Hockey is finally back, but we at Last Word on Hockey are still going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for August 9th, featuring Wayne Gretzky.
Today in Hockey History
Kings Acquire Wayne Gretzky From Oilers
1988: The unthinkable happens as the Los Angeles Kings get the Edmonton Oilers star in a blockbuster deal. Gretzky’s trade comes three months after the Oilers win their fourth Stanley Cup in five season. “The Great One” also won the Conn Smythe Trophy for the second time in his career. Kings owner Bruce McNall offers Oilers owner Peter Pocklington $15 million, forwards Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas and three first-round draft picks for Gretzky. Los Angeles gets defenceman Marty McSorley and forward Mike Krushelnyski.
Gretzky leads the Kings to the 1993 Final, but they lose to the Montreal Canadiens. Edmonton takes a Stanley Cup in 1990, but the franchise is never the same. The Great One’s move to the U.S. does help the game grown in non-traditional markets.
Other Notable Events
1964: Future Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull is born in Belleville, Ontario. He is the son of Hall of Famer Bobby Hull and is taken by the Calgary Flames in the sixth round of the 1984 NHL Draft. The younger Hull plays college hockey at Minnesota-Duluth and is traded to the St. Louis Blue in 1988. He becomes an instant star with 41 goals in 1988-89. Hull then leads the NHL with 72 goals in 1989-90, 86 in 1990-91 and 70 in 1991-92.
The Dallas Stars would sign him in 1998 and he’d help the team win their first Stanley Cup. He’d add another championship with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002. Hull finishes with 741 goals, fourth on the NHL’s all-time list, and joins his father in the Hall of Fame when he’s inducted in 2009.
1983: Detroit signs free agent and future Hall of Fame defenceman Brad Park. He’d play two seasons with the Red Wings before ending his career.
1988: The Montreal Canadiens acquire Jocelyn Lemieux, Darrell May and a second-round pick. (That would later become Patrice Brisebois) from St. Louis. Sergio Momesso and Vincent Riendeau would be acquired by the Blues.
Happy Birthday to You
1961: Andy Brickley
1962: Jim Johnson
1964: Brett Hull; Yuri Khmylev
1970: Rod Brind’Amour