holds dozens of NHL records. One that he was never a candidate to own is the mark held by Alan May
May, a former enforcer, is the only player in NHL history to be involved in four of the 458 trade deadline deals since 1980. May was twice dealt at the deadline in back-to-back years; in 1988 (Boston to Edmonton) and '89 (Edmonton to Los Angeles), and again in 1994 (Washington to Dallas) and '95 (Dallas to Calgary).
Four other players have been dealt three times at the deadline. The most notable was Hall of Famer Mike Gartner
, who was swapped at the deadline three times in a five-year span -- he went from Washington to Minnesota in 1989, from Minnesota to the New York Rangers
a year later, and from the Rangers to Toronto at the deadline in 1994.
Gretzky was never traded at the actual deadline -- Los Angeles sent him to St. Louis on Feb. 27, 1996, a couple of weeks before the deadline, which was later in the season than it is now. In addition to Gartner, other Hall of Famers who've been moved at the deadline since 2000 include Ray Bourque
(2000; Boston to Colorado), Doug Gilmour
(2001; Chicago to Buffalo) and Joe Nieuwendyk
(2002; Dallas to New Jersey). Bourque and Nieuwendyk went on to win Stanley Cups with their new team, though not in the year they were acquired.