Recounting the Gretzky trade 35 years later with former LA Kings owner Bruce McNall: Leafs Morning Take

Nick Alberga
8 months ago
If applicable – do you remember where you were when Wayne Gretzky got traded?
If so, can you believe it’s been 35 years since the Los Angeles Kings bought The Great One from the Edmonton Oilers?
To put the magnitude of this trade into context, it was so big and shocking that it bred one of the most iconic sayings in the league’s illustrious history: “If Wayne Gretzky can be traded, anyone can be traded.”
The salary cap has entered the chat.
Anyway, on August 9th, 1988, Bruce McNall, who was the Kings owner at the time, pulled off the seemingly unthinkable acquiring the greatest player to ever live. Los Angeles acquired Gretzky, 27 at the time, along with Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley. In return, Edmonton obtained Jimmy Carson, first-round draft choice Martin Gelinas, first round picks in 1989, 1991, and 1993, and $15 million.
Even though there’s no direct Maple Leaf connection to the interview, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to relive a monumental day in NHL history with someone so intimately attached to all of it. Furthermore, Jay Rosehill and I spent about 15 minutes with Bruce McNall taking a vivid trip down memory lane.

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It’s funny, I asked the 73-year-old if fatigue had finally set in all these years later with respect to talking about the trade. Without hesitation, he said, “I’m tired now.”
And I don’t blame him. One thing’s for sure: Bruce McNall will never forget the day he acquired Wayne Gretzky. Honestly, it’s crazy to think about it. What if he didn’t? Gretzky’s arrival in Hollywood signified so much. It was the beginning of everything for hockey in California.
At any rate, in case you missed it, we were fortunate enough to interview The Great One himself back in early July.  Additionally, you can find a bunch of our high profile interviews on our YouTube page (@theleafsnation401).
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