From NHL.com's Dave Stubbs:
The trade that most thought could never happen was made on this date 28 years ago.
Wayne Gretzky, the captain and the heart and soul of the dynastic Edmonton Oilers, was traded on Aug. 9, 1988, sent to the Los Angeles Kings along with center Mike Krushelnyski and defenseman Marty McSorley. Coming to the Oilers in return were center Jimmy Carson, first-round draft choice Martin Gelinas, first-round picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993, and $15 million.
The trade, which caused chaos in Edmonton and left all of Canada in disbelief, redefined player movement throughout sports.
Every trade made in its wake, no matter how monstrous or unthinkable, could now be explained logically: "Well, if Wayne Gretzky can be traded, anyone can be traded."
None of that, though, made the day of the trade any less surreal.
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