Found August 09, 2013 on Metta Chronicles:
On this day in 1988, Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky requested the traded. He was sent to the Kings with Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley. Edmonton received Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelina, three first-round draft picks and cash. The trade was monumental to say the least. It single-handedly changed the sports culture in this country, helping the growth of the league in the U.S. Without Gretzky’s move to La La Land, the league wouldn’t have been able to successfully expand to non-traditional American hockey markets in western and southern states. It helped to transform the league in the early to mid 1990s. Gretzky was already popular before, as he had already cemented himself as one of the best. Adding L.A. to the picture took it to a whole new level. His popularity, combined with the fact that he played in Los Angeles, put the NHL on national television, made headlines throughout the United States and had a gigantic influence on the sport’s growth in new markets. Shortly after Gretzky’s trade, the NHL added five expansion clubs: two in Florida (Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992-93 and Florida Panthers in 1993-94) and two more in California (San Jose Sharks in 1991-92 and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1993-94).  

The most important ‘Where are they now?’ article from the Gretzky trade maelstrom involves Gretzky

We worked very, very, very hard to only offer the tip-top-best of the enormous amount of "25th anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky trade" articles/multimedia/blather/etc. over the past week, but I'm quite happy to post this article, because the Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones plain old interviewed Gretzky to ask how his life's going, and Gretzky sans hockey = a happy...

Gretzky Joining The Kings Sold Hockey Across America

By Sean Hartnett (@HartnettHockey) (Getty Images/Staff) A total of 25 years have passed since the most intrinsic of Canadian icons was shipped from the blue-collar city of Edmonton to the fast-paced, celebrity-studded megalopolis that is Los Angeles. Back in 1988, Wayne Gretzky was Canada’s greatest symbol. Actor Michael J. Fox had grown up in front of CBC cameras before making...

The Best Players

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey, In The Cult rankings, six players were given “top player points” for each NHL year, with the points going to three forwards, two defencemen and one goalie. A player earned three points in a season if he finished first in MVP voting. So Wayne Gretzky, with his nine Hart Trophies, earned 27 of his 37 top player points in that...
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