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The Gretzky Trade Changed The Hockey World

I've been trying to avoid flooding KK members and guests with Gretzky stories, but this one is a good read...

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

We take a look at how 99’s move south impacted not only the game of hockey and L.A. sports, but altered the NHL at large and influenced everything from the Canadian Football League to Saturday-morning cartoon viewing.

Tripled the number of NHL teams in California.
After Wayne Gretzky joined L.A. in 1988, the San Jose Sharks (1991) and Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1993) joined in relatively quick succession. The Trade has been credited with contributing to the NHL’s Sun Belt expansion in the States. Florida landed two clubs, the Lightning in ’92 and the Panthers ’93; Minnesota’s North Stars chopped off their first name and dropped south to Dallas in ’93; and Phoenix acquired the Winnipeg Jets franchise in ’96.

Begat Bettman… and all that entails.
Following the success of the Gretzky in L.A., the NHL made McNall chairman of the board of governors. McNall then headed up the hiring of the NBA’s Gary Bettman as commissioner (after David Stern turned the job down). “People always talk about the Bettman strategy of expansion. It wasn’t the Bettman strategy; it was the Bruce McNall strategy. Bettman was hired to enact it,” (Stephen Brunt explains. “The entire destiny of the league, because of this trade and the success in L.A., was handed over to a guy who ended up going to prison.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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