Twenty three years ago today Oiler fans and the hockey world was stunned when the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski for $15 million in cash, Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas and first rounders in 1989, 1991 and 1993. The Oilers traded the ’89 pick to the Devils, but they selected Martin Rucinsky in 1991 and Nick Stajduhar in 1993.

It was a dark day in Oilersnation.

This site was born in 2007 when the Oilers traded Ryan Smyth. Wanye was so pissed, sad, devastated and filled with tears when the Mullet left that he decided to bond his other crushed Oiler breathren by launching Oilersnation.com.

Could you imagine what little Wanye would have done in 1988 if he knew how to type or tie his shoes. Okay he still can barely tie his shoes, but I can only imagine what his twisted mind would have conjured up in the following weeks.


I was 15 and I vividly remember sitting on Darren McKenna’s couch in Beaumont watching the press conference in shock. Back then there was no Internet, twitter or cell phones, but word of his trade spread like wild fire. I was a diehard fan at the time, and I wanted to kill Peter Pocklington.

I didn’t cry, but I sure felt empty inside. We watched the presser and didn’t say a word. I think we were literally in shock. How could they trade "Wayner?"

I can honestly say that the Gretzky trade changed how I looked at sports. I still got excited in 1990 when the Oilers won the Cup, but after the Gretzky trade I don’t think I ever felt the same trust towards sports. I was young and I remember feeling so betrayed. When Mark Messier and even my all-time favourite player, Glenn Anderson, got traded I wasn’t as upset.

The Gretzky trade jaded my loyalty. I realized then that it was a business and since then I’ve never felt that the loyalty from players/teams was equal to the loyalty that fans show the players/teams.

Don’t get me wrong I love sports. The raw emotion on the ice, the unbridled passion off of it from bloggers, posters, listeners makes my life very exciting, but the fan in me died a bit that day, and I’ve never felt the same since.

Where were you when Gretz got traded? How did that trade impact you?

  • PrimeBane

    I was riding back from North Battleford with my family (wonderful day at the waterslides) when the news came on the radio. I didn’t want to believe it. 🙁

    I’m pretty sure a few tears were shed (I was 13 at the time).

  • I was 10 and angry. I was lucky enough to share this infamous day with my grandfather when the news came out. I would say his emotions were more of disappointment than sadness, betrayal or anger. He seemingly accepted it that day and perhaps had a lot of the reasoning surrounding the news long before I’d understand (or care) why.

    I also recall an uncle who called Gretzky over-rated that predicted we’d win Cups without him. I cannot even still to this day wrap my head around the minority in Edmonton who called Gretzky over-rated. At least my uncle was partially right — we could win one without 99.

  • paul wodehouse

    …i get a call from my boss at 7am…”pack a bag, you’re going to L.A. …Gretzky’s been SOLD…meet Dan Barnes at the airport he’ll fill you in on where the presser is in Los Angeles…call me when you get there…

    whata day…whata nightmare

  • PrimeBane

    i agree jason about the realization that hockey is a business and that trade was clarification of that.

    i was probably mad and caught up in the pocklington wave of hate but i never cried.

    there comes a time when hockey is just hockey the business/sport. i mean i love the oilers, the game and watch and follow with a tad bit of lunancy. the players are all pieces of property on a monopoly board and can be dealt. it is a business.

    gretzky gave pride to a city, a province and country of oiler fan and his time here spawned many, i’m sure, boys named WANYE or spelled normally, WAYNE.