Wayne Gretzky: Take A Ride With Marty McFly & Remember “The Great One”

On August 9th, 1988, the greatest player to have ever played the game left Canada for the United States; the Great One was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. I was 10 at the time and I’m pretty sure the significance of deal didn’t register for me until I was a little bit older. But looking back at some old articles, you could see the impact it had on the hockey world.

Wayne Gretzky traded… California, Here He Comes!
Scott Morrison, Toronto Sun, August 10, 1988

The king is dead. Long live the King. The tearful end to one of the most spectacular chapters in hockey history was authored in Edmonton yesterday, fittingly with one of the greatest trades involving one of the greatest players. Wayne Gretzky, the king of modern-day hockey, was dealt by the Edmonton Oilers as part of a multi-player, multi-dollar deal, one that granted his wish for a new life with the Los Angeles Kings. And, the Sun has learned, the trade also involves equity. Gretzky was to receive a 10% ownership share in the team but if league bylaws preclude that, he would receive a payment in the area of $5 million U.S., plus a share in gate receipts from the expected rise in Kings’ attendance from an average last season of about 10,000. The latter is part of a new, four-year contract Gretzky is expected to sign soon. Gretzky, owner of four Stanley Cup rings, countless league scoring records, eight consecutive most valuable player awards, and other honors with the Oilers, was – at his request – sent to the Kings along with defenceman Marty McSorley and centre Mike Krushelnyski. Gretzky demanded that McSorley, a noted enforcer, be included in the trade. In return for the best player in hockey, the Oilers received centre Jimmy Carson, a 55-goal scorer last season, rookie left winger Martin Gelinas, the Kings’ first-round draft picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993, as well as $15 million Canadian. News of the trade set off something of an emotional earthquake. In Ottawa, NDP house leader Nelson Riis asked the government to block the trade. The impact was felt most, though, in Edmonton, and especially by Gretzky and Oilers’ coach/general manager Glen Sather, both of whom wept openly during a press conference.

Gretzky Yields Stanley Cup but Deal Will Spread Wealth
Mike Perricone, Chicago Sun-Times, August 14, 1988

 Is the deal good for the NHL? The greatest player is now in the greatest media market. But the NHL has no U.S. TV network contract. In fact, the NHL, in the person of president John Ziegler, has said it is not interested in pursuing a U.S. network contract and is satisfied with its cable-TV exposure. The greatest feat of Gretzky’s career might be changing that outlook, if he can. But this is the NHL.

 Is the trade good for Gretzky?

 He and Janet are expecting a child, and Janet has her own film career. But above all, it’s a smart business move. Gretzky’s contract has four years to run at roughly $1 million a year, making him grossly undervalued in the sports world. McNall is sure to address that issue. There is no telling how many millions Gretzky can make from endorsements, fueled by regular appearances with Carson and Letterman. Who wouldn’t grasp such potential to provide for his family?

If Gretzky can’t sell hockey in the U.S., no one can.

And if you’re feeling nostalgic, I’d advise watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 Kings Ransom when you get a chance for an inside look at the deal that sent way from chilly Alberta to sunny California. I’ve included the first part for your viewing pleasure.

Until then TimandSid-izens, remember to check out Tim and Sid: Uncut at 4PM ET on Sirius Radio Channel 158.


Pizzo Ain’t No Rookie!

A huge congratulations to Mr. Robert Pizzo! This afternoon, a list of the Top 10 Canadian On-Air Personalities Covering Hockey was released today and our boy was listed as #7. For some of the Tim and Sidizens that are not aware, Pizzo not only works the updates throughout the day and splashes brilliance on Tim and Sid: Uncut, but he also co-hosts the Scores’ Puck Daddy Radio which airs Mon. to Fri. at 1:00Pm ET.

Pizzo and the other broadcasters ranked in the top 10, were ranked and based on the Klout score which was collected on May 3rd, 2011. What is the Klout Score System? The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score. Pizzo came in with a score of 61 – just 13 points behind the leader Greg Wyshynski.

Congratulations Robert Pizzo! The Tim and Sidizens of the nation are proud of you. Keep up the great work on both Puck Daddy Radio and Tim and Sid: Uncut. I forsee you passing these Hockey 360 guys in the near future. If want to follow Pizzo and hear more of what he has to say about the hockey world, you can find him at @robpizzo.

Also, the daily review from today’s podcast should be up later this evening or early tomorrow morning.