Twenty-nine years ago today Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in a deal that would change the fate of hockey in Southern California. All of a sudden the greatest player of all time was playing in a non-traditional hockey market. NHL.com’s Lisa Dillman chronicles the trade, and how Gretzky was feeling at the time.
When looking back at the deal, many fans remember the $15MM price tag paid by the Kings and equate the deal to a purchase from the less-wealthy Oilers franchise. But there were other parts that should be remembered. Los Angeles also traded Jimmy Carson, a 20-year old former second-overall pick who was coming off a 55-goal, 107-point season, Martin Gelinas the seventh-overall pick from just a few months earlier, and three additional first-round picks. That’s in addition to the $15MM, while the Oilers also sent Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski south along with Gretzky. It was lopsided for sure because of Gretzky’s greatness, but the return shouldn’t be minimized. It was likely the biggest trade that will ever happen in the NHL.
- According to CTV News in Calgary, former NHL star Dany Heatley has won a court decision over his former agent for losing a large part of his career earnings, given a judgement of just over $6.5MM. Apparently Heatley won a similar court case in the past and was never paid, so it is still to be seen whether he actually gets it. Chris Phillips, Heatley’s former Ottawa Senators teammate who used the same agent also sued in the past and was given a judgement of over $7MM, though was only paid a fraction of the settlement.
- Winnipeg Jets’ prospect Logan Stanley was traded from the Windsor Spitfires to the Kitchener Rangers yesterday for a package of picks. The huge defender was selected 18th-overall in 2016 and won a Memorial Cup after coming back from injury just in time to compete in the tournament this spring. Windsor, with the hosting duties behind them and several players graduating to the NHL will look to rebuild their franchise and try to time a championship winning group a few years down the line.
- The Washington Capitals will be playing their home games in the Capital One Center this season, as Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post reports. The Verizon Center’s naming rights were up at the end of 2018, but will change a year early.