky’s last Cup with the Oilers, his wedding, the emotional press conference and much more.